Thank you guys for the comments left on my last post, I really appreciated reading some thoughts on the crafting balance issue. I really, properly thought about what you said for a few days, and decided that I do have to put a limit on the time per week I put into crafting for others and leave myself enough time to craft for myself (which includes knitting pattern samples and that sort of thing).
I’ve recently starting using Orchestra on my phone, as a to-do list, and it works really well for getting to-do items of my head so I can stop wasting brain power on keeping track of them. I now have three crafty lists in Orchestra:
1. The ‘shame list’ from the sidebar of my blog.
2. Ideas to remember for later, but don’t need to do in a hurry.
3. Crafty To Do, which is usually the last bits needed to call a project completed: sew on buttons, block a scarf, frame an embroidery, etc.
List 1 is basically the ‘For Me’ list, and List 2 is basically the ‘For Everybody Else’ list. Which says a lot about how I prioritize, because I consider List 1 to be the ‘important’ one, and List 2 to be stuff I’ll do ‘one day’.
If someone asks me to make something, mend something, or I’m working on a gift, I will always make that the top priority, almost no matter what else I’m working on. I hate to let people down and make them wait! Which is so absurd, because I’m really lucky to be surrounded by people who properly appreciate what I do and don’t expect me to treat their request that way. It’s all me.
So combining the powers of Orchestra and your suggestions, here’s what I’m going to do:
List 3 up there is very handy because it keeps track of all those dumb bits that you tend to put off. I will check that every day and see if there’s something I can get done easily.
As for the other two lists, I will leave them alone, they’re more to remind me of things than a literal ‘to-do’, though I may rename them to reflect what they actually are. But I will institute a limit to my not-for-me crafting time, as a couple of you suggested, to about two days per week. Right now I’m thinking one evening and one weekend day. I know weekends are nice to keep for yourself, but it’s not like the projects I work on for other people aren’t fun, it’s just that I never get to do anything but them! And I will have to stop automatically putting things at the top of the list when people ask for them.
I know that, for a lot of people / crafters, this type of organizing is a big creative buzzkill, but for me, I feel like it clears my mind to think about the really important stuff, like what yarn to chose for a new project or mull over the details of a new pattern. Otherwise I feel like I just spend all day trying to remember things! Of course it may fall apart around Christmas, when everything is crazy anyway, and I will always ignore the entire thing if I have an idea I feel it is really promising and could lead to a new pattern or something.
So for now, I’ll work this way and see how it goes. And in that spirit, I spent the last two evenings making more hexagons, just because I felt like it. So there, to-do list!