Christine W.

This last week has been a spectacular illustration of procrastination. I feel like Doug the Dog, “Squirrel!” I have done everything to distract myself, unfortunately it was not doing stuff in my studio space. I did do a lot of writing though, which has been helpful. I just could not sit down and write my submission.

At this point, I haven’t found a committee, I think I disbanded it a while ago without knowing it. It’s just me being a catty critic. meow

I look at artists’ work that I admire and I think  "I could never make work that creative" and, “gee I don’t even know how I’d go about making something that complex and beautiful. I’d ruin it for sure”. Likely I would ruin work and it not be as creative because I would be imitating their style, not my own. I have learned to let those thoughts go when they come.

Then there is the other extreme where I see work that is less skilled and I think “ugh, I hope my work doesn’t look like that” (yes, shameful but true). I have learned to ignore those thoughts also because the person making the piece is one up on me – they actually completed pieces and they have fun doing it, and frankly they don’t care a fig about my opinion. No hang ups and no procrastination. Just fun and joy in making. That I greatly admire!

I get my anxiety when I approach my work table. I can be good for a day or two and think “I have all this figured out” but then I fall apart and start piling my work table with clutter, which becomes a physical and mental barrier to making. I’ve made this whole making thing too big in my head. This is where the committee comes in.

In the immediate

• I really should be doing something to clean the house and organize things

• I really should be making dinner

• I really do have to make jam with those oranges before they rot.

• I really do have to clean out the garden

• I should go get groceries, and hubby needs a jacket so I should go into that store too, and kiddo needs new party shoes so I need to go there as well (3hrs later)

• But I don’t have a good place to clean up the paints or dyes

• Oh, I need a nap (my favourite)

And on a grander scale

• Don’t make your hobby your work because you’ll end up hating it. (note I don’t say passion because right now I’ve lost my passion)

• You can’t make any money as an artist.

• You need a “proper” job so you can be financially secure in case anything happens.

• I don’t have an arts degree.

• What if I don’t have the stick-to-it-ness to make a go of it? And I don’t even know what “it” is at this moment.

• What in the world am I going to do with all the work I (theoretically) end up making?

It is all based on a scarcity and fear mindset. I’m working on it, starting with counting my blessings and doing a bit of writing every day.

Squirrel!