If you have ever spent time with a kid who has just discovered this word you know how hard it can be to answer some of the why questions. You probably also discovered that this question can go many layers deep. Why can’t I have that cake now?? because you’ll spoil your dinner. Why? Because you will be too full of sugar to eat what is good for you. Why? You should eat food that your body needs. Why? You will be healthier and not get fat, or cavities . Why?? — and so on. If you are not ready to answer these multitude of questions it can be more than a little annoying. However we need to remember that the child asks out of a genuine curiosity and our patient answers are adding to their intellect. So why am I thinking about this?
Creativity is often given wings when it is driven by a good why question. Several times this week I have discussed the frustration that happens when a project runs flat. Whether it was preempted by life events, something else came up on a deadline, or whatever the reason, it can be hard to go back to something that got put aside. This is where you can ask yourself the first why, Why did I stop working on this? Once you can answer that you can ask, Why did I start it in the first place? If this answer still holds true, you have the reason to get it going again. If you don’t yet, then ask yourself Why do I want to finish it now? If you still don’t have an answer, ask Why am I keeping it? If you get this far then maybe you have learned what you needed to from the project and it is time to pass it on to someone else, or finish it in a different way than planned. I spoke to a quilter this week who began a large and intricate sampler a few years ago. She ran into some health issues and only ended up with one block done. When I suggested she make a pillow out of it instead of trying to make 19 more blocks, she felt a great sense of relief. Suddenly her why became Why Not!!!
So as I get the summer workshops and samples ready I want you to reflect for a moment on your own Why. It can reconnect you to your projects in a profound way.
I hope you enjoy the Show and Tell that Sue Forrest brought to Work in Progress Wednesday. She recently finished them both. Aren’t they great?