Monday, 6 June 2016

prioritizing

tara swiger is currently running a month-long challenge called "month of biz love", where you spend a month with daily prompts and a workbook to help find your love for your business again. as creatives, it's so incredibly fulfilling and rewarding to make as your career. but deadlines, paperwork, number crunching, and all the other less-than-exciting things we do can dampen that joy. i'm only doing the challenge in the most cursory of ways, because i have so many deadlines this month (note the irony), but i love that about tara's challenges. you can participate as fully or lightly as you can manage, and there's no shame from anyone, only support. today, the challenge is to prioritize, and identify one single thing that i can do to make a difference in my business this week. 

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

my priority for this week is to deal with the final four patterns for flotsam & jetsam that nicola and i have been passing back and forth with edits. they've filled me with so much anxiety at this point that i've been avoiding them and doing basically anything else that still helps my business/my life. i have a confession to make: i always have anxiety about fully completing huge projects. i feel like i have this pattern of going 90% of the way, and then falling back when it comes to the last 10%. so all these deadlines and tasks that make up the publication of my first book are filled with a healthy (or maybe unhealthy) dose of dread - what if i don't do them? what if i fall behind to the point that i can't make it back? what if i just don't publish the book in the end? 

mushroom-dyed yarns in cakes, and an undyed skein beside them. 
at the end of the day, the answer to any of these is that i just don't do a thing i wanted and have been working hard to do. the world wouldn't end. people wouldn't die. there would just be one less knitting book in the world, which in the grand scheme of the universe isn't the hugest issue out there. but i would be disappointed in myself, and that's shitty. and so my anxiety affixes itself to that disappointment and i avoid my paperwork. no, it does not make sense. anxiety generally doesn't care if it's rational, of course. so my priority is to do this paperwork, and complete these edits and get the patterns to their testers, and then keep chugging along with the rest of the work. everything else is a lot more manageable, honestly. it's mostly just this huge hurdle right now that's kicking me in the head.

stashbusting at its finest.

of course, i don't ever really focus on just one thing at a time. i sent one of the four patterns off to nicola a little while ago, and while i did that, i was also finishing off my dye pots for the day, and i sorted out a new design that will help stashbust, which is another longer-term priority of mine right now. my stash is feeling overwhelming these days (i'm sure that's an enviable position to a lot of knitters, but to me it just feeds my anxiety), and i want to work through as much of it as i can as quickly as possible. i'm still in the process of making it a more useful stash for designing, and that means that it's currently a mix of random skeins that i need to clear out somehow and clusters of skeins that actually have a purpose and are cluttering my brain. at least it's helping out my wallet right now.

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