There are times to concentrate on perfecting your masterpiece and times to let your creative spirit take you to new places.
If you're a writer, it's easy to see this division: write, then edit. (Or if you want to take it to the extreme, write drunk and edit sober.) Author Lois Duncan described the process of writing rough drafts in her book How to Write and Sell Your Personal Experiences like this: "Like an athlete approaching a high jump, I have no time to think about being beautiful; I am trying to pick up enough speed to sail over the bar."
For jewelry designers, the creating and editing process is often jumbled together as you swap out beads and findings on your design board. It feels harder to cut apart a completed necklace than to delete a paragraph that isn't working. To avoid the editing phase, maybe you never pull out your pliers so you don't chance making an imperfect wire wrap. Or maybe you dive into production work, recreating those "safe" designs over and over instead of experimenting with something new. It's tempting to deliberately avoid inspiration that might take you down the path of the unknown, but sometimes that is exactly what you need.
Over the weekend I started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, the August book for the Inspired by Reading book club. It's the story of a magical circus in Victorian times. Honestly, when I picked up the book from the library I assumed it wouldn't be my type of novel. I never would've read it if it hadn't been on the book list. So it was a delightful surprise to find the story enchanting so far. (I'm about halfway through.) I've been flooded with jewelry ideas from the themes and images in this book. I don't remember the last time I found so much inspiration in a single work. I'm feeling joyful and hopeful and excited to try something new. I'm not the least bit worried about my footwork. Yet.
About this image: I created this image using a photo of Jocelyn Vollmar taken in 1947. The photo is from The National Library of Australia and is in the public domain.