One thing I keep hearing from many different podcasters, especially the quilters, is this impulse to do different projects immediately. This impulse I understand, yet they seem to have no idea how to handle this. Because the one thing you shouldn’t do is immediately start buying and doing them all. That way lies madness and a very expensive life.
I handle it via lists. Or perhaps a better way to express it is via an idea book. I am baffled as to why none of them seem to think of this concept.
Of course, I like lists.
This is related to the art journals that many artists use; a place to record ideas, experiments, whatever, whether written or played with in some form of their medium. Myself, I actually do two things. I have a “design” journal where I draw, describe, or otherwise record design ideas of various things I’d like to create eventually. I don’t necessarily want to create them now, just eventually. What I’m recording is various possibilities of what they will one day become. I also have a straight list of projects that I want to do , some of them patterns by others (a specific quilt pattern by Jinny Beyer), some more vague (e.g., Aran sweater). The important thing to note is that I don’t have to do them or start them right now. All I have to do is write them down on a list so that I can get to them later when I’m ready. That way I’m not distracted from my current projects so much, the idea is not lost but recorded for when I’m ready to take on something new, and I’m not attempting to commit my money and mental energy to something I’m not ready for.
Putting a project down on that list is not an ironclad commitment. In fact, that is one of its advantages. Sometimes a project may appeal for the moment, but later when I’m ready to start a new project, I find I don’t really want to do it anymore. Putting it on the list gave me the time to let that first rush of enthusiasm pass and a truer evaluation settle into place. If my desire to make it didn’t even last that long (however long it was), then would it really last the entire time necessary to make it?
So that is a solution I offer to those crafters who tend to say, “so many projects, so little time.” Because yes, there are plenty of projects that I want to do, but we all have only so much time and energy, and I only want to spend that time and energy on something I really want to do.