When my son was about going on 3 years old, we went through an entire summer of reading The Little Engine that Could every single night--sometimes two or three times a night. He had it memorized within the first couple of nights. Even though he couldn't read yet, he knew when we tried to speed things up on the umpteenth time through the story by skipping words here and there. He'd call us on it. "No, mommy, you missed a part!" (Sigh. Flip back a page, start again.)
At 21, he's now a very confident guy who thinks he can do pretty much anything he can set his mind to. Can I attribute my son's confidence to his early passion for Watty Piper's story of the little train engine that believed itself up the steep hill? Probably not entirely. But something in his little 30-month-old brain recognized that there was something to that story that he could relate to. Or that there was something to that story that he needed to remember for later life.
I've been reading a lot about creativity these last few weeks, and really, it all boils down to one salient point: If you think you can, you will. Yes, you may need to learn a new technique to be able to adequately execute that vision in your head. But there's nothing keeping you from learning that technique. Yes, you may have a few disastrous starts to a project before ending up with something at least closely approximating what's in your head. But who cares? It's only fabric. I've been reading about a number of great artists and novelists who were all angsty with fear every time they started out creating, and who were positive that what they were creating was just every sort of wrong through the whole process. But they kept thinking they could. And so they did.
What's the difference between me and the man or woman who created that gorgeous quilt I'm admiring in the show? Simply this: They thought they could. So they did.
This week, I think you should find a copy of The Little Engine that Could. Remember what it feels like to think you can.