The intuitive, spontaneous need to create, and the inability to work without the right 'feeling' is how we are naturally artistic. A select number of professional artists learn how to create the feelings that inspire them to produce work, right here, right now.
The process of learning music is much less reliant on creativity than learning art. (That comes much later, to a select few who, after reaching a high level of music proficiency, transition to creating music.)
Learning music has much more in common with problem solving, time management, goal achievement, and self discipline. Once a musician has enough mastery to play with others, you can add teamwork, verbal and nonverbal communication, responsibility, and ownership to the list. Once a musician crosses the line from amateur to professional or semi professional, you get into the necessary skills like networking, interpersonal relationship management, and so on and so forth.
It is only beyond these skill sets and the technical music skills that correlate to them that a musician has enough knowledge to be deeply creative. This can be a15 or a 20 year payoff for the few who make it that far. (I'm not talking about pop music, that's a whole different system, and is as unrelated to the art of music as a toothpaste ad is to what you see on the walls of a gallery. There is value in
both, but the arguments to justify pop music and print ads as artwork has more to do with the cultural implications and impact than with the technical integrity of the work.)
So, learning art and learning music are essentially the transverse of each other. An artist creates first, then learns the technical skills to execute their work, and, at the highest level, incorperates discipline into their process. A musician must first learn enough discipline to acquire enough skills to execute their art, and eventually, learns how to be creative.
We as quilters start out with the artistic need to create, but like musicians, need to have enough self discipline to acquire the technical skills to execute our art. But even when we have the necessary skills to make the quilt of our dreams, some of the work springs from internal impetus, and some of it can only be accomplished by sitting down at the sewing machine and putting in the work.
So, what is the next step in becoming a better, higher producing, more consistent quilter? Practice, practice, practice.
Want to try a challenge? Dedicated 15 a day, for the next week, and show up at your machine. If you feel inspired to spend more time playing, go ahead and enjoy your self. Just remember that you are only promising to spend 15 minutes working. This is the same way that we bribe young musicians to put in the work when they are 5, 7, and 9 years old, and if it works for children, then it should be an easy commitment for an adult. (It's not easy for the kids, they know that they are working hard, and 15 minutes is a long time when you are6.)
If you have a low day, and don't feel like sewing, just go to your space and tidy it up a bit. Dust your table, vacuum and oil your machine, wind a few bobbins, read your pattern, and lay out the materials for your next step. If you still don't want to sew, pat yourself on the back, and walk away from your project. Sewing the next day will be all the more appealing because you turned the 'next step' into low hanging fruit. Let me know what you think! This works really well when you are learning an instrument, and I have been applying this concept to sewing for the last 5 years. I can't wait to hear all about your experience and your projects!!!! Happy Quilting!!!!