I want to be a lifelong creative explorer.
The idea of learning a new craft and new skills is exciting. It makes me happy!…
It also comes with moments of complete paralysis!!
It is useful to remember that we have to learn to walk before we can run, and before we can walk we will inevitably fall down.
Learning to crochet has reminded me of what it feels like to be a beginner in what can feel like a world full of inspiring experts and makers.
Starting a new craft causes you to venture into the unknown.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the onset of all the new information that comes with learning a new skill.
As I prepared to crochet this blanket I followed the instructions and created a sample swatch to get a feel for the stitches. It took me a long while to try to make sense of the pattern – not because the pattern was written poorly, but because I am still becoming familiar with the language.
I was tempted to give up before I had even started!
But being creative means welcoming trial and error into our lives, so I pushed through the temptation to quit until I had a sample swatch that resembled something similar to what it was meant to be.
A few rows into crocheting the actual blanket and I realised I had made a significant mistake. And For a short while I let fear and comparison take over; putting the whole project on indefinite hold.
Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat – F Scott. Fitzgerald
Fear can creep into our consciousness in many ways. We fear making a mistake, being judged, and not being able to do what we set out to do. We fear not being good enough and we fear being compared to others.
The good news is, fear is a completely natural response to pursuing creativity.
Frame the idea of fear in a whole new way. Creative fear is good – it’s an indication that the thing we are fearful of has meaning to us.
Alongside fear, comparison can stop you in your tracks. It can cause you to question your own heart and doubt your ability.
It ultimately makes us feel small!
If we let it, comparison will dismiss our creativity, so it is important to reframe the way think about our work and the work of others. Stop comparing and start creating.
We are all uniquely beautiful, and there is no one way in which to create. Compare yourself to others only inasmuch as it allows you to see the potential that is within yourself. Allow the creations of others to inspire you to be the best version of yourself, but don’t use someone else’s creativity as a measuring stick for your own.
So if you find yourself in a situation questioning your creative worth, know that you are not alone and it is OK!
The nature of creativity means we will sometimes stumble – sometimes over a hurdle, and sometime over our own feet! But as long as we pick ourselves up, and put the stumbling into perspective, we can categorise the experience as a ‘creative growth’ moment, and move on.
Give yourself permission to stumble, and even to fail. Embrace it; you are now on a creative path to something new, and there is a very good chance your experience will give you fresh insight into more of the things that make your heart happy.
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength. – Sigmund Freud
4 Seasons Chevron Blanket
Now that my 4 Seasons Chevron Blanket is complete and I can view it from a distance I can confidently say that while technically it is not ‘pattern perfect’, I still love it and the experience has taught me a lot about crochet and gave me new skills for the future – what more could I ask!
If you are interested in making your own 4 Seasons Chevron Blanket you can purchase the pattern (and kit) from Crochet Objet here.
I am sharing these thoughts today to remind everyone, including myself, that creativity is not for the faint hearted! It takes courage to bring something new into the world despite the creative demons that are determined to constrain us from exploring our creative potential.
It is important to remember that fear and comparison can be the antithesis of creativity without the right perspective. Choose to honor these emotions for what they are and push through the emotional barriers anyway – because that’s what a creative individual does!!
If you have been waiting for the perfect moment to try a new quilting technique, or make your first ever quilt, or any creative project for that matter, I hope you throw fear to the wind and make something with your hands today.
Happy creating, friends! xx