When the Going Gets Tough...
There comes a point in many projects when it gets tough. For whatever reason things stop going smoothly and everything becomes a challenge. Over the years I have found these three things help me get over the hump.
1. You are a smart person, use your brain. When things aren't working out right, I tend to want to force them. Sometimes that means literally forcing my sewing machine to get through thick fabric, others it is figuratively forcing an idea that just isn't right. I have to tell myself to use my brain. I try to pinpoint the problem, and then think of the solution. It is pretty obvious stuff, but I still need to be reminded.
2. You have done something harder than this before. I like to think of something I have done successfully that was harder than whatever I'm struggling with at the moment. If I'm having a hard time building a headboard, I remind myself that I have built armchairs. This gives me confidence that as hard as it may seem at the moment if I could pull that off I can pull this off. If there is really absolutely nothing at all that has been harder than what I am working on, I remind myself how accomplished I will feel when I finish.
3. If you're not having fun, stop doing it. I make because I love making. For me, making is fun and challenging and absolutely fills me with joy. When I am not getting that feeling from project, something is wrong. It may be because I'm hungry or have a headache. It may be because I've lost confidence in the direction I'm taking with a particular project. It may be because I am just plain burnt out. No matter what the reason is, when I'm not having fun, the quality of my work suffers. I have to remind myself to stop. Maybe I just stop long enough to have a snack. Maybe I stop for the day to rejuvenate. Maybe I stop for two months to let an idea simmer or a project take a new direction. But I make sure that when I go back to it, I'm having fun again.