I like to think we all get this. Doesnt matter if not, because I can pretend to myself very well that ‘everyone’ gets sidetracked, its not unique, I am not the only one who struggles with it… SIGH

Well last week Arlene posted about being stuck -v – resting. She very rightly pointed out that we need to take breaks, to rest, to allow ourselves the time and space to get over being stuck and move on revitalised.

Well in my mind, sidetraction (see what I did there?) is the little sister of stuckness. Its the sneak attack from behind that lulls you into the illusion of ‘busy’ until you realise you spent the entire day engrossed in action and got nothing on your  actual LIST done. How does that happen? And in fact, even as I am typing this very paragraph I am being drawn away into a couple of sidetracks that I ‘know’ will not help me finish this blogpost like I had planned. Or will it?

I see it this way. I could kick myself for allowing my brain to wander, my hands to choose different fibers than the ones I needed for that new Recipe Card yarn I am spinning, or my fingers to select the Facebook tab instead of the ‘New Post’ tab. Over and over.

I could chastise myself for getting to the end of the day and not achieving the things I had started the day wanting to get done. And I do, rather too frequently. BUT ( you knew this was coming, right?) I could also choose to see these sidetracks as necessary sustenance, feeding my motivation, pushing me to feeling deadlines more urgently and upping priorities, and nourishing my inspiration by letting me experiment with things. And thats because often the side tracks ARE the experiments. I might be halfway through, lets say, a blogpost, and suddenly have an idea for a yarn. Its wonderful to be able to pick that up and spend an hour spinning, even though its not the task at hand. OR I might be halfway through a yarn and get an idea for a weaving, and off I go and warp the loom.

When is this a problem? I guess it becomes a problem only when these side tracks get too much traction and lead to none of the priority tasks getting done. It is necessary of course to focus on responsibilities and promised undertakings first and sometimes push those sidetracks aside.

But if your ‘first’ task is your Module yarn, and you get a sudden inspiration for something else before you finished, why not go with the flow and let your mind and your creativity wander?! As part of a course on Creativity, one of our goals is to explore being creative! The outcome is not only the Module yarns themselves, but all the things you experience around the spinning of them, the designing of them, the doing of it, and this includes the ‘rest’ times AND the sidetrack times, it is all part of our creative lives.

In fact I just stopped writing that last paragraph to take this photo:


because I am sitting beside the loom and glanced over and noticed how that white texture was looking and how the colours are particularly bright with the light in the room at the moment and I thought it would be cool to share that with the Majacraft Loom Facebook group. It only took a moment out of my writing… and before that were moments being sidetracked chatting to a friend, about how I was writing about being sidetracked (of course) and he distracted me further to talk about an xbox game we are playing and that led me to the website to look at some of the gear I NEED to collect in order to keep my character colour coordinated (vital really) and in turn that led me somehow to YouTube to get some music playing in my ears in an attempt to refocus myself on writing while I listened.

See what I mean?

If you do this too, now you know, youre not alone. Its easy online to give the ‘illusion’ of being highly productive and totally focussed, what you dont see (of anyone online) is the messing about, the mucky bits, the interruptions and the sidetracks that go on ‘before’ you see their apparently effortless and amazing yarn, read their flowing nicely written blogpost or enjoy their comprehensive tutorial. I am pretty sure that behind all this lurks a little sister (I DID name her sidetracktion) that sometimes makes a simple quick task become needlessly long and turns it into a complex dance of flitting about before completion. Creativity is not a straight line.

And I reckon its all ok, however you get there 🙂



This post is no thanks to Facebook, Google Search, Pinterest, The electrician knocking at the door, Coffee breaks, my attention seeking loom, You Tube, and my good friend Andrew P whose weapon upgrade obsession led to my search to find colour coordinated armour. 


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8 thoughts on “SideTracktion

  • January 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I call it ADD in action. I start lots of projects and then get one burst of energy and finish a whole lot of things at once. Makes me look super productive. The only things I finish quickly are yarns! Forget housecleaning.

    • January 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Thats it Kathy 🙂 I figure if you have enough things on the go at once, eventually somethings going to get done!

  • January 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Yes, it’s good to know I’m not the only one. Too many projects and ideas, and too little time? the to-do-list waiting and changing everyday, but I follow my heart and actually feeling guilty is just useless. I finish my projects (sooner or later) and having a schedule (modules, workshop) helps me, but some days I just feel overwhelmed. Right now I’m finishing old and new projects and that makes me feel better, rather than seeing them ‘wait for me to go visit them’. On the other hand, I agree Suzy, being curious and so called ‘distracted’ is so connected with creativity!
    Have a nice week end!

  • January 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    great article! i love your name of sidetrackion… very fitting! this is how i work also.
    i liken it to mind mapping, but externally and in motion!
    i’ve been like this my whole life, and am just finally getting used to the idea that i am not like the majority of linear planners and doers.
    to respect this nature, i have multiple ready projects and ideas from a variety of passions to work with at any given time. and sometimes a project is just in the mulling stage where i am giving it lots of attention, just not externally – so i side track on the R&D or redesigns as well. i do it with post project review as well (not a formal thing, but i notice myself mulling the successes and areas of wanted improvements) …. basically, i have been called a “procrastinator” as well….but, they just have no idea that i am actually “working” on lots of stuff! it is just not all getting done in the physical realm… (i wish that my boss shared this project style… :|)
    thanks for sharing about this aspect of yourself. it is often that i feel alone when i see others posting their completions and forget that we all have a process…. for what it’s worth, when i am ‘sidetrackioning’, i’m never bored, only slightly overwhelmed, but definitely moving forward with living the non-linear creative life!

    • February 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Thats a wonderful insight Deki about this being another form of mind mapping! Definitely put a light on in my head! Thank you 🙂

  • January 29, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I enjoyed this post, good to know I am not the only one who does this. I have so many projects going on at once, I just know I am not going to get everything I want to achieve done before I die. LOL
    I don’t know weather to spin, crochet or work on knitting and that is not to mention the house. We are crammed with my fiber, yarn and various other things I work on. My kids took over my cabin as their own personal storage. Boy, are they going to be surprised when the weather warms up, I should do quite good at this yard sale.
    Keep up the good work, I enjoy looking at your art.

  • February 21, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Well, I wish I read this earlier but I was spinning, watching YouTube, knitting a hat I promised to make a long time ago, which I put down my 2nd mitten to complete, and crocheting some bath poofies to try to sell and a girl at work wants her jeans mended and I keep meaning to get at those dishes and dust bunnies but………. So glad to know I am not alone. Since I have opened up my creative mind my life has been total chaos. Like Pandora’s box…..I now feel very ADD. I can’t even sit through a movie without feeling fidgety. And my home looks quite insane. I used to be kind of regimented. That is totally out of my system now. Lol. Thanks for sharing. It is good to know that other creative minds are the same as me. I also call it “monkey brain” which is a Budhist term. Which reminds me…..I keep meaning to meditate but there is so much yarn to be made and to work with! Lol.


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