Endings are important. And so it follows that finishing things is important. I need goals and deadlines and I need to be accountable in order to help me be creative. (That might sound counter-intuitive to sparking creativity, but trust me, it's not.) I want to take more time to be creative, so I'm letting you all know, as this will keep me accountable.
I was speaking to my husband the other week about why I struggle to get things done at home. I am very much an external processor, and although I have been mulling over these thoughts for weeks, I actually needed to articulate them to John in order to work out what would help make the difference for me. (You would think that I could just externally process by talking aloud to myself, but somehow, it doesn't have quite the same effect as talking to an actual person does.)
One of the biggest realisations for me about why I struggle to get things done at home - both housework and creative projects - is because I don't have deadlines. There is no pressure to get things done. There are no real consequences if I don't do the housework, or if I don't finish off that quilt I started a year ago. No one is negatively affected by these things, Except that I am. Those unfinished projects stay in my mind, and become part of an ongoing list of things that need to be completed. I remember a conversation I had with a good friend many years ago, where she talked about how important endings are. I think we were talking about endings in relation to something fairly significant, such as in the role of a therapeutic relationship between a counselor and a client, or dealing with a sudden death and the impact of an unexpected end to a life, but the principle of how significant endings are has stayed with me. I realise that unfinished sewing projects do not have the emotional ramifications that dealing with a death does, but there is something valuable about the process of bringing things to completion, and I would like to engage a bit more with this in all aspects of my life where I start things and leave them unfinished.
I have mentioned before how I love quilts, and I have this little dream of having piles of handmade quilts all over our house for our children to snuggle under, make dens with, play hide and seek and be inspired by (because I find beautiful fabrics inspiring, and I hope they might too). I have a whole chest of drawers that are filled with fabrics, and I often tell myself that I won't buy any more until I have used at least half of what I already have. But then I spot a beautiful fabric, or a bargain, and that plan goes out the window. While we were visiting the beautiful town of Hay on Wye a couple of weeks ago, I found a few fabrics in a charity shop for a very small amount of money. I had quilt projects in mind for all three of the fabrics, and so I bought them.
So now comes the challenge for me to use them in 2015. My plan is to make at least three small quilts by the end of the year to add to our little collection. That might sound like a fairly small goal, but considering that I have made one quilt a year for the last three years, it feels like enough of a creative challenge to make two more than my current annual average. I will be sharing my progress here to help me stay accountable, and would love to hear from you if you have any creative goals that you are working towards this year.