Monday, January 27, 2014

The fear of not being good enough

    I have a couple bits of fabric waiting to be turned into a hip scarf. One in particular, my main piece, is a bit of bright red that flows absolutely beautifully. It's light enough that I'll definitely want to add coins or something to weigh it down, so it doesn't end up just bunched around my waist while dancing, but still. Beautiful.
    And I'm afraid I'll ruin it. Especially because it was on clearance and I took the rest of it, so I likely couldn't replace it. So it's just been sitting there, with me claiming to still be planning when in reality I'm just scared to actually start cutting. I have almost no experience with sewing.

    I started reading a book called Art and Fear. One of the things that it mentioned was a class where the professor at random split his ceramics class in two: one half would be graded on quantity only, while the other only had to do one piece but it would be graded on quality. The group that was focused on creating a large body of work actually came out with better pieces than the group that was worried about creating one perfect piece.

    It's far too easy to let a need to be perfect ruin all chance to actually do any good. Especially as a beginner, when many attempts - or too far-reaching attempts - will inevitably turn out badly. That's just part of the process. I guess this is all fairly obvious, but I think sometimes it's an important thing to be reminded of.  Not doing something because you're afraid it might turn out worse than you'd like doesn't make sense. It doesn't help you in the long run. You don't get better by not doing anything, and the materials are more worthless in the bottom of a drawer, never to be used, than as a failed project.

     So I'm looking at the sewing machine I've yet to use. Perhaps I will hold off a little on my scarf, because it feels like a little too far-reaching a project right now. But I think, if I say that, I need to get to work on a tea cozy or a cushion or something... something to break in my machine where I care a little bit less about things like slightly skewed seams. But I have to do something.

      This is yet another place where I need to stop letting my fear take control.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE that 3rd paragraph! YES! BRAVO :DDDD