Thursday, February 11, 2010

Creative Tunnel Vision

I'm off from the part-time job today and before I lose myself in the Congo, I spent the morning working on a quilt. I started it right after Christmas, hoping to have it finished in time for my nephew's birthday. Turns out, that was a little too ambitious as his birthday was four weeks ago and I'm still working on it.

I mention this because (you knew there was a reason, right?) I find that when I'm writing, I write. No other craft allowed. Right before Christmas, it was flip-flopped. I worked on gifts for family and friends, sewing and crocheting my heart out, and hardly wrote a word. I get this tunnel vision and when I'm involved in one creative pursuit, it's like I'm unable to express myself in any other form of creativity.

I'm trying to combat this strange focus because 1) I like to sew, quilt and crochet and love to give homemade gifts, and 2) I'm trying to find more of a balance between writing and the rest of life. So, on the days I don't work at the part-time job, I've decided to devote a few hours in the mornings to the sewing machine - at least until I have the projects earmarked for gifts finished. And that list isn't short.

What about you? Do you have more than one creative outlet? Do you find yourself, like me, battling one-thing-at-a-time-itis? How do you keep the balance in your life?


Danica Avet said...

I reserve my creativity for writing these days, but the problem with that comes from me wanting to start more than one project. I'll be mid-manuscript and suddenly get the urge to write another story. For some people this isn't a problem, but for me, I have to concentrate on one story at a time, otherwise they both end up lacking. Maybe I should pick up another creative outlet for when those urges hit. Hm. It's something to think about :)

Denise said...

I'm with Danica. I completely abandoned my earlier obsession with counted cross-stitch. Sadly, that left a 3-ring binder full of patterns sitting on the sidelines and collecting dust. One day, I whisper to them, when I retire. But they and I know that my eyesight will probably be shot by then *sigh*. For now, I find myself completely obsessed by this endeavor called writing and happily so.

Mary Ricksen said...

Not very creative or crafty myself. I'll stick to writing!

Riley Quinn said...

Interesting thought, Danica. You'll have to let me know how it works out if you try it.

Denise, I used to do counted cross-stitch too, but I'm so craft-ADD, it's too time consuming for me.

Mary, you must be creative or you wouldn't be a writer!

So it appears that I'm not alone in the creative tunnel vision. That makes me feel a little better.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, ladies.

Felicia Holt said...

I used to make jewellery, just with beads and macramé knots, but I rarely have time for it anymore. I also bake. I love the feeling of mixing things and creating something new, bigger than the parts. If that makes sense. I bake when I'm stressed, because it forces me to stay focused and helps me relax.

Riley Quinn said...

Interesting, Felicia. I like to bake but I hate to clean up afterwards. I used to bead too but again, craft-ADD struck. Do you still have some of your jewelry?

Rachel Lynne said...

I used to be a Stampin' UP! consultant and made homemade stationary, greeting cards, etc. I have a ton of stuff left but no time to do it! I definetly suffer from tunnel vision. I even have trouble stopping to do chores, much to my families dismay!
About the stationary, I'm consoling myself with the idea all those cute little card sets and stuff will get used when I'm published. I was thinking of offering them as contest prizes along with books, and stuff. I've made handmade book marks too. What do you think, would anyone want to win that kind of stuff from a writer or should I stick with book giveaways and stuff?

Riley Quinn said...

Oh, I had so much fun making cards when I lived in TX. We had a group that met once or twice a month and made several cards each time. Of course, I haven't made any cards since moving here.

I don't know. I think some people would like stuff like that. Try it and see it works.

salamanderstales said...

I enjoy sewing, beading, and soapmaking. I do manage to squeeze some of that in while I'm writing, but the thing that really suffers for me is pleasure reading. When I'm writing, I don't want to touch fiction. At all. Nonfiction research is okay - it helps get me in the zone. But I find that whatever I'm writing takes an inordinate amount of real estate in the back of my head until I'm finished.

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