Saturday, April 9, 2016

Inner Voices

More yarn - what was I thinking?

What I was thinking is that I need a new scarf/shawl line, that this yarn comes in beautiful colours, and that I can use them to make beautiful scarves and shawls.

After having several discussions this past week with other creative people, I have also been thinking quite a lot about how, 41 years ago, I found the audacity to quit a rather good paying job and become a full time self-employed weaver.  Where did I find the courage to cut the ties to a regular pay cheque, be self-directed, have the confidence to think that my creative expression would find approval in the larger marketplace?

How did I still the Inner Critic who constantly berates me for not being good enough?  Talented enough?  Successful enough?  (Because nothing I do is ever 'enough' for my Inner Critic!)

Being a weaver (or any self-directed creative type person) is a constant battle to subdue the critical inner voices that we all have.  I have no idea how I have managed to curb mine - and quite frankly, there are days when I can't and wonder how I can continue.

One way I have coped is to not have all my eggs in one basket.  I not only weave, I write about and teach weaving.  At various times I've dyed yarn for sale, too.  I have made a variety of textiles from rugs through to fine silk scarves.  I've made household items and clothing.  I have even attempted to do 'art' - and decided that I really wasn't cut out to be an 'artist'.  My Inner Critic had a field day with me over that particular approach to making textiles.

I found that if I formed a very clear purpose I was more successful at telling my Inner Critic to shut up and confine her to the very back of my brain where her negativity seemed less...toxic.

I had to find my Positive Inner Voices and learn to listen to them, not just the Critic.  I had to learn to accept my textiles for what they are, not for what I wish they were.  Our creative visions rarely come to material form the way we would like them to - but that doesn't make them any less serviceable, any less lovely, any less, period.  

It is precisely this reaching for perfection and constantly missing that keeps me intrigued and motivated to try yet again to match the reality with the illusive vision in my head.

It is a constant journey of learning more, trying something new, exploring beyond the known.  It is a balancing act, and I don't know how to tell someone else that they need to find a way to believe in themselves and not allow the negative feedback they will get from outside and inside which will prevent them from doing what they want to do, what they may even love to do.

All I can say is that yes, your Inner Critic may nag you, but you need to quell that negative voice and find the positive, the loving, the giving voice that will support you and encourage you to keep going, keep trying, keep learning.  That is the only way I know to muzzle the negative voice in my head.


Stephanie S said...

Great insight on the inner critic we all struggle with.
Another thing I struggle with is buying yarn..Storage issues - and then it's either not enough or too much or I got the colors wrong. Then there are those fantasy scarves I long to weave and buy yarn for...if the samples I eventually make work out of course I haven't bought enough and if they don't work - well I have too much!
I love it! Right now things are working for me -new shawls and a loom I have been fighting with for years (that I bought used) is finally functioning well!
Anyway sorry for the wandering mind - Thank you for the post.

Kelly Casanova said...

I struggle with this inner critic constantly! A very interesting read, thank you :)

Peg Cherre said...

Like Stephanie, somehow I manage to consistently buy either too much or not enough to realize my vision. So for the past several months I've been really focusing on reducing the stash, if for no other reason than to make room to buy more. ;-) Much more work to go to achieve this, but I have learned over the years that having fewer material choices often encourages more creativity, not less. My pieces woven this way have about an equal chance of pleasing me or frustrating me as those woven when I magically happen to have exactly the yarns I envisioned. So I continue with my stash-reduction mindset. But then I bought 12 pounds of fine linen singles at my Guild's annual silent auction/fundraiser. :-0