Posted on 10 Comments

Is Good Enough good enough?

I’ve been pretty quiet on line lately.

It’s not that I haven’t been working. Not as such.
But I have been finding it almost impossible to work in the way I used to. My creative conveyor belt has a kink in it for the first time in decades and it’s proving to be a challenge to straighten out.

You see, we’ve had a few minor emotional blows lately, and with the background effects of the pandemic adding daily stressors already, these minor blows have felt more like mountains than molehills.

In the past I’ve spoken at length on the effect of detriorating mental health and an increase in stress and negative emotion on our creative flow. In a nutshell, the more stress we’re under, the more our monkey brain thinks we’re being stalked by a tiger, and the less importance the monkey puts on pausing to admire a beautiful sunset or a pretty flower.

If we’re worried, we don’t create so well. Pretty simple.

Oddly, though, for me the bottleneck right now isn’t so much in the ideas department – I have plans, folks, ooooh, I have plans. It’s the “the sitting down and working out the maths” department where I’m having the problem instead.

The nature of the emotional blows I’ve faced have been rooted in childhood traumas and I get the impression that that is making me feel less confident in my abilities than usual.
I’m starting to obsess too much (as I did as a kid) about things being perfect and about the possibility of “getting in trouble” or angering people if a pattern is a little fiddly, or not as clever as I feel it should be.

Case in point:
I’m working on a mitten pattern for Tunisian Crocheters that I am SURE will knock your socks off IF I can just figure out this thumb.

I’m stuck on the construction of this last puzzle piece and have been for over a month. As I’m essentially reinventing the wheel, I keep getting stuck in the Shit Writing Vortex*, and it sucks.

Man, does it suck.
I hate this feeling.

I am so excited to show you what I’ve been at as I sit quietly in my bubble and create, but I’m also scared in a way I haven’t felt in decades. It’s right in my gut and I’m not sure how to get over it.

Do I keep working on the thumb until I have full confidence in it?
Or do I say “Good Enough is good enough” and hope for the best?

Neither options feel good right now. I feel a bit bereft.

What would you do?
How’s your head feeling these days?

*Oh sure, the sample LOOKS good, but you know it’ll be a nightmare for people to follow the pattern with such a dogpile of techniques and exceptions in such a small area.

10 thoughts on “Is Good Enough good enough?

  1. I would put it out for testing and see how folks do with it. Maybe it’s intriguing and yet you’re just too close to the details to see it as beautiful and clever as it is. Or, the testers will say what the heck? And then you have a good idea of how folks will respond to the pattern. Also, thank you for your kindness and lovely patterns in the past.

    1. See it’s the “what the heck?” I’m a little scarf of! Hehe. I’ll work on it a little and see if my bravery returns. But you’re right, testers would be a great way to go before I release it into the world. ❤

  2. One of the nice things about all of your work is that it is not too simple and it is not too brainless. It’s important to have interesting and challenging Tunisian patterns, because it is such a complex craft and lends itself to a lot of creativity. There are plenty of simplistic Tunisian patterns. I for one appreciate the creativity of your designs.

    1. Thank you, Nora.
      That is very encouraging to hear, I appreciate it.

      I agree that Tunisian is a craft ripe for innovation, and that’d exactly what I’ve been working on all summer. This thumb is a bottleneck, but once I have to figured out I’ll have lots of stuff to show for the autumn.

      Fingers crossed I feel inspired soon!

  3. Aoibhe, I feel your pain. You are not suffering alone and the past eighteen months have done nothing to help those of us with that little monster inside which says we are never good enough. When I’m in that sort of situation, I put my problem completely away and concentrate on something else – even a few days means I can come back with fresh eyes and patience to work through what was a mountain and usually discover it was just a pimple, never mind a molehill! Take time for yourself and know you are not alone and I’ll be thinking of you and everyone else in the same situation.


    1. Aren’t you lovely, Marion. Thank you. I’ve decided to spend a few days working on a totally different project and hopefully, I’ll get a lightbulb moment. ❤

  4. I agree with Jen C re: testers. Make something that’s “good enough” and let the testers tell you how much more “perfect” you need to be! I also agree with Nora about the complexity. There are plenty of simple Tunisian patterns out there–we flock to you because your patterns are interesting and unique and maybe a bit harder. I would also say that your patterns are very well-written. Perhaps you are overthinking? (I have that problem myself.)

    1. It’s entirely possible I’m over thinking, but it’s difficult to know if I am or not when I might even be over-thinking the thought that I’m over-thinking, you know?

      … actually, I think you’re right. I just proved your point didn’t I?

  5. Hey A,

    I got an email update for the Catching floats in colorwork post, but it is password protected. Is it supposed to be? Feel free to delete this post if desired.

    1. Hi, Jen!
      Thanks for letting me know. That post is protected right now because I’m still working on it but wanted my editor to have a look over it.

      I completely spaced that my blog subscribers would get a notice when I hit publish!

      Lesson learnt. I’ll have to find a better way of sharing things with her in future. ❤

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