It's been a whole year since I started seriously planning the Next Big Thing, which eventually became the Raglan Basket Project. Since then, my blog posting has been rather sporadic. It's not that I'm not making things, it's...
Well. It's a bunch of things, which is why I'm indulging in a spot of public introspection about the whole situation.
Problem the First - real life. I'm really busy. And the really busy is about 75% good busy, but it's all high-brain stuff. Sewing doesn't take a great deal of brain. Writing coherently does. So when I get home at the end of the day, writing up the research and taking photos of the stuff I've been doing gets sidelined because frankly, I don't have the energy to do anything but sit on my arse with some hemming.
Problem the Second - deadlines, self-imposed and otherwise. If I need to get a thing done by a certain date, finishing the thing takes priority over writing about the thing. When the thing is planning and cooking for large crowds of people at events, the grocery shopping is more important than writing up my redactions.
Problem the Third - long-term projects are boring. Boring to make, boring to write about. "I cut out all the fabric for a frock. Here is a photo of the pieces. Here is a photo of my hemming. Here is another. Oh look, another photo of hemming, yay." It's not like I'm keeping a private diary of what I'm doing. The blog is public, and I feel obliged to make it at least mildly amusing to the people reading it. (Good job on that with this post, self.)
Problem the Fourth - screwing up in public is horrible. This is a really big one. My sense of self-worth is largely predicated on doing a good job and not screwing up. I don't want to admit to my failures and mistakes, let alone document them on the internet. I know in the abstract that screwing up is an important part of learning. I know that talking through it with other people will result in me becoming a better artisan and a more compassionate teacher. I know that. Really I do. And yet, if I'm not 100% certain that I have done a thing absolutely right, it's almost impossible to bring myself to post about it. WHAT IF I'M WRONG AND EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DONE IS WRONG AND EVERYONE HATES ME BECAUSE I MADE A BAD ASSUMPTION?!?!?!?!?! This is what my brainweasels are screaming at me whenever I try to write a blog post about some research that I'm doing.
Problem the Fifth - people apparently use my blog posts for stuff. Which, yay, but also holy crap pressure not to get it wrong. And pressure to make everything I write not only right but user-friendly.
Problem the Sixth - there's no Ravelry for sewing. Which means there's no purpose-built tool for recording all the details of all the stuff I make. There's no easy way to inventory my stash of fabric and notions and tools. There are no fora of people doing the same things I'm doing, no one-stop-shop of other people who have already done what I'm trying to do. If I want to track down how someone else did a thing, I have to track them down via blogs and word-of-mouth, which leads to:
Problem the Seventh - talking to people is scary. Especially people whose work I admire, or people with whom I've never interacted. Or, you know, talking to pretty much anyone other than my family and people like Weaving Friend who are also my family. And this blogging thing? It's basically standing on a table and saying "HI STRANGE PEOPLE LET ME BARE MY SOUL TO YOU AND ALSO PLEASE TELL ME ALL YOUR KNOWLEDGE".
Problem the Eighth - balancing all the difference projects. I do all the needlework. And I write fiction. And onomastics research. And archery. And various other research. And I'm a gamer. There isn't time in the day to fit in all the things, and yet when I spend time doing something that isn't an SCA project, I feel guilty for wasting my time.
Problem the Ninth - I'm crap therefore why bother? Imposter syndrome at its finest. I don't already magically know everything and therefore none of my work is valid or worthwhile.
Problem the Tenth - reading isn't work, apparently. My brainweasels have decided for whatever reason that in order for something to qualify as work or a Real Project, there has to be a tangible output. Reading, even for research, doesn't count. Neither does critical assessment of sources. ONLY MAKING THINGS IS REAL. (I hate my brainweasels rather a lot, in case that wasn't clear.)
If you've made it to the bottom of this list, well done you!
I suppose the real question is, how do I deal with all of that up there now that it's out in the open? I don't know. Some of it I can solve by "simply" (LOL) committing to less and being more realistic about my time commitments. The rest of it not so much. If anyone has any tips for sharing one's work while dealing with crippling anxiety and imposter syndrome, feel free to drop me a line.