I try to keep this blog as creatively focused as I can, and although sometimes there is a personal post now and then, I try to steer away from that altogether. When I first began craft lovely, I gave myself the structure of having half of the posts creatively focused and created by me, and then the other half discussing, complimenting, and sharing other creative folk’s work. I must be honest with myself that lately I have not been keeping this structure. Although I am a big believer in letting things grow and change if that’s their true course of action, I know that I could be putting in more time developing content for craft lovely.
I remember SouleMama discussing on her blog how so many people would comment about her life and family being portrayed as the ideal family, with seemingly no fights between siblings and no frustrations from her little ones. She explained that yes, they are much like every other family in the world with their ups and downs, but she uses her blog as a place to focus on the good days, the positive moments, the little things that one might pass by and forget due to the hectic life of a parent of four. Please note, I was not quoting her verbatim just now (*read her blog post if you’d like the actual quote), but her explanation of her blogging makes complete sense to me. I think a lot of creative bloggers try to focus specifically on the positive – and really, only the positive… me included. I try to show a good face to the world, that I’m a designer hard at work on multiple projects (including getting my letterpress freelancing off the ground), but this isn’t the entire story I’m sharing.
I’ve thought a lot over the last few weeks about whether or not to share these thoughts on craft lovely, and I keep coming back to this post – I’m taking this as the sign that I need to write about it. I’m not good about keeping a journal, but I love the intimate nature of blogging and how a reader can allowed to hear the inner goings-on of a person. Without getting too personal: Life happens. Life is confusing, heartbreaking, and stressful – all the while wonderful, bittersweet, and amazing. This is me coming clean and being honest; telling the full story and not just the parts that I’d like to share.
While I have made huge efforts on getting my website designed, I still haven’t finished it. Although I have a small table top press, I haven’t been able to work on it as much as I had hoped because I can’t afford the materials at the moment, so it waits. I have a wonderful camera but haven’t taken a photo in over a month. My sketchbook and inspiration book sit collecting dust. As much as I’ve dreamed big with goals of being completely self sufficient creatively and financially, I am probably as far away from that place as I’ve ever been. Bills, debt, anxiety about the present and the future, all work slowly and corrosively, eating away at all the lofty dreams I’ve had and I’ve come to a point where I feel like I need let it all go and be more practical and realistic. I know it can be done (working for yourself) and it has been done by so many people, but I’m not so sure at times if it can be done by me. I have a family member who is not well and still doesn’t have a diagnosis, and they are always heavily on my mind; worrying about their current health and happiness, and always worrying about the future and what will happen, and sad to see what this illness has taken from them. With my personal and family relationships on my shoulders, I feel a responsibility to provide, and I’m feeling that heat especially right now. I’ve stopped doing all creative work since late spring, because I felt it was more important to focus on “making a buck.” In a perfect world I’d have the financial means to start my business and have time and the creative drive to make it happen… but life isn’t that easy. What I’ve realized this past week though is that cutting off my creativity altogether makes me feel horrible. I’ve felt colorless, blah, and pretty much vacant, like I’m sleep walking through everyday just to get to the next. What I thought was a “smart” decision has turned out to be the opposite and it’s made me very unhappy. Typically I try to look for the meaning in everything, to see what “the universe” is trying to tell me and what my gut instinct is saying, but during the last few months I feel like I can’t hear a thing. But just when I feel like giving up on everything, I’ve gotten the nicest and most sincere feedback from people on craft lovely and in my life.
This post isn’t meant to be glum (I apologize if it is) or scattered (I’m pretty sure it is), but it’s meant to say that I’ve come around to realize I need to be practical and creative, and I need to find that balance. Creativity is important to life, and this world wouldn’t be as wonderful without it. Can you imagine what it would be like without original ideas, concepts, books, movies, architecture and the like? How horribly boring and monotonous. I can’t just cut my creativity off, but I should incorporate it into my life, however small it may be, till hopefully I can reach a point where it is the driving force of my life. I want to thank everyone for their support and compliments, and please know that they mean a lot right now. For the last few months I have felt anger, frustration and disappointment for what life’s been throwing at me lately. I tell my husband I feel like I’m on a small rowboat alone and out at sea. But as high as the waves get, you can not stop trying to paddle; and I need to get back to paddling. I have a small list of goals, not lofty but reasonable and I want to really commit to them. When I finish those, I’ll work on a few more. My hope is that with every little step who knows what will happen.
I wanted to come clean and give a fuller picture of who I am as a designer – as a person – to hopefully help me get back to what I want to accomplish. And to thank you for your readership, and to promise that I am not giving up on craft lovely any time soon and will work on getting back to that 50/50 content promise I originally made. Life isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s a wonderful thing to have each other to help guide and support each other along the way.
Thank you craft lovely friends and readers! Wishing you the best of summer weekends.