Friday, May 30, 2014

Going from Meh to Making something

what is this feeling, ennui?
I know just what that feeling is like. Your mind is full of what you want to make but you don't want to do it. When that happens, I sit on the porch and read something or meditate. It can go on for days but the muse always comes back. Something tips the balance and you must work again.

That thing that tips the balance from, "I just don't feel like it"  to " I must go make that " is magical. And interesting... it's one of the questions I ask artists. What takes you from meh to must make?

I hear people say, don't wait for a feeling or inspiration, just do it. Do the work. They say it emphatically!

I'm learning new words, self empowering words and will practice them right here on the 'just do it' dogma.

I Disagree.

I am learning it's okay to disagree, even with  printed word, even with dogma, even in the face of someone who intently tells you they are right, even to family members. There is power in those little words. The power of self respect, of believing in your thoughts and feelings. I don't need to convince anyone that I'm right, because it's just my opinions, what is truth for me.

While it would be great to always just walk in the studio and start making something, what if it's equally important to listen to the quiet voice that says, not now, not yet, be quiet a moment. Your power is not lost, it's rebooting.
Feel free to disagree


  1. Well said, LeeAnna, and congrats to your husband, Drew - a major accomplishment indeed! And congrats to you as I'm sure you were a great help.

  2. This is an interesting issue- I find myself often on both sides of it. Sometimes pushing through and just working on it is really the way to go. Other times, I get so much better results if I just wait till the feeling is right.

    For me so often it comes down to knowing what the next step is. That is, if I know what the next step is then it's better just to do it- This seems to apply even if I don't know whether the next step is the right one or if I might want to change it/be sorry later, that is, even if I'm not feeling great about the next step, if I know I won't be able to make an actual decision until I take that step, I force myself to keep working so that I'll get to a point where I can make a decision.

    If I really don't know what the next step/direction is- I'll often have way better luck waiting until I'm inspired again.

    Not sure if that makes any sense, but thanks for bringing up the topic because I think it's one we all have to face!

    1. that's it! I work like that too. Sometimes you can work past it, and sometimes you shouldn't! I like the way you explained your process, so similar to mine as well, Shannon.

  3. Sometimes you just need to take a break, whether it's emotional or physical. And sometimes it's good enough just to go in the studio, eat some chocolate and pet all the fabric! Hope you are not feeling "meh" right now. I think your work is awesome.
    Pugs and kisses,

  4. Sometimes we need power stitching, sometimes we need to stop and clean up the studio, sometimes we need to sit in the studio and just feel the quilty vibes, sometimes we need to walk away and go outdoors . . . there's no one right answer! The trick is to be still and listen to yourself and then act on what you hear.

  5. Fortunately, I can go back and forth between crocheting, quilting, sewing, knitting, photography and gardening projects when I hit that point, which, by the way, is frequent!!! Sometimes too frequent! I love being able to pull away and give ideas a chance to simmer. Sometimes, a better idea doesn't come along, but most of the time, the wait pays off.

    Congratulations to the new Dr. Drew!!!

  6. I completely agree with you. My muse tends to go on vacation regularly and leaves me without motivation. I used to chide myself for being lazy when that happened; now I just enjoy the down time, secure in the knowledge that my muse will strike when I least expect it and I'll spend another 100 hour marathon at my sewing machine/typewriter/guitar - whichever mood happens to hit. As long as I'm not under an externally imposed deadline, I just enjoy the meditation, reading, and just sitting and watching the bay time whenever it strikes.

  7. "Your power is not lost, it's rebooting." I love this thought. I rarely feel burnt out but right now I am and it's ok. Little steps here and there. Lots of time spent doing something different. Sometimes I just need different.

  8. when I finish a project and don't know what is next or which UFO to tackle, but I WANT to sew, I do what I call zombie quilting. Just feeding squares of scraps through the sewing machine for charity baby quilts. It gets very Zen, listening to the machine, grabbing another pair of mismatched colors, no decisions, you get into the zone, then the creative juices start to flow. A color catches your attention, you see a flower out the window, your husband tells you a joke, that evokes a thought about a juicy topic to quilt. Before you know it, you are ready to tackle something else more creative, but you can sew a lot of patches together and make MANY baby quilts too. Relax and catch your breath. Happy Sewing AMY

  9. The answer lies within. You can't rush a good thing! A change is as good as a rest! Sometimes the garden tells you what grows best where! My garden is "still in the making" after 9 years. To force creativity, don't do it. Just walk away! There are lots of answers to be found in the garden, just weeding! Yes, it's ok to dissagree whey you know you're right. Sometimes you just have to let the other talk in out and nod.
    I hear you! I'm there!
    Take care,

  10. What a truly awesome post, LeAnna! So totally timely as I have found myself contemplating more, sewing less and being totally ok :) Thank you for disagreeing and having the courage to post about it! Rock on :)

  11. YES. Oh man, you said what has been swirling around in my brain, and so eloquently too. Thank you for that!

  12. PS - I am reminded of Julie Cameron's The Artist's Way; times such as these can be called "filling the well."

  13. I think it is nice to have a choice, sometimes I want it and sometimes I don't. As Anne May commented here, "sometimes I need different.