This post over at The Couture Academic got me thinking. To summarize, the author put up a comment that she had made on a Threads article, and the designer’s reply about giving yourself permission to be creative without fear (I highly recommend that you go read it yourself). After seeing her post, I wondered, “How often do I let fear stifle my creativity?”
I worry a lot about screwing up and wasting materials. I don’t have much money, so I don’t have the option of going out and buying new fabric if something goes catastrophically wrong. Instead of coming up with solutions to work around that limitation and plowing on ahead, I let the fear stop me. As a result, I have some very nice fabric sitting in a box, waiting to be used.
I also worry a lot about wasting time. I have a lot of obligations and projects that need to get done, competing with activities that I want to do. Sewing is usually done during the baby’s naps, or in place of some household chore that I didn’t feel like doing at that moment, so I tend to feel like I’m using borrowed time. If I don’t end up with something tangible to show for it, I feel like I’ve wasted it.
But it’s incredibly hard to be creative when I’m afraid. I don’t even let myself think of interesting new projects, because I’m too scared of things that really shouldn’t matter. What sorts of things would I make if I just let myself be free?
What I ought to do is look in the mirror, and say, “Don’t be ridiculous!” then kick myself into creative action. If I’ve learned something by working on a project, then I haven’t wasted anything if it fails. Learning, after all, is the important part.