In my original post Letting go of creative blocks: cleaning the river, I talked about unfulfilled dreams and creative ideas that we throw aside, causing damage to ourselves in the same way that chucking things into a river causes pollution. This doesn’t mean that our ideas are garbage, just that we sometimes treat them that way. Doing this creates a toxic environment which affects any new ideas we come up with. The only way to fix the problem is to clean the river. This could mean completing a project, or letting it go. Either way, we acknowledge it and do something about it.
I’ve been slowly working on this for the past year. Up until recently, I had this bad habit of buying craft supplies, or beginning a project, only to stop partway through and throw it in the closet. It really has affected me because whenever a new idea comes up, I feel too guilty and stressed out to do it. All I can think of are all the abandoned projects that I really should be working on instead.
Anyway, I’ll write up a list of what I’ve managed to do so far.
1) Goodbye guitar
I grew up playing the flute and piano, but what I really wanted to play was the guitar. I like rock and roll. Guitars are better for playing rock and roll than a flute. Around age 18, I bought one. However, I never really got into playing it. Maybe I felt frustrated with how different it was from other instruments. I had to read tabs, not music notes, and it hurt my fingers to hold the strings, and most songs were all chords instead of individual notes.
I carried it around with me for over 10 years. Finally, I got fed up and got rid of it this year. I took it to a pawn shop and took what they gave me. It hurt to sell it. It wasn’t easy to give up the idea of sitting around a campfire, playing a totally badass song while people sing along. But let’s be realistic, that’s not happening. It’s not that I can’t, it’s more that I don’t care enough to put in the effort. Oh well.
I’ve still got a few guitar books to get rid of; maybe I’ll donate them to the library or something.
2) Goodbye Knitting
I have no idea why I ever wanted to knit. I suck at it and it bores me. Maybe I liked the idea of knitting people scarves as gifts, or maybe I couldn’t resist buying balls of pretty yarn. I bought a fuzzy pink ball of yarn over 5 years ago and kept telling myself I would do something cute with it some day. Well, screw that. I hate knitting, so goodbye knitting needles!
People in my building often put things they don’t like in the laundry room, so I took all my materials and put them there. They disappeared. quickly. I hope that someone is making good use of it.
3) Lets make some candles – and never do it again
I recently got rid of all my candle wax. I had a big tupperwear container filled with wax, dyes, scents and tons of crayons. My intent was to use the crayons as dye, but I ended up putting those in the laundry room. I didn’t think anyone would want candle-making supplies, so I just made a bunch of candles, buying containers and extra wicks as needed.
All I’ve got left are some votive molds and leftover wicks. I feel much better now.
LEFT TO DEAL WITH
1) Sculpy clay
I don’t know what to do with this. I’ve got all sorts of jewellery bits that I can use to make earrings and necklaces. I don’t know how to attach the clay to the earrings, and it seems like so much work. Should I make stuff and sell it? Or should I give my supplies away?
For now I will think on it.
2) Acrylic paints
I would love to create beautiful paintings. At the moment, I have several ideas. But here’s the thing. I suck at it. Should I do it anyway? Take a class? I bought a couple of “how-to” books but I don’t like them. They bore me. I’ve been teaching myself to draw, which I think might help me with the painting thing. For some reason I keep putting it off.
Okay, that is officially my new goal: to paint something by the end of August, even if it’s crappy.
3) Photo albums
I’m not sure if this qualifies as a creative endeavour, but some might argue that it is so I’ll put it here. When I was younger, I made photo albums. Ever since switching over to a digital camera, I don’t bother to anymore. Very few of my digital images get printed out. Many of them were lost completely when I didn’t back them up and my old laptop crashed.
I’ve got two albums sitting in my bedroom with photos half-heartedly shoved into them. I still need to go through facebook and a few shoeboxes in the closet to see what else I can add. It’s just one of those projects I don’t want to do, but it’s sitting on the backburner of my mind making me feel guilty.
My goal for the end of August is to go through all my digital photos and print out the ones I want for the albums.
SPEND MORE TIME ON
There are a few projects I’m holding onto: gardening, photography, drawing, writing, cooking. I have a food photography book that I bought last year and forgot all about. I need to pick it up again and focus more seriously on my food blog.
It’s not easy to make time for both older projects and new ones. Hopefully I can finish up some longer-term projects and begin to feel more mentally clear. I would rather have several hobbies to focus on than a dozen hobbies that make me feel scatterbrained and clutter up my space.
What hobbies or projects have you let go of?