toward deeper work

Last week I paused to reflect upon the year. In the middle of that process I came to terms with the fact that amid my desire to be active and in touch with many things, something was missing. Something big. I was doing work, but I really didn’t have much to show at the close of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, the past twelve months were simultaneously amazing and the most challenging I’ve experienced. Yes, I published two patterns, VLSI and CLU. I wrote here with intention (most of the time). Each week I tried to build my weaving and spinning skills. The personal challenges tossed my way starting in mid-June took several months to figure out how to balance and manage. It was a year of extreme highs and lows and I know I’m not alone.

Spinning Wheel with Curious Foster Kitten

Spinning with my curious foster kitten.

In a desire to increase income with my limited energy and available time, I tried to increase my activity on social media. It was easy to do when I was waiting at an appointment or late at night while curled up on the couch. I recognized I couldn’t be everywhere, so I chose to focus on instagram, even though I wasn’t doing a 365-day creative project and to a lesser degree twitter. Despite the lack of chronological timeline, I tried to like and comment frequently throughout the day to keep up. I also tried to remember to use both popular hashtags and ones specific for me (#littleacorncreations). Overall, I didn’t do very well in promoting the brand of little acorn, though I probably did ok as myself. There was also a bit of impostor syndrome sneaking in along with a lack of focus about why I was there at all.

Would a specific social media plan help? Most likely, but that really wasn’t the key issue.

I often found myself skimming through instagram tags looking for something interesting instead of sitting with the materials, a notebook, and getting to work.

This year I am working to improve my habits.

January’s Plan for Creativity

img shows two cats (one black, one tabby) and open planner book on a table with markers.

My cats help me plan

Throughout January I will take a break from posting on instagram (I’m sure cat photos will sneak in). I will continue to focus on my creative pursuits, be it knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, sketching, or something else entirely. The only key change is that I very likely won’t post about it on social media. I hope that by not posting in the first place there will be no need to open and check to see if someone liked or commented. It is my intention that I won’t get sucked into mindless browsing just because it’s there. Those mindless browsing sessions even if only for a few moments, would disrupt my attention and further derail work.

I plan to continue to write here each week and distribute my monthly newsletter on Thursday (subscribe here).

In order to help me succeed, I’ve brought favourite stitch dictionaries and reference books to my main workspace along with some yarn and needles/hooks. I removed the icons from my quick access menus on my phone and tablet. I’ve also now made a public declaration of this intent. I don’t think I’ll be able to completely ignore these applications, but they aren’t my priority this month.

Last year I committed to reading more instead of browsing at lunch time and in the late evening. I read over 200 books, something I hadn’t done in several years.

I’m very curious to see where my creativity leads in this reduced social-media experiment! Whether you plan to create to a specific project in mind and post regularly about it, or take a step back like I am, I wish you a year of creativity.

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