Yeah, I know, it’s way past the New Year. I did draft this back in early January, the same day I drafted my last two posts. But I couldn’t post a New Year’s post until after I’d posted my Christmas tree and I couldn’t post that until I’d sorted out photos and since then I’ve been busy…
Excuses excuses. Moving along.
So although we’re more than three weeks into the year, I’m still going to post about my 2013 plans. As before, if you’re all over New Year’s planning posts, especially overly wordy and thinky ones, please skip this and we will return to your regularly scheduled finished objects posts soon. Well, as regularly scheduled as they get down in this paddock.
Every New Years period I enjoy taking some time over the holidays to reflect and consider, looking forwards and backwards. It all seems quite appropriate, given that January was named for Janus, the Roman god of transitions and new beginnings, who had two faces – one for looking forward and one for looking back. I guess there is just something about being on holiday, lazing in the sun, that makes me introspective. What can I say, I’m the thinky type at the best of times. You’ll get used to it.
As I introspected, I thought about 2012 and what was good and bad about it. 2012 was a bit of an odd year for me creatively. I had lots of ideas and dreams but was quite focused on home renovations/rearrangements, and getting our business in better shape. Although I didn’t quite get everything done I wanted to in 2012, I feel really pleased to be going back into a new state of being better organised, more established, and ready for this year. On the creative front however, while I did make a few things there really isn’t enough material to warrant a review so I decided not to do a “reflections of 2012” post.
Basically, what I figured out is that my creative output for 2012 was very low, and I don’t want to repeat that this year.
So I thought about what I DO want for 2013. And there are all sorts of plans that I could make. And almost all of them have been made by someone, somewhere! So many inspirational New Year’s posts that I’ve read! I could sew to a plan, I could stashbust, I could focus on fitting or separates or cake or frosting or palettes or challenges, blog more often, take better photos, etc. And I do want to do all of these!
But what I really want to do is just make stuff. I have so much pent up desire to Just Make Stuff.
My fantastic friends tease me that I spend so much time talking about making things and reading about making things and planning to make the perfect things and analysing the things and tidying my sewing room that I don’t actually make anything. And that I can justify my non-productivity at a drop of the hat. And I’ll, grudgingly, admit there is a whole heap of merit in this observation. They are my friends. They know me well.
So for 2013 my focus is on feeding my creative beast. On trying things and making things and enjoying the sense of fulfilment that comes with it – and learning from the inevitable moments of frustration that are likely to also come. On focusing on moving away from theory and dreams and cataloguing, to creating and making and fulfilment, even if it means some losses along the way. Not let my perfectionism, my frustrations, and my fear-of-getting-it-wrong hold me back.
You’ve all heard of the cure for writer’s block? Just start writing, even if it’s crap? Well, this is treatment for creative block. Just start making, even if it’s crap. It’s time to “fight my way through”.
So, goal in mind, how does this translate into plans for 2013?
I plan to make/complete 52 items this year.
Holy moly that’s a big one.
I am calling it 52 moments of satisfaction. Or maybe 52 moments of smugness. At the end of the year I want to be able to look back and go “wow, I made 52 things this year! I feel great about that!”
It’s a big jump from the small output of 2012. But it’s my challenge and I set the rules so here is how I’m making it achievable for myself.
- It’s not a thing a week. If I’ve worked on knitting a cardigan for a month and have produced nothing else that is ok. But I might need to offset that by finishing off a bunch of hems one weekend or settling myself down to make a dozen pairs of earrings.
- It’s not all garments. It could include sewn accessories, beaded jewellery, embroidery, homewares, or even a really awesome cake or batch of biscuits if I feel so inclined. I’m going to decide what counts.
- Finishing a UFO that has been languishing for ages counts, even if the UFO has hardly any work left on it. So does refashioning or remaking. Anything that makes me feel fulfilled at the end of it.
Even with me setting my own rules, this is a huge undertaking for me. So that brings me to my second plan for 2013.
I plan to spend at least 15 minutes every day on creating.
Yep, even if it’s only one seam or one row or one piece cut out I want to do something creative every day. Dancing (lessons or socially) counts. So does baking. So does blogging.
Again, it’s my challenge and I can make my own rules so I will allow some exceptions. Those are the days when I go to work and I have no lunch break and then I go straight to a dinner date then to a show then stagger in at 1am. Or the Saturday when I leave the house at 9am and come home at 11pm. These days are not frequent but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t manage anything on those days.
Progress to date!
The advantage of posting this so late in January is that I already have a sense of how I’m progressing. So far I’ve start and finished a cardigan, a seat cushion, and have almost finished three printed tees and a dress! And I’ve had only one day where I’ve just failed to create, because, you know, forgot.
The frustration is that the number of days that fall into the “exemption” category is high. In 24 days I’ve had five days that have just not been craft compatible. Still, 19 days of creativity for me is a milestone!
I’m feeling very excited about these plans. Wish me luck!