While at Spring Quilt Market in May of 2018 I was able to attend a lecture given by Pepper Cory. Pepper is an accomplished quilt artist, collector, designer and teacher. I was very impressed with the class and the information she shared.
This class was called Deep Work. The name comes from a book by Cal Newport which she used as a reference. Deep Work is the ability to focus without distraction on a task. It will push your abilities to their limit. It will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of achievement that comes from knowing you have created something meaningful.
She spoke about how we need to disconnect to be inspired.That means many different things but one is the need to disconnect from our smart phones. She asked everyone to turn off their phones for 45 minutes and “disconnect.” I thought it was very telling that within the first 10 minutes of her lecture someone’s phone rang…You would think that if they could not turn it all of the way off they could have turned off the sound. But this is how many of us are, we are so worried we might miss something or someone might need us RIGHT NOW. I felt it was important to give her my full attention and I am so thankful that I did.
One simple suggestion she had was to begin wearing a watch again.It is a simple thing but so many of us have quit wearing watches and think, “Oh, I can just check my phone and see what time it is”. This makes it nearly impossible to disconnect because if you look to see what time it is and then you think, well I should check my email or maybe I need to see what is happening on Facebook and it is all downhill from there…Into the black hole we go and no more inspiration to be had.
The next suggestion she had was to designate a creative space. In this space you will have all the items to create your work and this will make it easier for you to think deeply and connect with what you want to do. Many of us have spaces that do double duty but do your best to create a small space where you can retreat and create and leave the phone in the other room.
Next she suggested a creative goal. Do you want to make a special quilt for a competition, finish that quilt you started a few years back, design your own quilt? The list could go on and on. Pick a creative goal and write it down or tell someone, this always gives me a bit of accountability if someone else knows my goal.
One reason I think this resonated with me so much is because at this point in time I have spent the last 5 months traveling and vending at 2 quilt shows a month and keeping things going on the website and filling orders. I wanted to be the owner of Pacific Rim Quilt Company because I wanted to design patterns and make quilts.I have not done much of that lately! I do have to say I love meeting all of you and visiting about quilting but I need some time sewing and creating.
So can you keep a secret…I am going to design a couple of new patterns this summer.