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Yarnspinners Tales's Podcast

Welcome!  This is a periodic podcast all about my experiences making yarn through the process of spinning.  All areas of the process are discussed, and there will be something here for any spinner, novice or experienced.  There is a Ravelry group for podcast listeners, called Yarnspinnerstales Spin In. Please join us there.

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Creativity in the midst of a Pandemic

Sep 4, 2021

Back in January 2021, I was doing the New Year thing, thinking about podcasting again, and putting a discussion about the New Year in that podcast.  Somehow, the podcast never happened, and this bit of writing I did, was never published.  Is it still relevant?  I think so, but in a softer way, in that we are really not totally motionless anymore by the Pandemic.  

I started the musing with the question 'why during 2020 and especially forced to stay at home, did I not burst into a shower of creative work?'  I had to look at what I have needed in the past to be creative, for some answers.

1.  Life in 2020 was an effort, no matter how little you did.  I had to avoid the news, live with constant companionship, and all the noise that came with that.  So the extra effort to be creative was asking too much, and I know from experience I am most creative, when there are no distractions.

2.  Creativity needs questions.  For years, the questions came first, the answer found usually with creative energy, and the results of all that, shared in the podcast.  Somehow, in the noise of the pandemic, I could hear no questions.

3.  There were no chances for in person sharing with my other creative buddies.  As much as I love hubby, his skill is repairing things.  Takes a certain creativity for sure, but never applies to spinning or knitting.

So I had my answers, and also a year of rote spinning.  I was working breed by breed through a 52 weeks of sheep program.  I had a great time shopping for those fibers online, and usually enjoyed spinning them.  Sometimes it did take great creativity to figure out just what to do with that super scratchy fiber (I made scrubbies).

This rote spinning also took me to my fiber stash as much as I could, a goal I have every year and probably accomplished more in 2020 than in the past.  This however made me realize what I was doing was productive, and not often creative.

What is the difference between productive and creative?  Productive feels less satisfying.  That's because in my case, once the yarn is made, there is no further step.  No financial goal (sell the yarn) no altruistic goal (donate or knit and donate item) The bottom line is that creativity needs goals that have nothing to do with money or charity.  My creativity needs to learn something new (ask the question and find the answer), and teach what I learned.  It also needs to be enjoyable, so I feel that the time is well spent.

Unfortunately, working creatively and not production means the process stops here.  Often the yarn I make is not good enough to sell.  It may not be soft enough to wear.  And for both cases, there may not be enough of the yarn.  If I turn to production, I will find the whole creative process stops, and I am working, instead of creating.

Here again, as I end this musing, will I stand by my life words, 'It really is all about balance'.  Maybe my time scale is off, and several years from now it really will be all about production, after these years of creating.   And I will be sharing that with you too, dear listener, probably in this podcast.