No, really. I don’t mean this as negatively as it sounds. It’s more a statement of fact.
I am my own worst enemy. In no particular order, I can do the following things: marble paper, embroider, knit, sew, paint, draw, spin, stamp, print, glue, fold, bind books, illuminate, work leather, cook, play piano, play the ukulele, make jewelry, dance, and about six other things I can’t remember at the moment.
That sounds like a really impressive list, but it’s just a list. Out of the things on there, I can do maybe four well. I’m sort of okay at the rest, and will likely remain that way.
Why this sudden burst of self-inspection? Well, I was lucky enough to be able to attend TEDxAtlanta yesterday, and the theme of the talks was creativity. I was very interested in this particular subject because as you can probably tell, I consider myself to be a rather creative person. Anybody whose motto is “that’s too expensive, but I could probably make one myself” is a creative person. So I had something in common with each and every speaker up there on stage.
The one thing that I don’t have in common with them is focus. Focus is so important to creativity, because you can be sort of good at a lot of things or really good at one or two things, and the people who are really good at one or two things are the people who do amazing work. It frustrates me sometimes that I do okay work, but nothing particularly amazing. I’ve had to reign myself in with the SCA, because I want to sew and embroider and dance and sing and bind books, and while I’m dividing my creative time among all those things, none of them ever see real progress.
Anyway, hearing India.Arie and Elizabeth Turk and Victoria Rowell and Armin Vit talk about the things they know best was really eye-opening. They all do astonishing things, because all their time goes into something focused. India makes music. Elizabeth makes sculptures. Victoria dances. Armin collates and comments on all of the best/worst design out there (and designs well, too).
So now, while I may not have great clothes to wear and I may not be the most prolific knitter ever, I think maybe I’m going to play some killer ukulele and make some bloody amazing books (but not all at the same time).
Incidentally, another talk was about alternative learning styles and folks with ADD, and Sally Hogshead talked about shortening attention spans, both subjects I feel are relevant to my current creative output.