Several weeks back, I stuck a pin in my daily sentence project and left it sitting here. The pressure I’d built up in my head to make something of this, in combination with a couple of life circumstances, was crushing. I have a daily reminder in my calendar to do this, and seeing it at the top of my inbox every morning became intolerable. The freedom to delete that email without a second thought was very calming. Since then, I’ve been better about tweeting, about emailing and writing letters, about calling friends. I’ve also been doing a quiet make-a-necklace-a-day project that I didn’t really even notice I was doing until a couple of days ago. It’s filled the void of doing something daily, and has become a natural part of my day.
The break has also served to show me how much pressure I exert on myself to be public with the things I produce. That can be helpful to the process, and it’s great for expanding my circle of conversation about the life of making things. Definitely one of my favorite subjects. It’s certainly good for business. But it turns out I need a private pocket of making. I will probably eventually sell or talk about or publicize most of what I work on in silence, but I was surprised to discover how much I expect myself to be immediate with that process. Make and talk about, make and show, make and list for sale. There is a dialog that goes on just between me and my materials that has been getting crowded out, of late. I’ve lost a sense of ownership. Whether those materials are beads or metal or words or thread, I have been bypassing that private conversation of alchemy and construction that makes the work good and worthy of larger conversation.
Today it felt like time to make a start at this project again, so here I am, with words. But mindfully, and without a calendar.