Last time I blogged about creative risks, I shared a poem on an evening when I'd slammed into the problem with my scarf warp. Your responses were really interesting to me, particularly because my post was so vague. No one knew whether I was talking about weaving-related risks or other risks in life.
Thank you all for the great scarf advice. I'll be putting it into practice later this week and I'll definitely be blogging about it so we can all see how it comes out!!
Over the last week, as I've tried to figure out what's next with my scarf, I've also tried to look at my attitudes and emotions around this project. Hopefully I can change the attitudes that are holding me back.
What makes a project feel risky to me?
Not all projects feel risky to me.
- A project where I really care about the outcome - where I have an idea of how I want it to come out, rather than just seeing what happens
- Precious yarn - scarce, expensive, unusual, or with an unusual emotional attachment (like this most recent scarf)
- Diving in way over my head technically so I have trouble figuring out what to do almost every time I work on it
- Projects in a workshop lead by a teacher with a group of students
- Following a design in Handwoven
- Samples being done to study a weave structure or new technique
- Warp where I'm OK with it just not working out - somewhat indifferent to the project (although I try never to start projects like that - I like to be passionate about what I do - even when passion is exhausting!)
Bailey scratches this rug into a pile when he's frustrated
What's at risk for me?
Well, there's always the question of yarn and time. I worry more about time than about yarn....because I have a lot of yarn!!! I never have enough time to do all the things I want to do.
Another risk is the emotional energy it takes to do a project, especially a risky project. I don't always have the emotional energy to spare.
The big risk for me however, is that feeling stalled or blocked or technically stymied makes me very frustrated. My typical pattern with projects that aren't working out, is to flit to the next project. Then, when I have about 10 projects all stalled and stuck, I give up entirely on doing anything creative or artistic. Sometimes for years.
Doesn't exactly help with my goal of being a prolific weaver!
When I tackle something that I know is risky, I have to make sure I have the emotional energy to fight through my frustrations. Plus, I need to work out a creative process where I can troubleshoot problems in projects and avoid that stuck, blocked, permanently stalled state.
But getting into that state is the big risk to me at this point.
Times when I've taken risks
I'm definitely fine with the level of risks versus safety in my life in general. I'm less adventurous in my kayak or on the hiking trail than Jim (my husband and favorite outdoor companion), but I'm OK with where I am on that risk-taking scale.
I've done adventurous things like travel, move (twice) to a new part of the country where I didn't know anyone, change careers, buy a book and a loom and teach myself to weave. I can take risks.
I'm just not quite where I want to be with working my way through roadblocks in weaving projects, and I want find the right level of risk taking for me with my creative projects.