Our week 6 reading assignment is:
Week 6: 6th-12th June
- Facing Fears, pp. 116-138
For those on Kindle that’s from the chapter heading “Facing Fears” to the text box “Yarn for Thought: More Musing on Fear.” This box has 6 bullet points and the last one begins “Make a list of all the things that make you unique,” and ends ” – celebrate that!”
Vercillo pulls no punches in the opening to this chapter: “The things that you are afraid of are holding you back.” I cannot overemphasise the truth of these words. It is a lesson I have learnt time and time again from working on these kinds of projects and on personal improvement. Every single time I have felt ‘stuck’ with creative work, or with wanting to go in a new direction or improve a situation in my life, I have traced the cause back to fear. Basically, I’m not making progress because I am scared to make progress. The specific fears may vary between individuals. Mine tend to be very consistent. I’m scared to fail. And at the same time I’m scared to succeed. But there are ways into dealing with and overcoming these fears, and chapter 6 of Hook to Heal is a great way to start. But let me ask you a question. Are you someone who’s been following this read along, hoping or trying to participate? Is something holding you back from really engaging with the process? Could that barrier be a fear?
Have a great week. Slay some dragons. 🐲
All the information about the read along, including how to join, can be found on the project page.
Personal check-in, week 4
- Morning pages: 5/7
- Artist’s date: kinda. Great days out, but it’s hard to do that alone in half-term!
- Exercises: Of 14, I completed 4, prepared the ground for another 3, am intending to do 3 more in the future, and decided the remaining 4 are not right for me just now.
I have to say, I’ve had a great Hook to Heal week, which is the first time I can really claim that. Maybe it’s no coincidence that this breakthrough came in week 4: Self-Care and Self-Esteem Building. After all, I started this whole process after I recognised a lack of self-care and decided to do something positive to address that.
This week there was a heavy focus on affirmations, another valuable technique I first came across in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I got so much out of this process. I will show you the fisrt and last steps of my working of exercises 1-3. Here we examined the negative things we say to ourselves about our craft. We dig down to the roots of these ideas – where do they come from? – and analyse their validity. Then we flip them into positive affirmations and use them to start an upward a spiral of self-esteem building.
First I identified the negative things I tell myself about my work. One of the suggestions was to ask a friend about the negative statements they’ve heard from you. This was the response I got to that experiment:
It is true that I’m generally a positive person and very forgiving of mistakes in myself and others. However I did come up with six pieces of negative craft-related self-talk with which to work:
- I should be working/tidying/etc.
- I should work on my commissioned piece.
- I spend too much money on this.
- I have too many unfinished WIPS.
- I am not organised enough with my projects.
- I can’t charge more for my work.
After examining each of these self-criticisms, and identifying how much I really believe them, if at all, I followed Vercillo’s steps for turning them into positive affirmations.
- I am working on my mental health, and that is important.
- The amount of time I spend on paid work is exactly right.
- The money I invest in myself, my health, and my happiness is money well-spent.
- My unfinished WIPs are not a problem and I can return to each project whenever I like.
- My organisation is good enough.
- I can ask extra-special prices for extra-special yarn.
These affirmations, and more, provide the basis of many of the exercises in this chapter. The exercises are too good to be confined to a mere week of my time and, like many of the exercises I have discovered from Hook to Heal, will become regular, maybe daily, features of my craft work.