Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Of Dreams and Plans
2nd scarf on painted red/blue warp....
Scene: neighbourhood greasy spoon where Doug and I used to walk for coffee.
Time: January 2, about 10 years ago
Waitress (pouring coffee): So, did you have a nice holiday yesterday?
Me: No. I worked all day.
Waitress: You did?! How come?
Me: I work for a b*tch.
Waitress: No kidding! Who do you work for?
This is a true story. I hadn't planned it - it just came naturally to my lips. And I had to think about that for a while. Why do I drive myself harder for me than I would for any other boss?
I work hard because I have dreams. I have incredible fibre dreams that simply will not let go of me until they come into (pun warning) material being. I get so caught up in the dream of taking this thread and turning it into that cloth that I work many more hours a day - on average - than I'd ever think about doing for someone else in some other job.
I've told the story elsewhere about my commenting to Doug that a person could weave fabric and earn some money. But what on earth led me to believe that I could do that? I had absolutely no training in textiles other than as hobbies, mostly taught to me by my mother.
The dream had taken root by the time I expressed that observation.
But dreams only come true when you execute them. In order to make them happen you have to make plans. You have to have a goal and you need to know the in between steps that will get you to that goal.
I wasn't that smart when I first started to weave. The lessons have come the hard way - through trial and error. Lots and lots of error. Both in the weaving, and in the learning of the business of being a professional creative person.
Dana Stabenow had a quote on her Face Book page the other day "In order to be a writer you must embrace rejection." I think that is true for every person relying on their creativity for their income, whether in whole or in part.
But when you have a dream you want - need - to make happen, there are a few things that are necessary.
You must be highly self-motivated. When there is no one else cracking the whip, can you set aside all the distractions and show up for work? Can you work with purpose, all day, every day, in the face of negativity and rejection? (Just try surviving your first few craft fairs to experience the negativity and rejection!)
You must believe in your own dream. If you don't believe in it, why should anyone else?
You must act confident, even when you aren't. You have to have faith. You have to be an optimist.
You must hone your skills both as a designer and as a craftsperson and never forget that you are doing this first and foremost because you must but also because you need the income.
You must be somewhat selfish, putting your needs before others at times, because if you don't do the work, no one else is going to do it for you.
You must take the time to educate yourself, be analytical, and willing to change when you realize that the approach you are taking isn't working out as well as you'd hoped.
And while I could go on at length, last but not least for now? You must never give up.