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Change of Focus

This past Friday and Saturday were the official end of the 2015 fair season, for me at least. It's been a good year, but now things shift into winter, and I pull back from the fairs to focus on writing.

Hot Tea ready for Sipping
We all go through this ebbs and flows of life, and the same is true for writing. I've found I have two seasons of heavy focus on weaving or writing. During the winter months, when I have few fairs to attend, I focus on writing. It's a good time to do research because I want to be stuck inside with a warm fire and research is a perfect excuse.

On the other hand, during the summer months, I also want to be where it's cooler and libraries provide air conditioning. In addition to air conditioning, more activities happen in the summer months providing more opportunistic for research.

I find spring and autumn to be the two times of the year I tend to weave more. In the spring, I'm gearing up for my fair season while in the autumn, I tend to weave scarves and wraps for the winter.

Creativity in the Holidays

If you want to be a writer, you must write, but we all acknowledge there are times when it's impossible to write. If you want to be an artist, you must work on your craft, but once again, we acknowledge we can't always create.

I think Christmastime is one of the hardest times to be creative. We're inundated with Christmas cheer and decorations, and for some of us the added glitter overwhelms our senses. In all the rush to get everything looking nice and gifts made, our brains decide to simply shut-down.

It's during these creatively weak times the discipline started back with NaNoWriMo can kick into action. You wrote everyday, so now keep it up. The same things apply to when you started writing, but now shift the focus a little.

  • Instead of writing 1600 words a day, pull back to 1000
  • Instead of writing for an hour every day, write for twenty minutes
  • Instead of writing a novel in a month, focus on a story a week.

Keep the creativity flowing, but pull back to something that fits in the schedule. It isn't the fact you have to keep up the same schedule throughout an already busy time frame, it's the writing that matters. Keep the discipline, but adjust the load.

The same is also true for artists of other disciplines. You might find the little Christmas crafts and gifts are enough for you to keep your creativity flowing through the season. Brilliant. For others of us, we need to work on other elements, and scaling back works for us as well. The easiest way is time.

  • Instead of big projects, focus on little projects
  • Instead of hours spent, focus on moments.
  • Instead of time-consuming, focus on ease.

Granted, I can come up with answers for all of these in the field of weaving more than any other field, but I'll give those examples. Mind you, these are not elements I do normally, but suggestions. Instead of working on big projects like clothing, I can focus on little projects like ornaments. Instead of weaving for hours, I can fall back to fitting it into the schedule. Instead of focusing on time consuming projects like plaids, I can weave solid colors.

Oddly enough, the last suggestion (time-consuming to ease) might not work for you. This time may be the time to pick up one of those time-consuming projects such as tapestry weaving or boundweave. The warp goes on quickly, but the projects progress slowly.

As we enter this time of Advent and winter, think of ways your focus can change. How do you create snippets of time in the hectic time period to be creative? Do you write short stories? Paint little vignettes? Weave bands?

For me, the time I spent weaving shifts to writing, and the writing time shifts to weaving. I focus on both, but the majority of my time during the winter is dedicated to writing. I hope you find ways to remain creative even when you might not feel creative. Often, it's during the slumps - those times when creativity has drained away - that the disciplines we established keep us going.


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