Saturday, March 31, 2012

Obsession Leads to Burn Out

Cartridge pleats cannot be done on machine, fyi.
My sewing machine died. It’s had a full life, well loved and well used. My husband, being more frugal than I (yes, I would love a new sewing machine with a fancy gathering stitch), brought it into Sears for servicing. The dude there said the problem was the many, many, broken needles jammed inside. He said we should only use Kenmore needles instead of anything substandard.

What the dude did not realize was just how hard I used that machine. When I sew, I sew on duck canvas, velvet, and heavy upholstery fabrics. Frequently they are more than 3 thick, pleated, and boned. I abuse the hell out of my machine (and the brand of needles is irrelevant). When I’m on a sewing jag, I sew my machine into the ground. It is comatose afterward and my fingers bleed – but I have fabulous results

This leads into 2 points:
  1. My obsessive personality and 2. Faire

I’ll start with #2 because it’s shorter.

Faire is here! (NOTE: I wrote this before I broke my foot) I opted out last year because I was spread too thin (which I had been to foolish to realize the previous years I actually attempted it). This year I will visit as a guest of court for the 50th anniversary of faire. I’m really looking forward to it. It will be all the good about faire with none of the obligation or the drama. The only stress is refurbishing one of my costumes and making a new child-size gown (luckily both kids are the same size). But, for this, I need my machine.

So, on to #1 – my obsessive personality.  I get obsessed with things and throw myself into the fray with every ounce of my being. I have done this with faire and, as result, burned out. My expectations for myself far exceed what anyone actually expects from me, so, when I don’t deliver, I live in a state of being disappointed with myself. This is because I know my capabilities. When I half ass something, even if it’s acceptable, I feel no sense of accomplishment. My first 5 years of faire, I thrived on knowing I did my best. When life got complicated, it was no longer fun to be in faire because I was sub-par (to myself). I worry that this will happen with writing.

I love the feel of accomplishment I get from finishing a good scene. Or finishing that first draft.  The problem I’m having now is that I CAN’T FINISH MY $&#^*% FIRST DRAFT OF COURTLY ABANDON!  It’s making me crazy. I am self sabotaging like a bad mamajama and I don’t know why. I started this project in January 2011. Now it’s March. Over a year – that is not prolific writing. I also started Karma back in January, but it gave way to Courtly Abandon’s dominance.

I do not think I'm burned out on writing, but I may be burned out on Courtly Abandon. I need to finish it, then let my brain recuperate for a couple months before tackling edits. In the meantime, I'll start something fresh and be able to give it my 100%.

This blog post was started in early March. It is now the end of the month and I haven't been upright long enough to write anything new. So, I am posting it as is. The good news is that I have made progress in Courtly Abandon since my fall (handwriting). I do not remember where I was going with this, but it seems fairly complete as is and I'd rather post something substandard than have radio silence.

Now to type up what I've written so far in Courtly Abandon. Anon.


Rena said...

Wait, what happened to your foot???

A: the pleats look gorgeous. I sew a lot myself, I know a bunch of cosplayers and they keep me in fine wine during the Con seasons. However, I categorically refuse to do any costume which requires hand sewing. It absolutely drives my insane.

B: Book burnout. it's not burnout. I have this problem where I start to procrastinate about a project. Usually the issue is that I have some places I want to go with it, but I'm not really sure how to go from point a to point b. Then I start procrastinating. I'll edit some, I'll think about a scene differently. I'll do anything but write.
Then my subconscious will come up with the answer (usually while I'm doing some aerobics or something) and then I write like a 'shee who just saw Tam.
So don't worry about giving yourself a break, sometimes it really helps.

I hope you feel better.

Erin Kane Spock said...

I broke my foot 3 weeks ago. Surgery 10 days ago. Post op appointment tomorrow.
Sadly, the pleats pictured are not mine. I fought against any handwork for a few years, but finally gave in. Many happy hours have been spent beading and watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice since. It's surprisingly therapeutic.

Thanks for the advice. :) Today's writing is going better. Who knows? I may finish today. Could happen.

Susan Kane said...

I think you made great strides in your book, yes??!

A broken foot will keep you from running away from writing, for sure. And, everything else.

Heal, damn foot! Heal!

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