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Shiny Designs...on the Brighter Side of Life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slumps are like Spinach – Yucky but Good for You in the End

I haven’t created a significant amount of art, or anything other than writing, for the last nine months. So, this is what a slump feels like.

Now that it’s been long enough to see clearly what happened, it’s obvious I did it to myself. I took the joy out of creating so I quit and balked like a three year old at spinach.

My mistake came in two little words: have to. Having to do something turns it into a chore, a drudge, something to be endured. I turned my art and the very act of creating, making things, into a have-to-do by setting expectations that, in hindsight, were unreasonable. Then what? I set myself free by deciding to make whatever I wanted out of what was on hand.

It was incredible! In just a few hours, I felt the old joy of making something with my own hands come back. Rummaging through my collection of supplies and materials was intoxicating and my imagination came back to life. The old me, the one who hated to stop working to eat, is back.

Now, I’m working on a crochet book proposal for my publisher and have a modest selection of one of a kind Halloween things in my shop at Etsy as well as continuing with several magazine article assignments and planning new paintings. During the slump and subsequent invigorating burst of creativity, I learned several lessons but the most important for me is to be careful with setting goals. Having goals can move you forward but not if they stifle the root of your creativity.

Let me know your thoughts and if you’ve dealt with the same issues


Karin said...

Glad to have you back. I've missed you! And, a belated happy birthday to you, too. I love the pincushions. I'll have to check out the rest of your shop.

Monette Satterfield said...

Thanks Karin, I missed me too :)

Birthday wishes to you as well, it's hard to believe another year has gone by!

Your jewelry is just so lovely - especially the copper:

Thanks for stopping by - I hope to have more to say soon.

freebird said...

I just joined in for a class at A.R.T. (a yahoo group) and I worry I am taking too much on in it. I tend to do too much and then pull back because the fun goes out of it. We are creating from our hearts and souls and they don't respond well to constant pressure. I don't know that I've had a slump as long as yours but we all have them. Look on it as winter in which the plants rest and get ready for a new spring. It's much easier when we know its a cycle - we push too hard and Fall sets in and then winter follows but so does spring. Glad you are back.

Monette Satterfield said...

Hey freebird, thanks for your support.

Your comment about cycles is very apt. I've always worked in cycles of about a year. But, for some reason, I just forgot all about that :)

Good luck with your new project - it sounds interesting and I'm sure you'll find a way to make it fun.

Dan Kent said...

Welcome Back from your slump! My last art hiatus was, oh, about 30 years (I don't think I'd call it a slump, more like turning my back on my soul, you know?) - so I figure I have 20 years of good time coming to me. 30 if I'm really lucky, and 50 if there are really major advances in medical science. Love your spooky little friend. :)