What’s Your Cobweb Project?

My adorable makeshift recording studio back in its glory days.

If John Mayer, Norah Jones and Jewel had a threesome, and that threesome resulted in a baby, and that baby grew up to be far less talented than her three parents, and that quasi-talented person decided to record an album with some equipment in her basement, then my album of original music would be it!

Except…the album was never made. It’s a project that has been collecting cobwebs in my imagination.

This is what my recording studio looks like today. Womp-womp.

A cobweb project is a very special personal, creative, or organizational task that you have been meaning to complete but never have. Whether the task is re-organizing your entire basement, backpacking in Europe for a month, or writing your first book, this project has the following components:

  • It’s wildly important for you to complete.
  • It’s has not been completed.
  • You have several excuses for why it hasn’t been done.

Cobweb projects don’t get done because they are always met by resistance that is rooted in fear. The most common fears are of:

  • creating an imperfect product subject to judgment and disappointment.
  • the anticipated discomfort of discipline.

The process of completing a cobweb project is a mental game. If you play and win, your prize is a greater sense of balance and beauty in your life.

As promised in this post, I will occasionally update you on my progress with this cobweb project. My hope is that it will inspire you to complete yours.

Your Turn: What’s YOUR cobweb project and what’s holding you back from completing it?

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10 Responses to What’s Your Cobweb Project?

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  3. It seems as if a lot of “writers” have “Cobweb Projects.” We’ve had this conversation. Like you, I have diverse interests and just as many insecurities when it comes to “talents.” I struggle, not so much with my skill set, but with how that skill set will best serve to bring a better quality of life for myself, my family, my friends, and the communities I might live and serve in. Is my present role as a Pastor the road I should stay on? Would my remaining years of service be better oriented toward writing, (singing?), teaching, counseling, and public speaking? At the age of 60 and as a person of faith (Progressive Christian), I want to be “productive” in the vocation (follower of Jesus) that has called me and ordered my life for the last 23 years. And yet, writing that novel that explores the depths of human depravity and human nobility still haunts my dreams and fuels my imagination in a deeply personal way – cobwebs and all.

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Your comment reminds me of an important part of the conversation about cobweb projects that I’ve neglected to address in the blog post — that is, the reasons why our cobweb projects are so important to us. I can see that your cobweb project is related to your search for purpose and meaning at this point in your professional life. The book represents a new way of utilizing your skill set to serve others, and this is both an exciting and complicated thing.

      My album is important to me not just because it would be cool to have a record of my music but because it is the creative expression of my triumphant battle with depression and my quarter-life crisis. It’s the symbol of my growth into adulthood. This is precisely why cobwebs projects are so important — they give us purpose, they hold memories, they have meaning, and they are testimonies of who we perceive ourselves to be.

  4. Adriane says:

    For the last 12 years or so, I have been compelled to one day write a book of some sort. And I also know that this book will be mostly based around my many diverse life experiences. At this point I’m not sure if it will be a book or a blog or something completely different, but regardless of what it becomes, I know it will be a place to share my hopes, fears, successes, failures, and deepest pains, in a way that will (hopefully?) touch others. Earlier this week, I pondered the fact that by the age of 30 I have managed to get married, have two amazingly beautiful children, and get divorced (signed the papers this week and it is only a matter of time before it’s completely “legal”). These thoughts led me to write the following one small paragraph, that I’m sure by the time I’m “finished” might not even be part of my creation, but it’s something and it got me going. To be honest, I am not ready to write any more than this and might not be ready for some time. But here it is… Be gentle!! :)

    “I will start by saying this. My ex is not a monster. He is a dedicated father who does his best (and does a pretty damn good job) at loving and providing for our beautiful girls. This is not an attempt to slander him or ruin his reputation. I wish him no ill will and want nothing more than for him to find happiness and wholeness in life. That being said, my story needs to be told. For once, I need a voice. My hope is that telling my story will be as therapeutic for others as it is for me. I can no longer fear hurting or upsetting other people by being honest and transparent. It is no longer my job to protect those who have a voice of their own. If you think you may fall into one or both of those categories (being hurt or upset by the sharing of my life story), feel free to stop reading here”.

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Hi Adriane. I am in full support of who you are and where you are in your life right now. I know what it feels like to fight for your right to voice your Truth, and how liberating it feels when you accept what that Truth is. Whether or not the strong and heartfelt paragraph that you so bravely shared above makes it into your book or blog, it is such an honor for me to read it and witness this powerful shift in your life. Thank you for sharing. (Oh, and hugs. Major hugs.)

  5. Sheryl says:

    Funnily enough, I just dusted off my cobweb project awhile ago. And boy oh boy did it take forever to get properly started on it.

    My project is a book. I wrote a couple of novels in my teen years and I’ve always intended to get back into writing novels but it’s just such a process. And a million excuses: I’m already writing a million essays (while in school), I have no time between work and relationships (before I moved in with Bunny), it’s such a long process and it’s not like it’ll ever be good enough to get published (that’s what editing is for). I didn’t have the right paper and pens. I wanted to write on the laptop but Bunny was using it. Excuses upon excuses. And then the book I wanted to write wasn’t cooperating. And so on.

    For me the “getting started” kick has been realizing that I may never again have as much free time as I do right now with my unemployed days. If I can’t start now when will I ever. So, I started. Now it’s the discipline of finishing.

    • Kimberly Eclipse says:

      Ooh, that’s so exciting! What kind of novel is it?

      I can totally see how something like writing a book is such a daunting task that just about any excuse is good enough to put off writing. (This wedgie is so distracting — oops, looks like I can’t write!) This is how recording my album feels. I can hear the music in my head and imagine how I want it to sound, but to actually sit down and record it is such a dreadful process. The only feeling that is more dreadful is knowing I’ve let this project grow cobwebs, which is why I’ve just got to suck it up and do the work!

      Glad you started though. Keep me posted on how it goes! Also, have you tried writing first thing in the morning every day for just an hour or so? Usually works for me.

      • Sheryl says:

        Well it’s still in it’s early stages right now. I’d say it’s a combination of a fantasy-esque novel (imaginary universe and whatnot) and an exploration of my anger towards the slavery that is currently going on in the world and the exploitation therein. We’ll see what it looks like in a couple of months, though.

        I know what you mean about being able to visualize/hear the music and know where you want it to go but having trouble actually sitting down and recording. One of my biggest problems right now are the scenes I write in my head when I’m falling asleep and then only half remember in the morning.

        I haven’t tried the first thing in the morning writing, though I used to do something similar (write for an hour after I got home from school). Maybe I should look at that again. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • Kimberly Eclipse says:

          That sounds really cool, especially since it’s tapping into a raw emotional reaction you have in response to a real world injustice. That kind of passion can only lead to something great.

          About forgetting things in your sleep, there are a few moments when you first wake up when you’ll remember dreams more clearly…but the more thoughts you have in between first waking and actually getting out of bed (e.g., What should I have for breakfast? Oops, I forgot to buy more toothpaste! etc.), the less likely you’ll remember. You could try keeping a notebook at your bedside table so that you can jot things down as soon as you open those crusty eyes. :)

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