|a Little Bit Biased|
Maybe you know exactly what I'm talking about, but maybe you don't. Maybe you're thinking... How can you have too much inspiration? How much is too much, is not the point. That's up to you. But haven't you ever hit a point where you wish you'd stop surfing Pinterest, stop reading about your friend's gorgeous projects and go ahead an make your own already? Or, even... even... stop thinking of the new fabulous projects you've dreamed up and remember instead the reasons why you started what you already have going?
|by Hidden in France, via Maureen|
This happens to me. Regularly. And yet, on the other hand, I'm tremendously grateful for the inspiration I receive daily, freely bestowed by both friends and the unknown creators through Flickr, Pinterest and blogland. I would never walk away from all that! Sheesh, enjoying beauty is a reward in and of itself. And viewing others creations influences my own in ways that are personally fulfilling. Sometimes when I can't sew, spending time in these places is a way of "investing" in sewing moments to come.
|Blue Elephant Stitches|
I have heard of a few approaches to solving this problem...
1) Taking a break. That is, abstaining from reading blogs, Flickr, Pinterest, etc. for an amount of time to create mental space. Sometimes bloggers will post a little notice on their blog to let their readers know they'll be back later. Personally, I can't imagine wanting to take a long break, like a month. Even a week seems like a stretch. And there lies the rub... we want it. And we need a break. But we want it! It's like my relationship to leftover birthday cake. Taking a break is not something I've really tried. Have you?
2) Limiting the flow. This can present itself as only being active in one or two platforms (as in... I don't "do" Facebook). It manifests in that desire to trim down your blog reader or only follow a few boards in someone's Pinterest stream. So far, this has been my approach. It's really hard to do. I'll look through my reader and try to evaluate rationally... does this artist inspire me? what do I gain from being there? are we friends? do I feel good when I visit? It's terribly hard to eliminate something because it feels like "someone". But, it's not. I mean, not following someone's blog is not unfriending them. It's saying that I don't need to do this every day. What if I visit once a month or whenever their Flickr feed calls to me? (Sometimes that works very well for me. And... oftentimes I end up re-subscribing.) I simply cannot follow every blog that I would like to. There would be no time left to live! Which is exactly the problem of too much inspiration. I limit the size of my wardrobe by the the size of my closet. Maybe I should limit my reader by a particular number of blogs?
3) Limiting time. As in, I can only spend 30 minutes browsing and then I'm off to the sewing machine! Does anyone do this? That seems so rational, so simple. Gosh, I don't do that. I'm one of those people that likes to empty my reader every few days, regularly surf Flickr pools of interest and keep up with "recent activity" on Flickr. Limiting time gets right to the point. It seems like it would force you to prioritize those resources that are most valuable to you since you would know you would miss them if you dally.
4) Cold turkey. Every once in a while I hear of someone who has pushed back... like all the way. They're trying not to be inspired by others, so that they can find their own voice. They're spending time in nature or looking at non-sewing inspiration in hopes of developing more original ideas. Or, they've just plain decided that making without social media is more fun.. without those feelings of comparison or the constant interruptions of new ideas. Hmm.
|Robert Kaufman/Kona via Katie|
If reading over these ideas leaves you with a panicky feeling, you might like to know that I feel the seam fears:
*I'll miss some fabulous ideas!
*My friends will be hurt.
*I will miss my friends!
*My readers will stop visiting.
*Maybe I won't come back.
Ok, except for that last one. I know I'll come back (um, I'll not leave in the first place). But, I have a feeling that some folks worry they'll drop off blogging altogether if they lose their rhythm. The thing is there are also some fears involved with giving in to too much inspiration:
*I won't make anything original. Who am I, anyways?
*I won't finish things I've started. There are always new, inspiring ideas.
*I will always feel "not good enough". After all, 8 of my friends finished gorgeous projects today.
*I'll be so busy absorbing that I won't be living. Creating is where I want to be.
|Where the Orchids Grow|
Anyone still listening? I confess this stuff has been on my mind lately, especially since I've been mutlitasking between Curves Class creation and my "regular" stuff. It's just been a lot of projects floating around in my mind. Even though I keep finishing things, I have so many exciting ideas in my head that I cannot see my way to starting anytime soon... which is incredible frustrating. I need to take a chill pill. Then I came across Diana's article today at CraftyPod and knew it was time to pause and think.
How do you manage all this inspiration? Is it good for you? Do you feel fulfilled in your creativity as a quilter or sewist or do you feel overwhelmed most of the time? Is your relationship to social media healthy? And, do tell me, how (if at all) we bloggers add to the problem. Do you wish we'd just make a quilt, instead of leading a quilt-along along with it? Do you wish I posted less often than 5 days a week?
I want to hear the good and the bad, just keep out the ugly (naming names) so no one gets hurt!
p.s. these images are all from my Pinterest boards. Don't go look if you already have too much inspiration!