Sunday, February 15, 2009

Conquering Saboteurs

The sixth chapter, Conquering Saboteurs in 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women (book blogging along with the others at The Next Chapter), is pretty interesting. Saboteurs can be internal (all those critical, damaging voices) or external (people in your life who are against what you're trying to accomplish).
I think handling the external ones is pretty easy for me. Although I haven't encountered a lot of criticism for my work so far. Probably because I don't attend artist groups where they do critiques. And the judges comments that I've gotten on works from various shows have usually been helpful in some way or another. Even the ones that rankled ended up being useful. I tend to usually take everything very personally and deeply, but somehow, criticism about my work I'm able to handle (at least so far), because I can separate what is intended as useful, and what is not.

The internal saboteurs though are a bit harder to handle, but I have learned some good techniques to shut them up long enough to be able to get the work done. The ones that are strongest are preventing me from getting my work out into the world. This realization that I haven't conquered all of those internal saboteurs makes me say to myself: "Prepare to do battle!" It seems strange to have to prepare to battle a voice or impulse that is coming from one's own mind, but that's where the conflict is.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deep fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson

The picture in this post is of one of my favorite quilts that I've made, As Above, So Below is made from various woven plaids and ikats and quilted with a very thick cotton perle.
Finally hanging where I always had envisioned it, above our bed.
It looks good against the biscuit colored wall.
No matter what anybody else ever said about it.


Linda M. Poole said...

I am a big fan of that book and am loving your posts!

Linda M. Poole said...

Oh...and I added you to my blogroll. I know others will love reading your blog too!

D said...

I agree that the internal critics are the worst. Battle is a good way of preparing yourself for the struggle. It's so true.

I love the quilt.

Karoda said...

The layout, the pallette I love and with those fabrics and thread I know it must be very textural in person.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

It is so odd that we--internally--can be our own worst enemy. That is the part that I am pretty well in charge of; it gets a good Punk reaming when it's ugly head surfaces.
However, for me, the EXTERNAL critics, especially the sly ones that can manage to say things in such a way that it sounds good, are the ones I still, upon occasion, have trouble with.
No one likes hearing someone say they don't like their work---but I look at it as a lack of depth and also a lack of MANNERS. Putting things out for judging requires an exterior like a porcupine.....I think I have that.......still makes the heart wrench a little but I just look at whatever it is and move on.
I used to be devastated. Not so anymore.

Sheila said...

LOVE the quilt you chose to share with this post! Such a peacefully rustic quality about it. Would love to see the rest of the room where it hangs too. (I LOVE interiors!)

And congrats on your attitude about critics and external saboteurs and might I add a rousing 'CHARGE!' to your internal battle cry.

laundrygirl said...

Why it is that the inner voices are so hard to manage?!
Cool quilt.

P.S. I'm doing another challenge too if you want to be a part of it -

Jaye L said...

I think it is great that you are preparing to do battle! Remember knights in shining armor always had their preparations (getting that armor on!) and probably rituals as well. Don't invite those internal critics into your studio. And take a look back at your blog and see how far you have come. I did that recently and was amazed: mostly at how much better of a blogger I am than I used to be. GO JULIE GO!!!!

intothedawn said...

I admire that you are able to separate what's helpful & what's not from external criticism. And you're so right, that internal critic is so much harder to deal with. I think that's because it's just always with us; hard to shut off the negative chatter. It definitely is a battle.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful Quilt. I can see why it's one of your favorites! I love it. Great Work.


Today, I've learned to daily become the creative woman imprinted upon my soul!