On Doing Things Badly

The sewing graveyard this week.

Flow. It’s what every artist, writer, or creator seeks — that feeling of being in the moment, where everything comes together smoothly and you lose yourself in the process, only looking up to check the time after hours have passed.

There’s also the opposite of flow; wrestling both with ideas and output, when it feels like every choice is a chore. We don’t have a convenient catchphrase for this mode….being blocked or “blockage” works, I guess, but doesn’t really convey the depth of frustration that the experience entails.

I’ve been blocked all week, actually since coming back from Monterey. I’ve been sewing badly — two bad pattern choices and one bad marriage of fabric and pattern in this week alone. I’ve been parenting badly — forgot to wash PE clothes, forgot to pick up Youngest at early dismissal, forgot to give Middlest lunch. I’ve even been BLOGGING badly, for crying out loud. I could make excuses, but they would be neither truthful nor interesting (and if you’re going to lie, it should at least be interesting). I considered giving up sewing. I seriously contemplated raising spaniels instead. I’ve always harbored a secret desire to be one of those practical British countrywomen in tweed skirts who would go tramping through the countryside to see a man about a dog. “Always see a man about a dog — that is the secret to a long and happy life,” said P.G. Wodehouse — at least, I think it was Wodehouse and Google is being unhelpful here. Anyway, tweed skirts and a long and happy life…what’s not to love? Aside from spaniel drool?

Never mind the drivel — it’s Friday, the kids have a long weekend, and I’m looking forward to some productive time. By productive, I mean I might go shopping and spend a lot of money (a lot of money relative to me, not a lot of money relative to, say, the Kardashians) and then watch TV in bed for five or six hours. It’s a thought. Here’s an old favorite to rock in the weekend — and as a bonus, the video cracks me up:


Posted on February 17, 2012, in Friday Headbanging. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Spaniel? Drool? Good? Man do you need shopping and a few hours tucked up in front of bad TV. Or maybe re-watch a few fave sci-fi movies … or something. :o)

  2. I’ve been blogging badly to the point of not at all. You’re still bogging good things by ‘doing things badly’. Thanks for the headbangin’ Fridays yet you call that an ‘old’ favorite? Sabotage is old now…too? I’m going back to bed. Have a great weekend doing things badly!

  3. Sometimes I just have to step back and rest. Just watch for a bit. I can get very extreme and start packing fabric for Goodwill and putting the machine by the curb if I have a bad run- so I have to banish myself until it feels fun again. Now washing PE clothes, I’m not sure when the spark will return for that one.

    • Are you in my head?? I am totally the, “I’m never doing this again, this sucks,” person. Thank goodness I haven’t had a complete meltdown and actually gotten rid of anything…yet.

      I get excited about washing PE clothes when I throw them in with fabric. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

  4. No sense in pushing any of it, flow will return at some point. Pick up something no-fail if you want some time in the sewing room and let the rest go. The kids didn’t hurt themselves, I imagine Middlest didn’t starve.

    I feel like I should be back in university getting cheap drinks at the Trash… Music can bring back so many great memories.

    • It took me a while to realize the “Trash” was probably a club. I was thinking you fished drinks out of the garbage in university….and now that I think about it, my college parties used to feature artillery punch in plastic trash barrels. Memories…

      Yeah, quick and easy projects are good. Too bad I don’t have a lot of them. 🙂

      • Yes, sorry, should have clarified that. The bar was called the Trashateria but in typical form, no one called it that. It was where to go if you weren’t interested in Top 40 or dance music. Artillery punch? Why do I suspect this was similar to “Purple Jesus” which was the beer alternative at keg parties.

  5. Flow comes when you push it, in my experience. You just gotta get back in the saddle. Of course you wrote this on Friday, and in my experience, any time I get out of my routine you can multiply the days away by weeks it takes to get back completely.

    Anyway, you rock. That’s all.

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