Summer Fallow

Back in the Fall, I did an interview for Kollabora’s Meet The Maker series. One of the questions was how do I get out of a creative rut, which I found funny because I never run out of ideas. But I sometimes run out of the urge to create, and I often run out of time to approach my ideas. And whether you run out of time, or run out of ideas, the main issue is still the same; what do you do when you can’t do what you want?

As I mentioned in the interview, everything (breathing, reproducing, farming, etc) has a natural cycle, ebbs and flows. And you don’t always get to decide when you ebb and when you flow. Sometimes you have to focus on steady income, rather than steady output. Sometimes you have to step away from a situation to see it more clearly. And sometimes you just have to let the soil rest while you focus on another task.

Currently I’m very short on time. We’ve moved back to the big city, into a glorious apartment in a glorious neighbourhood. I’m working full-time at a summer job, and part-time with another possibly seasonal job. The hours aren’t completely off the wall, but when you’re spending 45-50hrs/week working on the ideas of other people, it’s hard to find the energy to work on your own ideas.

So I write down my ideas, and save them for later, when I will presumably have more free time.

I have a short stack of patterns that I’d drafted earlier this week. I skipped a workout to draft these patterns, and I might have to skip another if I ever want to sew them up!


I also did a rough draft of an updated version of my deer head sewing pattern. I can’t remember when I removed that deer head from Etsy so that I could fix some shaping issues and re-shoot the tutorial (every time I sold a copy of the pattern, I’d cringe a little, embarrassed to attach my name to such a misshapen beast). Months later, it’s actually been re-drafted, and tweaked once again.


This is a restful time in my life. I enjoy the summer job quite a bit; I get to read a lot, look at dogs, and have pleasant conversations with strangers. I don’t mind the lack of downtime at the moment, and I need the money more than I need the free time to make my own ideas.

What do you do in your creative downtime?

One thought on “Summer Fallow

  1. I know what you mean about the creative rut. I will typically look on the Web for inspirations. Ravelry for knitting and crochet and fellow bloggers for sewing inspirations. There are so many talented people out there I love to see what they are creating. It boosts my need to be creative as well.

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