Getting un-stuck

The evening daylight is waning quickly – we’re already past the equinox. We’re moving into the season of indoor evenings: cooking, reading, and playing in the shop.

Trouble is, I’m feeling a peculiar lack of motivation. I’ve got lots of ideas – in particular, I want to start exploring segmented turning.  But to do so requires building some jigs for the table saw first, prepping stock, gluing up rings… there’s a lot of prep work (akin to spending 10 hours chopping vegetables before making a meal).  Similarly, I’m just about done with the dining set, except for about a half hour of touch-up work on the table, making 4 more slip seats (less than an hour each), and some finishing coats of varnish. Oh, and the 70-odd ebony plugs I have to hand shape one by one and install.

Contrast these with the instant gratification of turning a goblet or making a set of pens, all of which I can do in a single evening. Even those projects, though, aren’t feeling motivating.  I know from experience that woodworking mojo waxes and wanes like the other rhythms of life, but right now I wish it were more prominent.

I’m trying to use the approaching holidays as incentive, too. I’ve got a couple of gift ideas in mind, and there’s always the SRI craft show in early December to aim for. I wonder if the approach I use for regular exercise would work here: I know that as long as I keep getting on my bike, even when I’m not feeling super motivated, after a warm-up period I’m glad to be riding.  Maybe the trick is to just get started – move the body and the spirit will follow.  We’ll see…  Right now, though, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, I think the bike is beckoning more loudly than the shop.

Mountain bike at Redwood Park


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