My brain is a lot like my Pinterest boards.
For those not familiar with Pinterest, it’s a virtual bulletin board where “pinners” can keep links to websites that inspire them. Like a traditional bulletin board, Pinterest is visually driven. When you choose a site that you want to add to your boards, you’re prompted to select a picture from the site and add a brief description. The photo you choose, together with your description of the “pin” are shared with other pinners so that they too can save the ones that interest them.
For a person as drawn to the visual as I am, Pinterest is a near-perfect form of social media. I’m entranced by it. I also really like the fact that most links I pin lead to project inspirations, recipes, quotes, and photos—things I like to make, or do, or think about.
At last count, I had 47 boards on Pinterest, with more than 4000 pins. The subject matter is diverse, reflecting my varied interests in life.
I use most of the links on my Pinterest boards as inspiration rather than as a source of exact instruction so, while I rarely make the exact projects shown in my pins, I have started many new projects thanks to my boards.
Notice the word “started?”
It’s at the root of my Pinterest problem and at the heart of the reason for writing this post.
I like to have several craft projects on the go at once. In part, this is because many projects involve drying time, or need to wait between steps. In part, it’s because I can work at some—like knitting—for only short periods of time (in order to spare my wrists and shoulders). Mostly, though, it’s because I seem to have a form of Crafting Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m endlessly curious and always on the lookout for new ideas, new opportunities to learn, and new projects to try.
Curiosity and the desire to learn new things are not, in and of themselves, bad things. They help to build a broad base of general knowledge, and recent research indicates that an active mind is less likely to be subject to dementia later in life. The problem arises when you discover that you’re so busy starting new things that you’re not finishing the projects already underway. And that’s where I am now.
Right now, there are papier mâché boxes drying on a plastic sheet on our dining room floor. (We have to walk around them to get to the living room.) My sewing machine and a partially completed tea cozy occupy our dining room table. A bowl of beads strung on wrapped wire loops sits on the end table by the sofa, waiting to be made into bracelets. A stack of partially assembled greeting cards rests on my craft room table, right beside a half completed canvas.
Eventually, all this disorder gets in the way of creativity. It certainly gets in the way of day to day living. I need to take it in hand.
My goal for the coming month is to complete the projects I've already started. Then I can move on with a clear mind—and a clear workspace—towards more inspiration from the many talented people around me.