Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

A friend sent me a link to a short piece by the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s called “Some Thoughts on Writing” and it can be found here. It arrived just before I did some weaving on my latest piece, some weaving that left me momentarily a bit disappointed. Actually, I wanted to cry. Just a little. But I’m too grown up for that. If you believe that I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…….

But this piece was so appropriate for my disappointed state because in it Elizabeth Gilbert says something I needed to hear:

“…all writers think they suck.”

It’s not just writers who think this and need to deal with it; so do weavers. Elizabeth deals with it by……..well, read her piece!

But how do I deal with these disappointments? By seeing, not something awful, but something that is a problem. And problems challenge. This is how I can forget my own ego and “get back to work”.

Some things that getting back to work might mean for me:

  • Taking a break (or walk, or nap—short or long)
  • A little (or a lot) of unweaving
  • Cutting off and starting all over again
  • Continuing to weave with an open and curious mind
  • All of the above

Elizabeth Gilbert talks a bit more about getting back to work:

Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.

Getting back to work, in other words, is not necessarily easy. There must be a reason for letting go of disappointment and getting back to work.

And so, my readers, I have two questions for you:

1. How do you get back to work when you feel that what you are weaving “sucks”?

2. Is there anything in Elizabeth Gilbert’s piece that you find helpful?

image Related Post: Work

Get Back to Work” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 19, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

Wow, I needed that! Definitely, the part you quoted resonates. And also the bit about not being in a room of 13 other students (of weaving, in my case) trying to find my voice -- I get more out of trying things on the loom. And patience, because I know it's going to take a while to achieve confidence, even while I make things I like and things I don't like. I learn something from each piece!

Peg in South Carolina said...

A crowded room is not a place for me to find my own voice, either! Crowded rooms are for learning and seeing new things. Then solitude is for sifting and experimenting.

Avalanche Looms / Susan Johnson said...

It takes less and less time for me to act on what I know I must do--take it out, cut it off, rethread. But I do have to talk to myself rather sternly to take the action. Then, soon everything is fixed, and usually in less time than I wasted consternating.

sweetgeorgia said...

Elizabeth Gilbert is so inspirational in so many ways, but for me, mainly because of her absolutely solid work ethic. Even though the work we do is creative, it still requires discipline, hard work, and dedication.

You might also want to see her little lecture for TED Talks on creativity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA

I always love hearing about how creative people work.

Angie said...

Thanks for the great link and to sweetgeorgia for the youtube link. When I come to a "hard place" I usually walk away for a while, do something else, and then come back to try to resolve my problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I will try to remember some of Ms. Gilbert's tips from now on.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Susan, the same has been true for me as well. I think it is a habit-building process. And I giggled at the wasting-time. How very true!
SweetGeorgia, thank you for commenting. I am glad to discover your blog and will check out the link to her lecture.
Angie, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Kaz said...

Thanks for this post Peg. This is also really needed for me to continue weaving. I sometimes have to force myself to go at my work desipite the thread of failure in my experiments. It almost hurts but we need that something deeper to continue working. Inspirational.

Peg in South Carolina said...

You are welcome, Kaz. I'm sorry you are having a rough time with weaving. Hope it turns around for you soon.