I’m reading a book by Stephen King called On Writing.  It describes selected events in his life, and then explains how he writes his books.  I read many of his books during my teens, but now I choose books with happier themes.


Mr. King discusses many interesting ideas, including his belief that writing projects require continuous effort until completed.  He suggests that numerous or extended breaks from writing will cause the author to lose the flow of the book, as will starting another project.


The same principle applies to quilting as well as other long-term project.  A similar point was made in the material for the Quilt University class.  Starting and stopping various quilting projects interrupts the flow of ideas and creativity.  I’m as guilty of this as the next person.  It’s so much easier to start a new project than work through a problem in a current project.  Isn’t it nice to know that people besides quilters, such as authors, musicians and artists, have their own stack of UFOs?


If I have to put a project aside because life gets in the way, and eventually it will, I write myself a note explaining where I stopped, what I’m doing, and what I plan to do next.  When I get back to the quilt, I can pick up right where I left off.  I’d love to take credit for this tip, but it’s not mine.  The idea came from Twyla Tharp in her book, The Creative Habit, where she talks about her career as a dancer and her process for writing musicals.


This brings up yet another good tip.  Creativity is creativity, whether expressed through music, dance, sculpture, painting or writing.  People outside the quilting community have some great ideas that apply to quilting.  Maybe the next time I’m stuck on a quilt I should browse a book about Michelangelo to help me get moving again.       

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