It’s Okay to Make a Mess

My creative space doesn’t look like this photo. Does yours?

I’ve found that creativity can be a messy business; there are fits and bursts, stops and starts, and an embarrassing number of detours along the way. In fact – when all is said and done – sometimes the end result looks nothing like where I started.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room in British Columbia; I’m travel-tired from three months on the road and more than a little homesick. My knitting projects have been picked-apart and re-knit multiple times over the last few weeks, and some of the edges look a little weary from overuse. To be honest, I’m not looking so hot, either.

But as I sit here fiddling with my stitches and dreaming up new ideas for these projects, I see beauty in the mess. Sure, the colors clash. My skeins are tangled. This photo was not staged nor enhanced with good lighting or better angles. I’ve not even decided if these projects have seen the last of my ruthless inclination for frogging. That’s not the point, though, is it? It’s not about how it looks; it’s about what it means for me. This mess means I’m giving myself permission to delight in the adventure, and let it get a little out of hand in the name of experimentation.

If your creativity is feeling a bit stifled, I challenge you to take a little hiatus from the rules. Make a mess. Try a new thing. Delight in the process and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Beautiful messes can lead to breakthroughs. (Mine did.)

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