The Antidote to Procrastination

Thanks to everyone who commented about the last post about thank-you notes. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in keeping up the tradition!

Fellow blogger, fabulous fiber artist and all-round wonderful woman Sonji Hunt weighed in, saying she sometimes makes the thank-you card, which is lovely; I've done that too. She and I share something else: procrastination when deadlines approach. She's talked about that here.

In my own case, I've been dithering about getting to a project I've had to do since the spring. Why? Many reasons, not the least of which is that it's a commissioned piece for a product I no longer display or sell. Why did I accept it? Because I tend not to turn anything down (within reason!), the client really liked what he saw on my website, and he's a friend of a friend. Why am I not motivated to do it? I think it's because I see it as a step backward, and not a creative opportunity. I know intellectually that's not right (and factually, it really isn't either; I created two similar pieces which both sold almost as soon as I made them), but emotionally, I'm feeling reluctant to revisit what I considered a creative failure.

And there it is. That word failure. And, when combined with the word creative, it's an artist's worst nightmare. We're our own worst critics, and rightly so, I think: if we don't criticize our own work, we don't grow or stretch our talents into other areas. We probably all know artists who have come to creative crossroads and been unable to move in any direction at all. Or, who are so critical of their own work they can't bear to have their work seen, much less sold. I'm not in either place, but I do see how one could get there.

I'm not sure who said this first, but I believe it: to get over a creative slump, you have to get your butt in the chair. So, I will just have to do that to get over my issues about this commission. I also know myself well enough to know that once I do, I will approach it as a fresh challenge, and I will ultimately make it a creative exploration into why I considered it a failure the first time around. No more procrastination, no more distractions (yes, but my African violets desperately need pruning, the master bathroom needs painting, and what are we having for dinner tonight?!), butt in the chair--I'm determined--today!