Sunday, June 28, 2009

Your top tips for curing craftstipation...

Image from mochimochiland

Golly gosh. There were lots of responses to my last post. Clearly we are all afflicted with craftstipation at one time or another. Thank you, I found the empathy and advice most helpful.

I thought I should collate the wisdom that was imparted in the comments and feed it back to you all. So, here's what you had to say!!

Warning: longish post. Have moved from craftstipation to bloggarrhoea it seems!

Top tips for curing craftstipation:

1. Write some lists!
It's all about the lists, baby. This seems obvious, but actually I needed the reminder that getting things out of the head and down on paper can stop those overwhelming feelings of fear and directionlessness as I approach the craft zone, or the concern that if I don't start something new NOW I'll forget it (thanks to Curlypops, and Nikki the resident schoolmarm!). Of course, writing one big long jumbled of every creative urge and project is not helpful, so I've also taken on board the suggestion to categorize. I've now separated out my various creative lists into these categories:

*'TO DO' LIST: for the things I have promised and/or should be done to a deadline.

*'ON HOLD' LIST: for things that have been started but are not essential to finish or can wait a while (thanks Dillpickle). Some of these may move up onto the 'TO DO' LIST, or they may end up being chucked (if I can be ruthless like Mim!).

*The 'PRACTICAL CRAFT' LIST: for the mending, home-decorating or home-improvement creative projects. And for me, Wardrobe Refashioning goes here.

*The 'INSPIRATION/DREAMING' LIST: for the zillion things I find in my blog/book travels and would like to try one day (but not right now).

2. Limit your main projects list.
A really long list is not very motivating. Some very helpful advice came from Cherie of willywagtail who suggested a 'mini list' of just THREE projects, which you put in order and give yourself 'all the time in the world' to do. I think this is great advice. For me, the 'perceived pressure' (rather than actual pressure) can cause me to stall. I've combined this with Ellie of petalplum's suggestion to put time frames on things.

So now, my 'TO DO' LIST has just three items on it, all broken down into a few small steps so that I know what I'm up to and can even just do a little bit next time I make the time to craft. This already feels a lot better, and I'm looking forward to getting out my sewing machine tonight, as I know what I will be doing.

Oh, and I may well join in with 'Target Tuesday' over at Woolywotnots. For the accountability.

3. Don't promise things to people.

I'm a bit of a compulsive giver, and now a compulsive maker-for-others. Sounds like a few of us are in the same boat - turning our passion into obligation, promising things to friends and family then feeling like we can't deliver!

Leonie of Raglan Guld is onto a good thing I think with her advice - just stop promising things to people. Ellie suggested the same. This doesn't mean stop making anything for others - that's what I DO! - but keeping it a surprise takes away obligation and means there is an 'out'. So I'm going to try really hard to stop piping up with the phrase 'oh, I could make you one of those' or 'hey, I'm making you a little something'.

4. Do something creative for yourself.

This must be especially difficult for those who craft for business as well as pleasure I imagine. But I'm guilty of it, as Jenaveve of August Street identified! I'm going to take on board the suggestion from Bek of Red Chocolate and alternate between my lists. Now that I've separated things out a bit, I think I might be able to do that, and have a play around with some things on my INSPIRATION LIST without feeling like I've lost my way with my TO DO LIST.

There was a great post I read a while ago (was it from you, Jenaveve?) which described crafting without judging. Giving myself permission to potter with new materials and techniques without it having to become a new full-blown 'project' might help fulfil some of those creative urges and stop the stagnation.

5. Remember it's cyclical!

This reminder from M* was helpful. We're going to fluctuate and have down times. And as Linda at two pink possums said, you can't force the mojo! Be kind to myself. Eat chocolate (strong theme there people!). Browse blogland for inspiration and encouragement.

Despite my feelings of frustration, I have actually found this craft hiatus a very good time for some of the bigger-picture decluttering/creative recluttering that I'm trying to do. The fruits of which will appear in blog posts in the near future... yep, I think bloggarrhoea might be setting in for good!

Thanks everyone. It's been helpful for me... hope it's helpful for you too.


  1. Great advice from all those girls - and lots of new blogs to explore! I've just edited my last post and put a link to yours in - hope you don't mind! Will post granola recipe soon. x

  2. Glad we could get you "flowing again" !!

  3. Wow, you've turned creative block into an inspiring post! It's a great read and makes so much good sense. It's really refreshing

  4. Wow! This is fabulous! I didn't have any advice to give as I'm tragically bad with all of these things. So wonderful seeing it all set out though - I need this! Thanks so much for putting it all together! :) K

  5. Thanks Gina for this brilliant post. I have just returned from a little getaway, coming home to a million things to do. Some are necessary and some are just perceived! Your post has reminded me of the need to prioritise and let go! Thanks, making a list is definately on my to do list today! Oh and I'd better buy some food!

  6. Wow, this is an awesome post! I'm off to do some of these things right now. I often tend to get stalled by feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start with things.
    Thanks for sharing all this!!

  7. Hello! This is a wonderful post, thank you for blogging it! I'm jsut dropping by to let you know that you have been given the One Lovely Blog Award. You can visit to see who else received one.

    Congratulations and cake!


  8. This is such a great post. I loved it.

    I sent some inspiration your way today. I hope you'll take the good advice and spend some time playing just for you when it arrives.

  9. All excellent advice. For me, the biggest 'blockage' is the darn internet. I need to get off the computer in the evenings, and get stuff done!

  10. Super post. Thanks Gina. Great tips. Thanks for linking to Target Tuesday! Hope you'll all join in! :-)

  11. This is the sort of advice I love to read. It is motivating and great hoe you have combined so many suggestions into one workable solution.

  12. Excellent post! I plan to spend some of tomorrow doing something lovely and crafty just for me, and some time pulling just three things from my list that will be my day-to-day "to dos".

  13. A nice summary of the advice and suggestion you received Gina and how you made sense of them. I hope your feel the pain of craftstipation easing!

  14. Thanks for collating all these great responses. Just what i needed. I have craftstipation ALL THE TIME. I get overwhelmed by all the things I have started and all the things i want to make - and then make nothing :-(. So much so i have started to think maybe i don't like sewing....but i do...I just don't like how unorganised and overwhelmed I feel. So thanks to you tonight i am going to focus on tidying the sewing room and making a 'to do' list. Thanks.

  15. Such a great wrap up of all the good advice - I'm going to steal some of the ideas and try to put them to use!

  16. Excellent post and advice to start the new year (well, new financial year anyway!) with....

  17. Hey Gina, Yay to you!! Email me at with your address and I'll post your goodies off as soon as you can say "off with their heads!"


  18. Thanks Gina for a great post! I'm hoping to find that lost sewjo soon. I may just start by reading more blogs and just stop worrying about when the sewjo will return.

  19. Hi Gina, Nikki B Cardigan put me in touch with your post...Thanks for such a great post, I can relate to a lot of your content;))!


“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein