Myers-Briggs Is to Blamecomments (10) June 3rd, 2008
“There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency.” —The Personality Page
I hate failing, whether it’s with crafts, bowling, or anything else. I can’t stand wasting time or materials. And I think to be really creative, you have to be willing to suffer some mistakes, even truly hideous abominations. I took a shibori knitting class last year with the amazing Leigh Radford. She must have pulled out 40 different scarves and swatches that she produced while perfecting her technique. I think in some cases, she knew the swatch would be, well, not cute, but she was so interested in the effects, she kept trying different ways of knotting, banding, and manipulating the piece during the process.
In a million years, I would never do that.
I don’t think genius happens without a few missteps. Needless to say, I am no genius.
When people say that I’m creative, I mentally poo-poo the compliment, because I know I’m a fraud. My mind doesn’t work the way of a real creative wünderkind. But I got to thinking that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Maybe my very makeup works against me. Maybe my Myers-Briggs type is to blame.
I’m an ENTJ, and I’ve prided myself on its many admirable qualities. Natural-born leader; career-focused--I turn problems into solutions. Long-range planner; rational; logical; extroverted; self-confident; excellent verbal skills: These are all things I value highly. However, the ENTJ doesn’t deal well with inefficiency or contradictory ideas.
So when it comes to crafting, I perfect something and then make it over and over. I’ve made about five half-circle shawls, at least 10 Ann Norling spiral rib hats, and more than 100 woven crystal rings. I change up the colors and materials but not the basic pattern.
If this behavior isn’t injurious to the creative spirit on its own, add to that a healthy amount of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I can’t bear to have stray or unneeded materials lying about when I’m designing jewelry, knitting, or cutting fabric. I have to put each thing away as I finish with it, even if the project is still in progress. It’s the same impulse that makes me clean while I’m cooking. You should see me on Thanksgiving; the roasting pan is already soaking when we sit down to dinner.
Am I alone in my Myers-Briggs/OCD prison? Can you relate? What do you do during the crafting process that might seem unconventional? Do you have any suggestions on how I can bust out of my rut and broaden my creative horizons?
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