Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gotta Stay Warm!

Last summer, I was very frustrated with my lack of productivity. I'd have a bazillion ideas, but wouldn't finish anything. Even starting projects - my favorite part of the creative process - didn't happen as often as I liked.

One of my local weaving friends is very prolific. She weaves five hours a week on average - and her five hours includes planning, ordering yarn, dressing the loom, weaving and finishing.

I thought....well, I can do a few hours a week in my studio and see how it goes. Maybe if I treated weaving more like I treat running - planning to do it and pushing through parts that are hard for me - I'd develop better creative habits. I started with two one-hour sessions in my studio a week. At the start of each month through the fall, I'd re-evaluate and decide what level of commitment felt right.

Now, I'm up to three weekly sessions, for a total of six-and-a-half hours per week. If a project is going well for me, or is fun, I'm free to spend more time on it. But I commit to those three sessions, schedule them, and definitely work during those times.

By the beginning of winter, these creative habits were ingrained, and instead of facing resistance and avoiding anything creative, I went upstairs and got to work with excitement and ease.

At the beginning of January, I decided to spend the first fifteen minutes of each studio session finishing up a project. I made a list of projects that were stalled and would just feel good to get finished....and I'm working through that list.

These headbands are the first of those projects!

It feels really good to be finished with this project! It feels really good to know that I'm in the habit of being productive in my studio and that my unfinished projects won't languish forever.

I've still got projects that will be completed in this fifteen minute manner. The beauty of fifteen minutes is that I can get a step or two done, it doesn't feel too long, and when I stop (I actually set a timer), I'm almost always at a point where I want to continue - so re-starting the next time isn't hard at all.

Meanwhile, I love spending time outside - running, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing - so these headbands will be put to good use!! Perfect for keeping me warm, but not too warm!


Valerie said...

What a great idea for disciplining yourself to spend productive time in the studio!

Unfortunately, I often end up at the computer instead.

Thanks for your comments on my blog.

bspinner said...

You're right. I especially like the idea of spending the first 15 minutes in your studio finishing projects. My greatest downfall. Love your headbands

Janet said...

Sue, I love this idea! Weaving discipline is a real bugaboo for me, too, and finishing up projects the biggest part of the problem. I'll definitely be adapting your ideas for myself. Thanks!

Life Looms Large said...

I think this 15 minutes at a time idea might be adapted from FlyLady. But of course, I'd rather use it to get more productive in my studio - than to have a cleaner house!!

I hope this idea - or something like it - helps!!