As a bookbinder and as a creative person in general, I identify very much with the things I make. They are what gives me my sense of self-worth. In some ways, this is very useful. When the anxiety starts creeping closer, I can usually drive it off by creating something, anything. Writing a poem, sketching a dress, knitting or needlebinding something, anything that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
But it’s an advantage that comes with a rather too high price. As my sense of self is connected to the things that I make, I feel bad as a handicrafter and as a person when I see someone making better books (or any else of “my” crafts) than me. I nearly started crying when the cake I made for a party yesterday got burned. I didn’t, but not because I realised that it would be a silly and not very productive thing to do, but because the cake turned out awesome in the end. Which was… good, of course, but I really need to start telling myself (and listening to it) : I am not what I make.