The Process of Rediscovery - Wise Craft Handmade
F & F Collection Peek

The Process of Rediscovery

F & F Collection Peek

Being the only one at the helm of this ship called Wise Craft Handmade ⎯ the only one to produce, make things happen, create new products, post online, write patterns ⎯ is both challenging and exciting. There is never a time that I don’t feel I could be doing more- more work, more reaching out, more social media, more product design. There is pressure to work more efficiently, quicker, smarter, and do all the necessary things to make more of a business to my creative world.

Many have discussed the illusion of “busy” online. Other people seem to get it right, they look polished and productive. There’s an awe of “how do they get it all done” that washes over us whenever we see their newest project. There is a self-imposed rush to post beautifully composed Instagram images regularly, to write thought-provoking posts on FB, here on my blog, or even to caption a photo. Its very easy to feel overwhelmed. Even after being online since 2005, I can still feel overwhelmed some days. Most recently, I feel like there’s never enough time to make the actual content to post on social media in the first place, that I’m too busy creating the social media posts, or securing the work. And to what end?

People disappear from social media for a time and we worry, or they announce a “break”, or simply just throw their hands up and walk away. Its tempting, I will admit. Social media can warp what you really think of your own work, and what it is you want to produce. In can confuse you into thinking you should be doing things a certain way to get a desired result, and make you forget where you passion is.

I asked my newsletter subscribers back in the Spring for their advice on embracing a slower Summer schedule. It really felt like the perfect time to make a deliberate shift. I needed to back away from what the work in my studio, from social media comparisons, and look at things from a broader and really, a simpler, perspective. Things had gotten creatively muddy. I was also weary of how deadlines were just zapping my creative energy. Deadlines are important and necessary, but I had begun reacting to them in a way I didn’t recognize.

I was feeling REactive.         I wanted to feel more PROactive.

The overarching advice I received from my readers was plain and simple. Give yourself permission take a break and pause. I knew that, but appreciated (and needed!) the nudge. Taking a break online and saying no to new projects, even for a short period of time, can feel like I’m walking away from my income stream.

But, I really needed to change things up. I forced myself on a little hiatus.

I’ve watched two seasons of The Great British Baking Show and sewn thousands little hand stitches while doing it.

I’ve browsed through aisles of thrift stores, a coffee in hand, searching for old books or strange little things that I could play with and perhaps give a second life.

I’ve been to the museum with my daughter.

I’ve seen movies with my son.

I’ve supported them as they’ve both embarked on their first real jobs ever.

I’ve had fancy dinners with my husband.

We’ve said goodbye to Gracie, our wonderful furry companion for 12 years.

F & F Collection Peek

As for studio work, I have spent some time working on things that are exploratory, instinctive, and just a little different for me. Things that make my heart sing. I am more inspired than I’ve been in a very long time. I’ve had time to look at my entire business in a more “what if?” kind of way.

It feels scary, uncertain, and exciting. Feelings that life is too short not to allow myself to feel.

 

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6 Comments
  • Erin

    July 10, 2018 at 4:18 am Reply

    I understand so much of this, Blair. I applaud you for listening to your inner voice and taking the time to recharge. I find those moments important creatively and personally – they really do refuel me. Summer has always been a difficult time of the year for me to get much “work” accomplished and this year, it’s even harder. I feel some overarching dread as I know that Jane goes off to college in August and I want to be available as much as possible. Giving myself permission to just live and have zero expectations of what I need to accomplish (other than a dorm quilt 😉 ) has been the best gift to myself. Interestingly enough, it has also given me the bandwidth to finish long-lingering projects and really assess where I want to be in the fall. All this to say, breaks are great! (And I was happy to see the comment field as I think this is a conversation worth having.) xo.

  • Amber Carrillo

    July 10, 2018 at 9:21 am Reply

    Absolutely love this Blair!! I can completely relate to everything you wrote.

  • Karla Berg Walker

    July 10, 2018 at 9:27 am Reply

    Enjoy your break and time off! You deserve it! Thanks to you and your snowflake EPP pattern, I have been enjoying many months of EPP zen time!

  • Brooke

    July 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm Reply

    It’s important to model the realism of life. In my opinion social media taxes the creative brain particularly if you are using it as a tool in business. Many people are taking a step back from social media to do more “slow” marketing. And honestly I’m doing less social media scrolling and really taking breaks to read blogs or catch up on my favorite artists work. Thanks for speaking up.

  • Emma Woodley

    July 10, 2018 at 3:53 pm Reply

    You go, girl! I think it’s easy to be misled by our Instagram feeds. Because we have the luxury of following lots of different artists, we very quickly see lots of new content flash before us. It gives a false impression that EVERYONE! is doing EVERYTHING!, ALL THE TIME! (Shouty capital letters and all.) It’s just not true. Perhaps a better approach is to see this as a gift. Let others fill the inevitable gaps we must leave while we work and think and experiment. And when it’s our time to provide new content, there’ll be a space for it created by others’ ebb and flow of work.

  • Megan B

    July 11, 2018 at 8:35 am Reply

    Good for you!! This all sounds wonderful, and I’m glad for you.

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