Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Ugly Feeling

I've been reflecting on my book writing, and I've noticed that I have a distinct cycle I go through each month. I have 1-2 weeks of furious writing and knitting where I'll knit from 2PM to 3AM. I end up sleeping in pretty late, except on work days, of course. This has resulted in my Dad and brother believing that all I do is sleep. They only seem to pass by my room when I'm passed out. After two weeks of solid work, I spend a week fretting about what I've worked on followed by a week of recouping (playing computer games, knitting patterns that are not my own).
Three hats, same design. Not sure which ones will be pictured in the book. Hat details washed out on purpose.

This week is the week of fretting. It's a rather ugly feeling of "What am I doing?" "Why am I writing a book?" and the big one, "What if no one cares if it exists?" I think that last one worries me the most. Not because it actually matters if my book changes the world. But because I am pouring so much of myself into it. The rejection of my book is like a rejection of myself. If no one likes the book, then perhaps no one likes me. (Even though I know it isn't true, the feeling still exists) I imagine that is the feeling a lot of people have with their creative endeavors and that is why it is so hard to put yourself out there.
The second in a pair of socks for the book. This is the bottom of the sock. Can't show the pattern just yet.

I try my best to ignore that ugly feeling, but it is a bit paralyzing at times. I think the most important thing to do in this situation is to just keep going on. If I don't feel I can work on my own patterns, then I knit other peoples patterns. I can at least spend my time learning about different construction ideas and garments.
Emilien Sweater. Still needs the zipper. Hope to install it next week.

Working on the book isn't all gloom and doom, though. Even though work feels slow sometimes, I've started to write down everything I've knitted. It's funny how making a list can change my "Why haven't I completed anything" attitude into "How the heck did I have time for all that?"

On a slightly separate note, I'd like to thank everyone who comments on my blog. It makes me feel special and important. I am in the process of figuring out a different comment system for blogger. I want to respond to everyone, but blogger's comment system really isn't friendly in that sort of way. Just know that I read all comments and check out your blogs if you happen to have one.


Maryse said...

Congratulations on writing a book! Many of us wouldn't even know what to write, like me! I've been thinking a lot about blog comments. I do not answer to the people who comment on my blog but like you, I do go on their blog and comment. The thing is, if I answer, I wonder if they will think that they should answer my answer and where does it stop? Bottom line, I hope this does not make me a bad blogger because I really appreciate reading other people's comments!

Anonymous said...

Of course people will care! You silly :)

Andi G said...

I think every writer and creater goes through the same worries and feeling that you are. Imagine if they all gave in to their inner turmoil and quit. I know you won't give up and I am glad. Some of my favorite books are from people who said, " I just wrote the book for me, I didn't think anyone else would like it".
You just watch, more people will care than you ever imagined! :)
BTW your sweater looks adorable!

Jennifer said...

I think it's very exciting that you're working on a book! And I can imagine that it would be a tremendous amount of work... sometimes frogging one's writing like one frogs knitting, and feeling discouraged as a result.

As for the comment thing, I rarely comment on blogs. But I'm trying to be better about that. blogs have templates that allow for 'threaded' comments, so that you may specifically respond to comments and have a discussion. I haven't really made use of this function and regularly kick myself about that failure.

Anonymous said...

re: why you should write a book

"The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint."
-Keith Haring

Alina Sayre said...

It's good that you know your cycle. That happens. Life is more like a series of circles than a straight line of productivity, I think. Keeping a list of your accomplishments, though, can be a good reminder on the off-weeks :)

And you're right. Having people reject your creative work is like having mean kindergarteners reject your children. Ouch. But I encourage you to look beyond people's approval as your metric for success. No matter how good your book is, there are going to be mean kindergarteners who don't like it. I have to keep reminding myself to write for an audience of One--because even when the world shrugs and looks the other way, if I'm doing it for Him, my Father is always cheering. Keep knitting!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. Have faith. At the end of this process, you will have learned a huge amount, and you'll have got yourself a lot further down the track to becoming an established designer. Your designs are lovely. I'm sure they will be popular. Hang in there!

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