I have blogged about this before, in part, but yesterday I gave a talk and I know some of my friends who live in the ether wanted access to it as well. I departed somewhat from the script and talked about specific mistakes, but basically, this is what I talked about.
Because I was talking to a group of quilters, I started with my first quilt. I will note I have not attempted piecework this complicated since.
Take what works for you and leave the rest behind.
Start with the basics: get enough sleep, eat well, exercise. Take your medications.
Commit to your creative practice — REGULAR PRACTICE. Good writers go and write for X many minutes/hours or whatever it is a day. If you want to be creative, you have to do it. Not all of us have the luxury of doing it every day, but for me, even if I’m not in my studio, I still spend part of the day thinking over ideas.
Three main components:
Structure (physical, chronological,)
Inspiration — many sources
Challenges — how to challenge yourself and what to do when big challenges (ie, mistakes) occur
Physical: have a dedicated space — it doesn’t have to be a whole room. Some people manage to work out of a tiny corner. I find having a whole room dedicated to my practice enormously helpful. I can maintain an organized stash of materials that are at the ready when inspiration strikes. Or when I need to just force myself to sew two pieces of fabric together.
Having the machine set up and ready to all the time made a huge difference in my willingness to get down to business.
Time: Commit to your practice. 1 day a week every day for an hour. Whatever works for you. Know what time(s) of day work for you and don’t sacrifice them.