Thursday, August 02, 2007

having vision

Yesterday I had a stunningly bad headache. This was likely due to weed pollen,which is going crazy here with our hot dry--but humid-- weather. I took medicine. I rested. Today I'm taking precautionary allergy medicine, just in case... However, even with all that going on, I saw something important.

I read this piece by Ron Savage. There are times when I need to hear a particular message or be inspired when wavering. This story offered me that inspiration. A writer or an artist has to have a strong vision, even if no one else does. Sometimes when editorial feedback is offered by committee (more often than not, in the media world) it's very hard for the writer to stand up for what counts...to maintain that original concept and inspiration.

I read this real story by Ron Savage and stared dumbly into space with my headache. I watched Sally organize the stuffed toys onto the office futon. (she does this all the time.) She has a vision of where she literally wants things to go.

Trying to maintain vision and excitement about projects can be hard. For instance, this brown handspun is almost all plied and soon will be enough for a sweater. I pile things up like this until it's time to wash and set all the skeins at once. Just a ball or two to go. I do the same with sweater designing, working "on the needles" from a sketch or a photo. I choose a size in the middle of the range I'll be working on. I take copious notes, and when the sweater's done, I use Excel or a calculator to work out the math for multiple sizes, extrapolating from size 40 or 44 to come up with 36 and 48.

I often lose the excitement, vision and inspiration about 2/3 of the way through. It's a slog. It's dull and it's just knitting the second sweater sleeve and doing math (not my favorite) or in the writing situation, it's editing or re-submitting something for the 5th or 15th time. There's still hope that it will be sold, that someone will want this writing or this size sweater, but the dream gets lost in the fog. At this point, I rely on the stubborn notion that I must finish what I start. Hopefully others will see why I had the vision, and will find value in it. Yesterday, Caroline told me that even though it will be a while before I get online at Ravelry, folks were posting my designs already. I had a real headachefog going on, but gosh, how reassuring! I wanted to give my creative vision a big hug or a piece of gooey chocolate cake! Now I'm going to knit the last sleeve of a sweater design. I have math to look forward to. Bleck. Lots of math.

7 Comments:

Blogger Gammy aka Peggy said...

How awesome about your designs being on Ravelry. I've been on for months, guess I was one of the first but I am just now trying to do something with it. I've had the allergy crud for two and a half weeks now, I'm finally on some antibiotics, guess it's working, still have the crud though. Part of KY I suppose.

August 2, 2007 at 1:54 PM  
Anonymous LisaK said...

I was behind and read today's and yesterday's post and commented for both on yesterday's. I think I need a nap.

August 2, 2007 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

One of my favorite I Ching sayings:
Perseverance furthers.

We slog. We complete things. It beats sitting on a couch eating bonbons and watching soap operas. I think. I've never been interested in trying that.

August 2, 2007 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

It's a good thing you *do* so often persevere, Joanne, because it seems like an awful loot of people benefit from the things you do whether it be spinning your fiber, knitting, cooking, canning, gardening, and, of course, writing.

August 2, 2007 at 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

I know exactly where you're coming from dear, and it sounds like you're better at the keep-at-it than me! I get bored with a project quickly and tend to flit on to something else at the slightest provocation.

Your post today has been a bit of a nudge to finish some stuff I've left lying around - I know you didn't mean it that way but it's good for me ;-)Thanks!

August 3, 2007 at 4:04 AM  
Anonymous Kristin Nicholas said...

Thanks for the link to the article - so true - all of it. Keep it up and don't let the publishers get you down. It takes lots of time and perseverance

August 3, 2007 at 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Oh,Joanne, do I ever know what you're talking about! A lot of my work often feels very much like shouting into th abyss. I do believe that, as Deborah pointed out, perseverance pays, but, boy, is it hard to do sometimes!

Congrats with Ravelry encouragement, and keep at it!

August 5, 2007 at 11:39 AM  

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