I have plenty of faults, but one in particular that bothers me is sudden loss of interest. In the last post I mentioned that I like working in the gap between what I know and what I don’t. But, generally, what happens once I figure something out is that I lose all interest in it. Like climbing a mountain, the exciting stuff isn’t what’s behind you; it’s what lies just ahead. When it came to building the “real” spinning wheel it was a struggle. The struggle was one part loss of interest, one part fear, and one part other people.
Let’s start with other people. Over the months of thinking about this project (thankful it wasn’t years) I was also running my own business as a handyman. At the time John posted the spinning wheel on Instagram asking if anyone would be interested in repairing it, I was at a lull in work. What happens after the wheel arrives? My phone starts ringing off the hook and I’m flooded with all kinds of work. In the process of getting my customers taken care of that spinning wheel hung on the wall as a constant reminder that I had unfinished business.
The holidays were coming up fast too and the Hillbilly Hat Rack was a gift for my step-father that had been requested for a long time. And it provided an opportunity to dance with creativity (i.e., live in the gap). In reality, other people and projects, while seeming like a necessary distraction, were just a form of procrastination. It’s humorous that procrastination doesn’t feel like doing nothing when you’re doing something else.
I’d like to blame the struggle on other people, but they were just a mask for fear. This is a struggle that I am not alone with. I hear others talk about fear all the time. Mortise & Tenon Magazine has the best catch phrase: “Craftsmanship is Risk.” It isn’t just about the risk of wasting material or of starting over. It’s a risk of learning something about yourself. Too much of our identity is wrapped up in our ability to perform a certain task. If you’re not making something there is no risk, but the downside is that you’re not making something.
And that loss of interest? It probably has nothing to do with losing interest at all. I think it has more to do with an attitude. If I accomplish something once, instead of celebrating that I’ve learned something new, I turn skeptical. It must have been beginners luck. Here’s the catch, confidence comes with repetition, but repetition doesn’t happen with a loss of interest. It’s self-sabotage.
How do you overcome?
You get to work.