It’s funny that when I get really stressed or start feeling the burden of the quantity of work that I have to complete, I seek escape… and not escape as in watching Glee or playing WoW. It’s not potent enough. I don’t even consider knitting or spinning much of an escape, either, since I end up thinking too much about what I’m doing. Even now, I’m trying to pick a cardigan pattern to knit up and it’s downright anxiety-generating. But I mean escape into something that doesn’t have anything to do with anything. Doing something just for the sake of doing something. Not in any way ever expecting to somehow be “productive” about it. Just doing something because it’s fun…
So, about two months ago, I rented a guitar, sort of out of the blue (ok, it was after I saw Sam Roberts play live recently), and started to learn to play. The guitar I happened to rent was a Taylor 114ce which is an acoustic guitar in Taylor’s Grand Auditorium shape (it has a slimmer waist) with a cutaway (“c”) and electronics (“e”). I played it for about a month and decided to buy one — but the 312ce model, which is their Grand Concert shape (slimmer waist and smaller “bout”) to fit my small arms a bit better. It’s still got the cutaway and the electronics (in case it ever needs to be amplified), and it’s all built out of solid wood. But my guitar is on backorder right now as Taylor is still making it. In the meantime, I’m borrowing a friend’s big dreadnought-shaped guitar and still playing away happily. It’s the perfect feeling to be able to play in the evenings after work and let my brain sort of melt.
It’s so interesting to me to observe in myself what I’m like at the beginning of a love affair with a new hobby. How rabid I can be in searching for information. How obsessed I can become with understanding the difference between different kinds of strings, tone woods, and even picks. How I can easily lose an hour playing the same four bars over and over again. I even feel motivated to somehow blog or record my thoughts about it.
Funny, how I can’t find time to collect my thoughts for this blog, but I can easily spend that time playing the guitar. I think that’s all because I get so caught up in “presenting” on this blog rather than simply documenting and expressing. Relaying and remembering. It’s all very ironic, since I’ve been asked to participate on a discussion panel at Northern Voice this coming Saturday, May 8th, specifically about how blogging and this whole social media/Ravelry world have changed how I craft. I think a lot of us knit-type bloggers have gone through a phase where we feel like we are only knitting so that we have things to show on our blogs. Where, we feel insecure or inadequate if we don’t constantly have finished objects to show. And then when you create these obstacles for yourself, you mute your own voice. You stop being able to share your thoughts about this thing that you love.
Come have a listen this weekend. Northern Voice is a local conference about personal blogging and social media and I’m intrigued by some of the other sessions like “Overcoming Social Anxiety” and “How to screw up your own personal blog” (hmm, this may be insight into my own psychosis). In our session, Fibre Arts Online it’ll be Kim Werker (of the all new MightyUgly.com — very very cool concept), Mandy Moore (of Yarnbombing and Knitty fame), and me… talking about how blogging about what we love changed our lives… for better or for worse.