We’ve all gotten caught up in a fantasy about making something, yeah? Maybe it’s a quilt for someone’s wedding, a fancy cake with a unicorn on top, mosaic paving stones for the garden… Whatever it is, this fantasy sits outside the realm of stuff you make and resides firmly in your imagination.
But why? Why do we spend so much time thinking about our fantasy about making the perfect hand-blown glass vase, or a sweater for our best friend’s new baby, but not actually making it?
Scratch that. Who cares about why? Let’s talk about why not.
Why not just make it? I mean, sure, yes, the projects of fantasy aren’t the simple ones you can just make in an afternoon. No. Usually they’re the ones that will require lots of learning, lots of practice, lots of trial and error. They take time.
And here’s the thing about time: it just keeps going. For every day and month we spend fantasizing, what we’re most certainly not doing is putting in the doing of that learning, practicing, trying and trying again.
Let’s change that, eh? Let’s try to take those creative fantasies and yank them into reality.
Three Simple Things to Do to Start Actually Making Your Fantasy Project
1. Do One Small Thing
Emphasis on the do part. You’ve already made a Pinterest board with pretty links. You’ve already put a dozen books on hold at the library. You’ve already started out the window for hours imagining what it’ll be like to make and then have this project. None of these things is doing the project. So start with one small step. Just one tiny act of doing. Maybe it’s washing and ironing the fabric you’ll use. Maybe it’s sketching out a design. Maybe it’s not just watching, but actually following along and doing the steps of an online tutorial. This tiny baby step will be like a giant leap over the line between fantasy and reality. The next steps will be obvious, and way easier to take.
2. Talk About It
Just talk about it. Pluck your fantasy out of the vacuum of your own mind, and toss it out into the open. I’m not talking about making some kind of outrageous public commitment to making your thing; I just mean, like, mention it casually. Saying it out loud makes it real. Far more real than keeping it to yourself. So tell your friends about your fantasy project, even just in passing. Mention it on your blog. Ask your Facebook friends if anyone’s ever made a thing like that. Saying it out loud makes it real. And making it real is the whole point.
3. Sign Up for Something
Maybe it’s a class or a craft-along or an info session at the local arts organization. Whatever it is – sign yourself up. Commit with your money or commit with your word, or both. And then, most importantly, show up. Do not bail. Do not consider this the lowest hanging fruit when life gets nuts and you need to let something go. Making your fantasy into a reality is important. Because it will make you happy. So make a commitment – a small commitment, just for one night, or for a casual craft-along where it’s no big deal if you end up behind their schedule – and then show up.