You may not know, but I’m quite the fiber
obsessive freak enthusiast. I knit, I spin, I’ve been known to dye. I listen to a bajillion knitting podcasts, and, until recently, I hadn’t experienced the loss of what they all call knitting mojo.
It exists for all hobbies, all projects, all creative endeavors. Sometimes a marathon runner loses the mojo for any run longer than the distance between the house and the mailbox. Writers know it well, and crafters across the world have experienced it. One day you wake up, and you just don’t feel like doing whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. It’s not really like writer’s (knitter’s?) block: you know what you should be doing, maybe even have it planned out, but you would really rather just sit on the couch watching old episodes of The Vampire Diaries while, say, painting your toenails, than doing all those lovely things you’ve assigned yourself.
The cause of this phenomenon remains unknown. Is it boredom with your projects? A sudden desire to organize your cabinets? Simple exhaustion, mental or physical?
We may never know.
Happily, knitters everywhere have been trying to cure this sad condition for years, and, like writers, we’ve come up with a few ways to lessen the pain of mojo-loss.
1. Start a new, small project. Both of those modifiers are key: the project needs to be new, and it must be small. If you’re a writer, write a short story for fun. Hell, write a haiku! Anything to pique your interest. Knitters know that the best way to break up the enormous, fingering weight, cabled sweater you’re making for the 300-pound man in your life is to knit a baby hat of bulky yarn. A new, small, completed project will give you a sense of accomplishment, and sometimes that’s all you need to get yourself moving again.
2. Pursue a related endeavor. For you sportsy people, if you’re sick of your chosen activity, try cross-training with something new and exciting, like, um, cricket? If you’re a writer, read something so fabulous it makes you want to be a better writer. Spend your afternoons Pinning photos that inspire you. You can give your mojo a break, but exercise creative muscles you might not otherwise have used, and sometimes that will give you the motivation you need to pick back up where you left off.
3. Try something so difficult, you’ll want to get back to your original project. In other words, turn your mojo-lacking project into a vacation. For a knitter, this might mean starting an intricate, pattern-on-both-sides lace shawl the size of a bedspread. For a writer, it could mean starting a huge, 10-plot epic that won’t see the light of day (or readers’ eyes) for at least a decade. The idea here is to make it a relief to return to the project you’re avoiding.
4. Make it sexy again. Maybe you’re just plain bored with your project… and that’s probably the easiest problem to fix. Knitting? Add some beads. Writing? Kill someone off. Running? Go run on some trails. Seriously, mix it up in whatever way you can. This is partly about breaking up the routine that is boring you and partly about challenging your brain and body to work in new ways. Add some new interest, and you’ll be able to get it up for your project again in no time. (Oh, come on, you knew that metaphor was coming. *rimshot*)
5. If you achieve epic mojo-loss, just take a break. This final trick is a gamble. Sure, you’ve got your outline, or half your shawl knitted, but you’re bored to tears every time you pick it up. The easiest, riskiest solution is to just tuck the damned thing into a drawer somewhere and ignore it until it’s interesting again. Of course, the gamble here is that you’ll never return to the project. You have to wonder, though, if the project is this mojo-deadening, do you want to be working on it at all? Sometimes a break will give you the space you need to finally quit that albatross of a project.
How do you get your mojo back, folks? Have you ever experienced the Melty-Man of projects? How did you fight him off?