The journalist asked the runner how she kept herself motivated to get out there, every single day no matter the weather, and just run, run, and run for hours. The runner answered that she motivated herself by training herself mentally. If she ever even touched the thought that she was bored, tired or not motivated to run, she would punish herself by adding on five extra miles to her regular distance just for daring to think something negative! She claimed that this way, she had trained herself never to think anything bad about her running goals. I think that the concept is fascinating!!! It seems that the conclusion is that we can essentially brainwash ourselves...
I decided to try this "trick" this week. I am having a really hard time finishing up the stitching on Gay Ann Rogers' Townhouse (if you have not seen her designs before, here is a link to her web-site). I think that GAR is a very talented designer! However, her instructions are very hard to follow for me. GAR is a needlepoint designer and that is likely the main cause as to why her instructions are very different to what I am used to, making it more difficult to stay on track.
I took the Townhouse internet class last year and was a bit taken aback when a chart-pack consisting on over 50 pages worth of instructions arrived in the mail. Gasp!! For weeks, we did nothing but nun-stitches and I have a feeling that we lost a lot of the students already at this stage. There was plenty of braided stitches and cross-stitches over 1 to fiddle with too, so this means that many hours get poured into a very small object. Don't get me wrong; I am not whining, just saying that my motivation croaked a bit... I have picked up the townhouse every now and then an gotten sections done that way.
The only part that I have left to do now are the flowers in the window boxes. I decided to enhance the flowers by using spider-web stitch, so that has significantly increased the time it will take to complete the flowers (original design calls for straight stitches), but I think that the result is worth it. Anyway, my "motivation by self-punishment" is that I have told myself that unless I finish up the stitching of this piece, I am not allowed to bring any other pieces with me to the weekend stitch-retreat that begins on Thursday evening... So far, it has actually worked well and I do believe that I will get'er done! 3 more spider-web roses to go and some assorted greens and that will be it! Here is a pic of the progress:
Another memory has been rolling around in my head here lately as well. I recall back about 7-10 years ago when I used to lurk pretty frequently at the Teresa Wentzler Bulletin Board (TWBB). One of the stitchers confessed to use that she had so many WIPs and UFOs that she did not know what to do. Her problem was that every time she started a new project, she got the biggest adrenaline rush. She basically was addicted to starting a new cross-stitch project. (I assume that if she has not detoxed since, she is having a lot of fun in the Crazy January Challenge this year...)
I have been thinking about what I feel in regards to stitching. I enjoy the beginning of the project too, but many times I am more worried than excited - will the linen pick work with the floss/did I start in the location/is the linen cut large enough? I think that the most enjoyable part to me is the growing process. I like filling in large areas of the same stitch or repeating patterns, since that way, I can let the thoughts wander and just relax my mind. This is why I tend to skip a lot of designs with confetti stitches. I also like the very last stitch in the finishing step - when I can stand back, and draw a sigh of satisfaction.
My adrenaline rush is more related to stash enhancement, by the way. That is
It would be really interesting to hear other thoughts on these subjects. Do you motivate yourself by punishment? Which part of the stitching process do you enjoy the most
Oh, and wish me luck, or I won't be having a whole lot of fun stitching this weekend... ;-}