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1 In Business Insight/ FiberyGoodness Artist In Residence/ Motivation/ News

The Merits of Doing It Differently

Hello, my Fiber Rebels!

You may be wondering where I’ve been lately – then again, it is the Holiday season, so you may not even have noticed I’ve been quiet over here!

Here’s the scoop: I took an unofficial break from doing anything fiber related, other than occasionally working on the big weaving pictured above. Have you ever had one of those moments of reckoning where you know if you don’t walk away from something you love, you might lose your enchantment with it? [Or is that just me?]

Well, that was basically what happened… combined with the creeping existential dread of these times of Covid, and also a sudden urge to work on another, entirely different passion project of mine – writing. Basically, I needed a vacation from what I was doing in order to realign myself anyway, and if you’ve been following me on social media, you know that’s been a thing for me for a good chunk of this year. It’s a GOOD thing; I think it’s important to reassess often, lest we end up doing the same thing over and over again, mindlessly. And mindful is where I’m at these days!

So I took advantage of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – to challenge myself on a different sort of project, finishing a novel I started writing years ago. If you click that link, you’ll see that I’ve participated in NaNo several times, but this is the first year I actually achieved my 50,000 word goal! I am currently almost at 100,000 words, and I still have the last quarter of the story to tell. If you’re into Urban Fantasy, you might enjoy it. [If that sails your galleon, leave me a comment and I’ll add you to a mailing list to give you updates!]

Anyway, that’s been where my creative juice went over the past month and a half, and I am finally feeling like once 2021 starts, I’ll be ready to re-embrace Fiber Arts with open arms and an idea-laden brain. Which is actually what I wanted to talk about a little –

It is okay to take a creative break.

Seriously: walking away from one outlet in order shift focus to another is not only fine, it is a great way to reclaim your creative energy for the first artform! You might notice [if you are not already one of these folks] that a lot of fiber folks are interested in multiple fiber crafts. Myself, I practice fiber prep, dyeing, and spinning as part of my biz – but my list of fiber related crafts that I enjoy also include:

  • knitting
  • crochet
  • weaving [frame, tapestry, circular, rigid heddle]
  • cross stitch
  • embroidery
  • sewing
  • felting

I am sure I’m missing something here, and it’s already a pretty impressive list! And that’s just fiber. I also have a multitude of other creative pursuits that not only fulfill me, but also end up supporting me in other ways. I contain multitudes, and those multitudes need their time in the spotlight in order to keep me balanced and creative!

I recently did a talk about when you *aren’t* feeling creative, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_W998EvVJ4

What I’m trying to tell you here is that it is okay to switch your focus for a while. In fact, it is sometimes necessary for some of us to do that! Using your creativity in different ways is a healthy way to build your creative juice and to bring vitality to all your projects.

And here’s another fact: sometimes, you need to just stop for a while and not do anything that feels creative to you. And that’s okay, too! Recharging is a thing. We sometimes really need to just let the batteries fill back up, and that might mean sitting on our rears and watching TV with no project in our hands for a while, until we feel inspired again.

Please know that all of this is normal, especially in these not normal times. You can’t do it wrong, just trust that your body and mind know when you need a rest or a change and follow their lead.

I’m writing this because I know there are folks out there who need to hear it. Hell, I need to hear it from time to time, because I can be a harsh taskmaster to myself.

Taking a break is valid. Changing your creative focus is valid.

“What about you, Xiane?” you might be asking. Well, as for me, I plan on working on this novel and when Jan 2021 hits, I’ll be firing up to create more fibery items and start promoting my creative inspiration classes. That’s my plan, and I hope that you’ll join me on it. But my question to you is: what’s your plan? What do you need or want, creatively, right now? Please hit the comment button 👇🏻 below and let me know!


ps – I hadn’t commented on it here, because you know: break – but I’m so excited to tell you that I’m not longer the Fiberygoodness Artist in Residence! Why is that exciting? Because Charan Sachar, the person who has taken up the mantle from me, is an astonishingly talented fiber artist whose growth I have been watching with joy. In the short amount of time that he’s had the position, he has already been creating beautiful yarn and fibers, in an insightful and inspired way. Please take a moment and go check out the first post about him at https://www.fiberygoodness.com/2020/11/fiberygoodness-artist-in-residence-returns/

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Witherswool
    December 16, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I always take a winter break and either knit a blanket or a sweater. I will spin and list yarns and rovings on my shop but my focus is creating something new and edgy that I don’t feel like I have time to focus on during the rest of the year. Good for you. I chose time as the theme for my year. Not sure if that was wise in hindsight!

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