I am stymied. I need inspiration. I have several projects still unfinished and a plethora of ones that are still in the planning, but I don't want to do anything. Nothing calls to me. Nothing makes me want to pick up a needle. Nothing iinspires' me.
Yes. Plain and simple: If you don't feel like doing it right now, just don't! Go and do something you are feeling actively interested in and enjoy that instead until you feel like stitching again. It's a hobby and, unless you have deadlines to meet, then do it for pleasure and don't force yourself. That's a sure way to make yourself hate it!
If you're determined to get on with it though, here are some ideas that may help:
Work on one or two relatively 'brain-free' projects whilst watching TV. The progress you make almost without making an effort there may well spur you on.
Go to a show/exhibition/retail event/top LNS to get the creative juices flowing again.
Pick the one project that you want to do for a certain person by a certain time, (say something you'd planned as an anniversary gift or something like that) and get on with that. Deadlines are hugely motivating!
Flick through a few books for inspiration and maybe even make a start on a project that you want to do but 'shouldn't' as you've so much in progress at the mo.
Ask yourself if there is one WIP that you feel you MUST get done and, as you really don't want to, it's making you feel you can't/don't want to work on anything else? If so, make plans to either ditch it completely or work on it gradually or intensively (depending on what works for you) so as to clear it out of the way and reinstate your stitching pleasure.
Wish I could take one! I have so many things to get finished and handed over, including DH's anniversary card for our 10th tomorrow, and I just do NOT want to! Still, I don't really want to do anything at the mo except laze around reading kids' books!!!
I hope you have your groove back. I am new to SF and I was surprised to find your concern. I am 63 years old, and I have a hard time understanding why you would feel obligated to do any kind of sewing project. A card for your husband? Buy one and give him a lot of love. The world is so full of wonderful ways to spend your time.
I was once (when I was a caregiver for my husband who had Alzheimer's) told by a therapist to try to get rid of some of the "shoulds" in my life. That is excellent advice. I have no idea what your interests are but if you love to read children's books, why don't you volunteer in a school or day care? You look so young. Ride a bike, take a walk, learn to play the piano or the violin.
When I was an undergraduate, I was required, as an English major, to take a creative writing class. The young man who taught it, pointed out that few of us had lived enough to have anything interesting to write about and that we should not take up writing as a career unless we became sick if we were unable to write. The world is not waiting with bated breath for another short story writer or for another embroidery project so unless it gives you joy, don't do it. Find what does give you joy. Sorry to preach.
Worry not, Laura, if you were preaching at all, it was to the converted!! How often I think 'Less of the "should", "ought to" and "must", if you please!'=)
I like to give stitched gifts and, as this year was our 10th anniversary, i wanted it to be very special - and it was! He loved it! I didn't mind doing it, I just have a strange problem that I can really WANT to do something, then, when I'm committed to do that self same thing, I no longer want to! It happens in almost every circumstance I can think of and it's really nuts!!
Anyway, since that exchange above, I've moved to Taiwan and have very little time for stitching and artistic pursuits, so much time is taken up by re-settling, taking care of household task (which take a bit longer given the climate, level of possible household pests and what I consider sub-standard equipment!!!) and my language centre studies, so I tend to read to relax more than anything. I like a little stitching here and there, but it's all just for enjoyment sake. I don't find I get as much done as I would have had I had gifts to make though, so I'm nothing like as productive embroidery-wise as I used to be!!=)
I just love being a walking contradiction, I even fascinate myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!=)
You could choose the project that takes the least time to finish.
Try to stitch each day just a little bit. One piece of thread or one leaf or part of leaf or a line. In any way a measured amount of stitching. Then you feel satisfied you have reached your goal for that day and you have more courage to go on.
Sometimes I find working on a small, quick project does the trick, and it doesn't even have to involve stitches. Making a card, arranging some flowers, ........... but I agree with the others who have said 'don't force it.'
Browse through books and magazines which you haven't looked at for a long time and you may see something you missed before, which may or may not relate to the UFOs. Make some notes and sketches for future reference.
And if all else fails, actually start a new project. Cut some Fabric, thread a needle and get in there!
When I run out of inspiration (frequently!) I ignore all my projects and and drag out the exciting stuff, beads, glittery bits, paints, dissolving fabrics and generally mess around with it, more like finger painting really. Often this will result in a few wee gems which will inspire me or a box of treats I will save up and use in other projects. Also I store unfinished projects out of sight so I don't feel they are hanging over me and sometimes after a couple of months of not seeing them they look quite different and interesting again.
I agree with Elizabeth, it should be fun and best to avoid it for a while until you find you're missing it :)
These are all great tips. I think the main thing is to shift attention elsewhere for a bit. In my case the lack of inspiration usually has to do with a messy workplace. LOL! When that happens I take a day to just clean up and re-organize. Often I will come along something about halfway through that lights the spark. When that happens, run with it! The workspace may not get cleaned after all, but once your inspiration starts working again it won't matter!
From the variety of responses, you may realize that this slump happens to everyone at one time or another. Don't stress over it. If you don't have any deadlines, let the muse wander as she will. She will come back sooner or later.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I won't have time to stitch for a couple of days anyway, so that may help. I'll also look through some books I have here and at pictures on the internet for inspiration. I have to pick up a bolt cutter so that I can cut the boning for a corset I'm working on. Perhaps, when that's done I'll feel more up to it.
Know how you feel Heather - have been like that for the last few years. However, an old friend of mine is coming to stay with me in july for a week and we are going to sew for the whole time!!! I intend to try and finish the works in progress and hope it will give me the incentive to do the rest. Only a suggestion, but perhaps you could do something similar?
I'm in exactly the same boat, my solution was to phone a friend up , even if they're not textile people, and do a workshop project (Linda Monk's blades) Workshopontheweb.com is a great source of inspiration and though I prefer to be 'original' it doesn't always just happen. Following a step by step workshop takes the pressure off being creative. I'm surrounded by unfinished projects too. I've found 3 textile friends in the middle of France, we get together once a month and even though I have a 5 hour drive down from Paris, it's worth it for the company and inspiration. I also spend far too much time on this laptop, don't switch it on first thing- it's fatal.