I have not been doing much in the way of quilting lately. You may have noticed my lack of posts recently. The thing is every time I look up at my quilting space I DREAD going in there and working. Why? I am not sure. It could be because of any number of reasons, but the good news is I think the big black rain cloud that has been hovering over my creative mojo has finally lifted.
Daily, I peruse the quilting blogs and websites looking for inspiration to strike. Until this week I would just sigh and think "It just really looks like a lot of work." And it is but it used to be fun! I started noticing that many other blogger have also been slow to post or like me not posting at all. Then I started seeing a post here and there about quilting burnout. And then it struck me....That sounds just like me!
I am not sure why giving it a name helps but it has. I guess misery really does love company. Knowing that this happens to other professionals, that I am not alone is well, comforting. In any job or hobby burnout happens. Sometimes it results in big changes and sometimes just little changes.
Here are some ideas I ran across that helped me
1. Take a break: I think it is just our brains way of taking a vacation. Just like the rest of our bodies our brains need to rest. This is not always the most practical of choices, especially if you are providing for a family. Just walking away sometimes helps. I didn't fight the dread, I simple just stopped quilting.
2. Learn something new: Whether it is related to your area of burnout or not leaning something new stimulates your brains creativity and problem solving techniques. In my case I started a class at Craftsy.com. Machine Quilting Negative Space by Angelia Walters. Introducing new ideas on quilting motifs has really blossomed my creativity. Now I want to make a quilt to use all of these new ideas traveling around in my head.
3. Cleaning up, putting away and giving away. Clutter is one thing I cannot stand, yet it haunts me, follows me from room to room. Being a creative person it is unavoidable. Sometimes there are so many ideas floating around in my head I cannot move fast enough from one project to the next. When that happens the piles start appearing. Going through the piles, boxes, totes and cleaning out helps you see what you've forgotten you have. I have some really great UFO's (like the Christmas Tree Skirt) which need to be trashed or ripped apart. It is very therapeutic especially the ripping apart.
4. Create something for you. It doesn't have to be quilted. It could be anything. Even just getting out and planting flowers helps. Okay maybe a little cold for that, how about transplanting house plants instead? LOL.
5. Get together with friends. Nothing cheers me up more than a good cup of coffee and a chat with a friend. Talk it out, get their advice or just forget about it! Take some "Me" time and enjoy it!
Be patient and kind to yourself. Beating yourself up DOES NOT help, believe me I already tried.