Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Creativity and Confidence

September is here, and with it has come the first fingers of fall. The nights and mornings are cool, yet in the middle of the day it's easy to feel overdressed. Shades of brown, red and gold are creeping into the green palette of the trees, and the sky is beginning to take on the deep blue that is so unique to autumn. September means the start of school for me, and tonight was my first class. It's a class on teaching written composition, and as students we are required to engage with the writing process ourselves by doing a substantial amount of writing and workshopping of our own stuff. 

This both thrills and terrifies me. I've been edging towards reclaiming my love of writing, and the process of writing for a while. This blog is a place that has felt like a safe first step. I like to knit, and the idea of keeping a knitting blog didn't seem too onerous. I also felt that in addition to getting my writing feet wet it would allow me to document my projects. One of my writing goals is to develop a voice by writing regularly. I feel that I've been moderately successful in this endeavour to date. On the plus side, I'm writing somewhat regularly for a public audience, which is a big deal for me. On the minus side, I do feel like I censor myself partly because of the public nature of the blog. 

Recently I've found myself hesitating to post, or feeling like if I do I need to flagellate myself for not providing enough knitting content. I've never been successful at knitting during the summer months, and even the motivation of the Ravelympics was not enough to get me going. My cousin's baby is due in two weeks, and the first sweater is not finished, but I have made progress with it. My attempt at finishing my Sizzle has not been successful, though I did spend some time with it in August. And while we're on the self-flagellation bandwagon, perhaps I can note that I'm running late on my Brothers Grimm Ravelry swap. 

However, reading Materfamilias' recent blog post got me thinking. Why are we so quick to criticize ourselves, particularly around creativity? It seems all too easy to beat oneself up about any creative endeavour, and it's certainly a skill I possess. This does seem kind of antithetical to the creative process though. For me, nurturing creativity is a bit like trying to coax a reluctant kitty from under a sofa. The process would likely go a lot better if I didn't lose patience with myself for letting the cat get under the sofa in the first place, and beating myself up for not luring her our more quickly. 

So, here is one of my fall goals, set out for all to see. I'm going to try to post regularly on this blog, and I'm going to try not to beat myself up about what I haven't accomplished. I'm going to try to celebrate what I have accomplished, and I'm going to try to convince the damn cat to come out from under the couch by showing her how much more fun it is out here. 

Tomorrow, when I have some sunlight to work with, I'll take pictures of my lovely swap package, and some amazing yarn which just arrived courtesy of a wonderful Etsy yarn vendor! Woolly goodness! 

PS. The pictures are from a recent visit to the Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC.

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

thanks for nod, Miss R., and congrats on your resolve. Creativity is so often a timid wee beast that it deserves to be coddled and cajoled and, most of all, celebrated when it pokes its head out. Baby steps, yes?