What Feeds You?

Rainbow Wall by In the Woods Studio, click above for more info
Rainbow Wall by In the Woods Studio, click above for more info

I recently caught the knitting bug. All I want to do is knit. My hands, in some deep, instinctual way, want to be knitting. The movement is calming and meditative. I almost don’t even mind when I have to tear out a row of stitches because that just means I’ll get to knit them all again.

But knitting time is cutting into my writing time. And I have all these guilty feelings around that, like I’ve tried to take on the name of “writer,” and I’m not doing it right. I’m not setting my clock for a specific writing time every day and turning out a certain number of pages a week. In some ways, I feel like I’m letting my “writer self” down.

And yet, I feel so much peace when I’m knitting, like my hands are taking some of the burden of movement that my mind usually carries.

***

Sometimes I think all my writing – all my posts about creativity – say the same thing:

Figure out what feeds you.

Not what you wish would feed you, what you think feeds other people, what you think should feed you.

Figure out what really feeds you. Today. And then do that.

A friend told me once that the Universe keeps giving you the same lesson until you learn it.

And I guess, in my case, that feels true. I have the same struggles over and over again on this creative journey. I write these little letters to myself, and I call them blog posts. But they’re for me, really. So I can remind myself again and again…and yet again that no one has the corner on a creative life. Part of living a creative life is creating a creative life. They don’t come in readymade kits.

***

Today knitting feeds me. But you can ask me again tomorrow.

It just might be something different.

12 thoughts on “What Feeds You?

  1. Me too! Knitting is fun & therapeutic. After dinner these days I shut my laptop, put away the stationery I’m making & knit. It helps me relax & keeps me from burning out. It definitely feeds me.

  2. Love this post Katie. Yes, find what feeds you — not what you wish would feed you, or worse than that, what other people tell you will feed you! I’m at a point in my life where I’ve fed myself many times, with many things and now I’m looking for something “new”. Maybe it was something old that was feeding me well I need to go back to. Or…maybe I need to take that leap and do what I really sense is feeding me but I keep saying “no thanks”.

  3. Knitting feeds me. Talking with my kids, sewing, gardening, curling up with a good book, so many things. Different loves for different times of the day…

  4. This posting resonated with my current creative dilemma. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to decipher what I think I should be working on, based on what other people have learned to expect from me, from what truly does “feed me” at any given time. For those who feel badly because they don’t believe they are creative at all, I think the feeling of not knowing what direction to go in because you have too many creative ideas is just as troublesome! Thanks for the reminder to listen to my gut!

  5. I was starting to feel guilty for spending the morning making lovely little bullion knots. Then I realized how much better my mood is now. Embroidery and teaching feed me. My yin and yang.

  6. Katie- I love the imagery you chose here– what feeds you?– your soul, that is. To be boldly alive, to live a soulful life, we really must honor our own needs. Sometimes that is a big deal- life changing- sometimes it is simple, but important nonetheless. Here’s to listening to your soul’s desire.

  7. That was a great article. You could feel the passion you have for creating. Love the yarn photo, as the colors look so pretty and reminds me of my love for inks and paper. I understand the feeling of peace when creating as when I am making something I feel at ease,and restful and enjoy the “quiet” I feel. My joy for creating helped me get through my husbands long illness and passing. Without it, I can’t image how it would have been.

  8. What feeds me the most today may be different than tomorrow, or next week. But consistently it is time with my horses, women friends, fabric and sewing, my dogs and especially writing for my blog. Sometimes I feel guilty if I don’t stick to one thing. Hmmm. Terah

  9. Excellent way to put it! Art quilting is my knitting which is kind of ‘acceptable’. But am I odd for loving to spend time organising my life in organisers than organising my organisers?These days: I don’t care that my colleague (affectionately) calls me a filofax nerd! It feeds me.
    Plus I am reading a lot about visual journalling because so many friends said I should join them. They make watercolour sketches of birds and household things. Beautiful but… Not me. Yet by readng I have discivered urban sketching and travel sketching and that appeals. Will it feed me? Don’t know but following your advice I shall try it this weekend, apply your test and decide from there.

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