Managing that nagging inner critic

I would be lying if I said that I don’t have a nagging inner voice, that questions me every now and then, about why am I spending time on learning book binding. What is the point of this whole thing? What am I getting out of this? What is the goal? Is this the best use of my time?

I also know that I don’t have a good answer for this at the moment. This could all be a really massive waste of time and I just don’t know it yet. That thought can be very debilitating.

Numerous self-help articles and books have been written about this. “Don’t care about what others will think.” “Keep going.” “Do what you love.”

But that inner critic is real. And there really is no way to get rid of it altogether.

Here’s what I do know – Making books brings me lots of joy. It really does. It’s a form of creative expression. It allows me to disconnect and make something useful, and perhaps even beautiful. It has helped me learn new skills – skills that I have no idea whether they’ll ever help me in any way in “real life”, but they are skills nevertheless. Book binding has exposed me to new worlds that I didn’t know existed – for example – I didn’t know that there are entire organizations devoted to the preservation of Book Arts, or that there even was something along the lines of Book Arts. It has allowed me take breaks in a more productive way, than simply watching a movie. Having a creative hobby has helped me become a happier and healthier version of myself. It allows me to compartmentalize things better as I have something lovely that’s a now a part of my life. I now read and listen to a wider array of resources and people, as I go deeper into the world of book binding, art and creativity.

Maybe I’ll just end up with a whole bunch of handmade books and journals adorning my bookshelves. And that would be the end of it. But even so, isn’t all the above worth something?

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