Sunday, 15 September 2013

A little less inspiration, a little more action please

Today's post comes LIVE!! from the front row of a big, sprawling, brawling, testosterone-fuelled* FIGHT in my sewing room.

The Inspiration has been making disruptive incursions on Actual Sewing for several months now. This summer, the Ideas finally ran completely amok, leaving a disorientating shock-and-awe of Mess which punched me in the face the second I re-entered the room after my holidays. I've been nursing my bloodied nose with Knitting ever since, while Sewing has been out cold.

We now find ourselves backed into this corner:

Knee deep and sinking in a desperate confusion of inaccessible clutter. Glancing under the desk set off panic systems, as the suppressed trauma of drowning in an unmanageable, un-prioritised profusion of planned projects suddenly surfaced. Organisational capabilities seem to be in shutdown.

Semi-conscious hallucinations of notions, stationery, supplies and stash swill around my tortured mind before I push them back to the depths of the denial whence they emerged.

Behold the shadowy colours of denial.

No - I can't - stagger -  ...  eurghhh ...

That's the sound of my motivation, dying.

:: :: ::

This kind of showdown is a sewist's occupational hazard, right? We all know and understand how it happens.  Do you, too, get to the point where you just can't take it any more?

I've been thinking about a solution, and - although we all craft in different spaces and situations - I think in essence it's pretty universal. It's this:
  1. Get organised.
  2. Stay organised.
  3. Don't think more than one project ahead.

Would you agree?

It doesn't cover everything, of course: the other big challenge is maintaining self-discipline in the face of inspiration overload.  For that I think we surely each need to find our own way of diffusing the urge to Do All the Projects! And All the Patterns! With All the Fabric! For now, this is mine:
  1. Ideas are fun!
  2. But ideas do not always have to be executed.
  3. They also don't have to go on a To Do list.
  4. Nor do they necessarily need blog sharing in sewing-plan format.
  5. Blog sharing just for fun is ok though! (See point 1).

What about you - what's yours?

How do you manage your ideas and your space and to keep your sewjo alive?

:: :: ::

* um, in my dreams? 


  1. I've a corner that reminds me of that :) I actually work better if I have a few (a lot?) of projects in mind. When I get stuck on one I move to another for a bit then come back. So I usually work on two at the same time but not more than three or it gets overwhelming.

  2. I'm no good on the Sewing Space question, I live in a tiny tiny studio flat, so my sewing space is my dining table and my living room floor and whatever storage space I can find.

    But as far as keeping up with the Inspiration Fairy goes, what helps *me* is writing my ideas down. Once they're on paper (or more likely in electronic format- I keep my project list on an online To Do List site), it means they aren't cluttering up my head space, and I can stop getting stressed by them! I keep a list of projects which includes those projects that are feasible and ready to go, as well as the airy fairy ideas. I try not to *plan* more than three projects ahead, I have all the inspiration projects on that list as well as the ones I'm closer to starting, so I can tweak the planned order according to what suits me at the time I'm actually ready to start something new.

  3. Can't help you out Jo. My sewjo is all over the place as always happens as I start to panic about fete sewing and just desperately wanting to sew something for myself! I think just focussing on one or two projects does help. I do seem to buy pattern after pattern (I think both Colette and Deer and Doe are releasing this week - which no doubt I'll end up buying) which doesn't help.

  4. I'm usually working on two projects at a time and try never to have UFOs (this doesn't always happen). I think Beatrice's idea of writing a list would work great for me since I agree that my head can get filled up with too many 'need to do projects' and then I just feel overwhelmed. I'm meticulous about cleaning up my sewing space at the end of every sewing session (no matter how short) although this just might be a sign of some deeper issue! Good luck and I hope you get back on track soon!


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