Well before the New Year came along, I was already brooding (yes, brooding) over what I would work on in the New Year. What were my goals? What did I need to finish? I started making a plan of the techniques I wanted to learn and all of the quilts, knitted sweaters, etc., I felt I should finally complete. After a couple of weeks of thinking about it, I can't say I was very inspired. It was a to-do list.
Then I was reading Janet, the Twisted Knitter's blog, on a post about choices and I saw "...knitting is not my job." and I realized that I had truly turned all of my crochet, knitting and quilting into work. On some level, I already knew this but seeing her post hit home for me that I had turned what I do for fun into more work. I try to make myself "responsible" for finishing what I start and learning new things, as if I might become some out of control person who never finishes anything or tries anything new. Janet went on to say in her post "I can knit what I want, whenever I want, without explanation whenever the mood strikes me." I want to be like that! I had an epiphany right there and I knew that I had to ditch my goals for 2012. I mean, I was maybe even a little too productive in 2011. I want 2012 to be about slowing down, doing things for fun and actually having fun while doing them. And I confess that I want it to be more about me--what I want to do or make, not what I should do.
Finding balance is going to be hard. I make rules and then try to bend them. Whenever I try to give myself a break, I find some way to fill that break up with work. I need to let go of this drive to press forward and accomplish, or hand make gifts for everyone I know. Knitting (or quilting or crochet) is not my job!
So how can I go about finding balance in my crafting for 2012? I don't quite know but I think it involves letting myself be moved by what inspires me. And it includes embracing imperfection, which I learned when I was reading Kim's blog post about her word of the year to guide her creative process. I'll ignore that list of goals I made. If I don't finish something or several things, it is not the end of the world. Sometimes, the value comes in trying something out, not necessarily making it into something finished.
How about you? Is there an imbalance in your outlook on crafting? Have you thought of ways to change that?