Monday, October 15, 2007

Thoughts on Getting Unstuck...

I've been reading posts by the Behinders, More Behinders, and Behinderests... and first I must compliment you on your bravery, honesty and wisdom to post about it! With some members posting about being ahead of schedule, it takes courage to admit in writing that you are behind.

Probably, at one time or another all of us will get stuck and become a Behinder... Here are a few thoughts about getting unstuck:

Be Average

One member said she's stuck... that she's even been to the library, etc. searching for ideas... Could it be that she is trying too hard to do exceptional work or to come up with something meaningful? I've found that trying too hard is a terrible block for me. But as soon as I let go of that idea, and say "Ok, I'll just make something average this month," it starts being fun again.

Recently a wonderful friend sent me one of the most significant gifts ever: Improv Wisdom, a book by Patricia Ryan Madson, has already changed my life! Masdon says, "Striving for an original idea takes us away from our everyday intelligence, and it can actually block access to the creative process." Don't you just love the concept of "everyday intelligence?" It seems so applicable to our BJP work.

Start Anywhere

I notice that my beading flows along without effort whenever I do what is natural, what is easy, what is apparent to me. In her book, Improv Wisdom, Madson says, "All starting points are equally valid... There's no need to find the right starting place. When you don't know where to start, begin with the most obvious thing, whatever is in front of you." Once underway, the project will seem less daunting.

Forget the word "Should"

Sometimes too many choices will block me. If I get out too many beads, I feel stuck. I learned a solution to this problem in a process painting class: don't ask yourself, "Which bead should I choose?" The word "should" is such a blocker, because it implies that there is a right answer. Instead ask yourself, "If I were going to choose one of my beads or bead colors, which one might it be?" The words "if" and "might" give you some space. It will be easy to point to a bead and say "That one!" Seize this precious first thought and honor it!

I hope these ideas are helpful.

Robin A.


Barb said...

Boy, that's a lot of good wisdom, Robin. I find that I'm really intimidated by such *incredible* beaders in this project, but then I remember that nobody's going to sit in judgment about what I do, and I shouldn't do it, myself.

And the point about the word "should" is an excellent. It's a continual struggle in all parts of our lives. I also often forget to ask myself what I *want*. "What do you *want* to do, Barbara Ann?" Even if I don't have a clear concept of the finished piece, I can want to play, to try new combinations, to let my inner artist start speaking. (I must have an inner artist in here somewhere...) :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you Robin for your kind words about my book IMPROV WISDOM. It makes me so happy to learn that beaders around the world can get helpful advice from the book. I'm what you might call a "baby beader" . . . for a few years I made lots of eyeglass holder gizmos. I love the feel of the beads and watching them come together. You are right to "let the bead choose YOU" rather than worrying about choosing the RIGHT bead.
Bless you for sharing your enthusiasm with others on your beautiful web site.
Warm good wishes,
Patricia Ryan Madson

Lin Moon said...

I just love the idea of "everyday intelligence"! Some of the best fiction books I've read have been about "a day(or time) in the life of somePerson". And everyday intelligence is something we ALL have - we just need to avoid the clutter that makes it inaccessible to us. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

Trilly said...

Thank you Robin. The two words, Be Average, just helped me more than I can say. I have found myself comparing my pieces to others work and end up judging mine so harshly that I feel uncreative and boring almost. I am putting those words up over my craft area as an inspiration and reminder.

I also just had to share something about the word "should". I used to use that word all the time until a friend started calling my attention to it with a simple phrase that always made me laugh. She would look at me with a small smile and say "would you stop should-ing all over yourself" That is now one word I try consciously to erase from my vocabulary and when I do use it, I now correct myself :)

Timaree said...

I got stopped in my work on my sister's spirit doll because when I showed it undone at her party I got comments that perhaps I shouldn't put so many beads on it, let the fabric show. I asked for opinions on my blog and got pro and con (not much help there) and then I saw on a blog a doll totally covered in beads. I knew that was what I really wanted to do and finally decided my sister wasn't making any negative comments, only positive ones so I am doing what I wanted. I am unstuck and covering the whole doll! Listen to your own heart should be my motto.

Magpie Sue said...

I've been away from the blog for too long! What an inspiring post this was. I can't say that I'm stuck per se, but several things have taken me away from being as productive as I'd like. All unplanned, all worthy. I'm proud of myself for not falling into the Pit of Guilt but at the same time I find Patricia's words of wisdom motivating.

I'm with Tilly too, in that a couple of years ago I decided to eliminate the word "should" from my vocabulary, especially when speaking about myself. It has made a significant difference in my life.