Releasing Myself From The Judgement of Others (and myself)

andy-warhol-quote_art

I’ve always felt a little weird about the pretty things I make.

What will others think?

Is it good enough?

What if she hates it?

Why bother? You’re not that good anyway…

And so much blah, blah, boring blah.

Silly me. I listened to this horse hooey in my head.

And so I hid my creativity. Or I pursued creative projects when no one was looking. I remember making loads of baby blankets about 16 years ago due to a small baby boom among people I knew at work.

Critical voices played with my own self-doubt. I questioned whether or not I was creative or if what I crocheted was embarrassing. I doubted my ability to write or snap a halfway decent photograph of a sunset.

Echos from the past that crop up from time to time aren’t anyone’s issue but my own.

My self-doubt flew in the face of factual evidence. My judge and jury ran amok and stomped all over my desire to create.

And it took me years to release my self-doubt. And quiet the voices in my past.

I began by taking the words of Anne  Lamont to heart,

“it’s a shitty first draft.”

I embraced the wise words of Andy Warhol,

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

I calmed my self-doubt and inner judge by convincing her that writing and painting and crocheting are all just one big experiment.

Art is practice. Creativity is practice. It’s not about right or wrong or good or bad.

It’s about showing up day in and day out.

It’s about remaining open to all the infinite possibilities.

It’s about being curious.

And the more I practice, the better I get.

crocheted-hats-and-scarves

The other morning, I received this email from a woman who was gifted a hat and scarf set that I made:

“Dear Peggy,

I am the fortunate recipient of a hat and scarf “crocheted with love” by you. My niece Colleen gave me a set for Christmas. You do very fine work and since it is done with love I just know it will be a very welcome addition to my outdoor gear during this coming winter weather.”

messy-bun-hats

I also received a message from my niece letting me know that her oldest daughter went to bed wearing the messy bun hat I made and gave to her for Christmas.

My friend, Tae Lynn, who bought one of my paintings shared it with the world on Facebook.

I’ve been commissioned to crochet a blanket.

And I’ll be adding more inventory to my Etsy shop – cowls, infinity scarves, messy bun and pony tail hats, and regular hats that are closed at the top.

So to the voices in my head who told me I sucked, meh. I’m over it. There’s way too much evidence that proves I don’t suck.

And to the me who believed my inner critic, thank you for finally releasing the bull shit. Because that’s what it is. It’s my own mind cacka. It doesn’t matter what someone else said. It’s not the critic who counts – even the internal critic! It’s about me getting out of my own way, getting out of my own head game.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
~ President Theodore Roosevelt

You can bet your arse I’ll be daring greatly and getting out of my own way.

I’m releasing myself from the bondage of judgment – yours, mine (mostly mine), and everyone else.

2017 is going to be one hell of an uncomplicated and creative year.

What are you leaving behind in 2016?

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The Definition of Insanity

the-definition-of-insanity

Great googily moogily!

When it rains it pours. Like I mentioned in my last blog post, my self-hosted website was trashed by hackers. They trashed it so badly that my website disappeared. Instead of the blue screen of death I had the white screen of death. Nada. Nothing. I couldn’t even get in through the back door. The web hosting company was non-responsive until I hit them up on Twitter.

That’s when I learned how bad the hacking was. The hosting company couldn’t even roll back to the last full back up. It was dirtied up with malware, too. And before you ask, yes, I even paid extra for regular security scans.

So I came back to my big little wordpress dot com space. This is where I started my blog back in 2007. And all I wanted was a little corner of the cyber universe to write.

Then my head got too big.

The online business thing started booming and self-hosted websites were the way to go. At first I self-hosted with the company I buy my domain names from – but my website got hacked in 2010 and I moved everything to an new company and had no problems – none – for almost 7 years.

For 7 years I pretended to have an online business.

What I really had was a blog. And every once in a while I’d teach a class where 3 or 4 or maybe 6 people would sign up and 2 would show up.

A lot of work for very little return. But I’d rinse and repeat, get frustrated, quit, start again.

I became the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

<sigh>

The same weekend my website croaked, the USB connector inside my external hard drive broke. I pretty much have the life of my website – all my content and graphics – stored on it, as well as thousands of photographs.

Oh. My. God. I get it. I really get it.

Dear Universe –

I’ve heard and received the message loud and clear – I’m not supposed to have an “online” business. And no, you did not have to make the final point. You did not need to break the USB connector in my external hard drive. But I get it. Really, I do. And thankfully, the external hard drive is an easy fix and none of the content on there is lost (a-hem, all my pictures from Ireland and Scotland, thank you!)

I get it. Really, I do.

It’s time to be creative. And offline. Not having my online business to distract me, I tapped into a demand for crocheted messy bun hats. A friend posted a link to a pattern on my Facebook wall. I didn’t really like the pattern, so I found a free one on Ravelry and used it for size and then created my own patterns with my favorite stitches. I posted a picture of the first one I made and the orders came rushing in.

Over 30 messy bun hat orders. And “Oh, can you make a scarf to match it?” Sure! If I had known the demand was going to be this crazy, I would have been making hats 3 months ago 🙂

crochet_hats_scarves

It’s take me forever to hear this message, to receive this message, and to allow myself to release and let go this notion of teaching online classes. My creativity and the pretty things I make are speaking loud and clear. And you can browse my Esty shop at your convenience.

xoxo

Peggy

PS: Yes, I’ll still be writing over here, too!

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