Procrastination and fear

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I finally took a few stitches on this piece yesterday. It started last summer when I specifically hand dyed some fabric to make this. I stamped and stenciled it and even layered it with batting and backing ready to stitch. And then I set it aside. Even when I’ve yearned for something to stitch on, I’ve left it alone, started new things instead. This is a great piece of work. I love the idea, I love how it’s turning out, It’s going to be great. So why am I procrastinating about finishing it? And more important, why do I procrastinate so much with all my art?

I just read this article written by metalsmith Andy Cooperman and it rang so familiar. Yep, I procrastinate by buying stuff. And I procrastinate by taking classes (Oh, I just need to learn this technique and then I can make all the amazing art in my head!). I procrastinate by starting new projects instead of working on the ones already in progress. I procrastinate because I get overwhelmed with ideas. And I get frustrated with myself for procrastinating. I have to work hard on Sunday nights to keep from beating myself up over all the art I didn’t make over the weekend. And I wonder what is wrong with me – I’ve got lots of ideas, why don’t I have the drive to complete them?

The idea of linking fear to my procrastination is one I haven’t considered, but it’s an idea with a lot of validity. I definitely put off working on or even starting some ideas because I’m afraid I’ll screw them up. And I put off putting my work out there for sale because just think of how embarrassed I’ll be if no one likes it. Or if I offer a class and no one signs up? And here’s one that addresses my problem with the piece in the picture “Ok, this is good, but when it’s finished, what will I do next?” I start a LOT of work in search of my next great shiny idea.

I’m not sure where I go from here. I’ve identified the fear but what do I do about it? How do I address it? I guess for now I’ll just keep stitching…

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5 Responses to Procrastination and fear

  1. Mariel Crook says:

    “Get out of my head Nikki”! I’ve just spent uncounted hrs on Pinterest repinning all kinds of marvelous ideas for future projects. cripes. I have got to haul my buns to the laundromat before it gets too late & cold. HEY! Your blog is great, and I know you’ve got amazing things in the works . Yep . . . one stitch at a time.

  2. I hear you Nikki. I am in a constant state of procrastination with my artwork (hell, I’m typing this instead of posting to my own blog- which I’ve been trying to ‘get to’ for the past week.) I’ve actually had the ‘offered to teach a class and no one signed up’ experience – and obviously I survived that. I think the thing I have to get over is the idea that any piece of art that I make is a ‘one shot deal’. I need to get over the idea that if I mess it up or it doesn’t come out the way I wanted it too (heads up on this one- I don’t think it will ever come out the way any of us see it in our heads) that there is no ‘do over’ or try again. I know in college I had professors that let me do work over (and over and over again) until I was happy with it and the grade they gave me for it. I think I really learned the most by going through that process. Now I just have to remember that with my art in the here and now. Off to work on my blog now…determined to post something today….

  3. I do the exact same thing. So, today I will pick up something half done and work on it! Let’s see how it turns out.

  4. nadia says:

    Hi, Nikki. I like the new look of your blog. This was a good post and the link was an interesting article. And you’re right, just keep stitching–until it becomes a habit and you can’t live without it.
    best, nadia

  5. Jera says:

    I hate my life but at least this makes it beelbara.

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