Studio Musings

Monday, October 31, 2016

Time for a New Start

This has been a very introspective year for me.  I've found it hard to write, hard to bead, hard to do a number of things I used to love to do.  I know that many of my friends in the blogosphere have had similar issues.  For me, some of it has been health-related.  This spring we were finally able to determine what's been causing my autoimmune issues and to find a solution.  Followed by the waiting while the arthritis and tendonitis eased up enough to allow me to bead again.  Much of it was mental.  You know how it is; where you have no trouble coming up with great ideas while laying in bed in the early morning.  But by the time you're up, showered and ready to face the day, those grand ideas have faded into the background, pushed down by the multitude of 'must-dos' that love to crowd in, pushing everything else back into the 'Tomorrow' category.  Why is it that the things we love most seem to be the first to get pushed back into 'Tomorrow'?

I've asked myself a lot of questions, including why I've found it so hard to find the energy to blog, when it used to be such fun, almost a necessity.  Here are some of my realizations. 

It's interesting how good intentions, or at least my intentions to be a 'real', professional, businessperson can twist and turn in one's head.  Back when I first started writing, I posted anything and everything to my blog.  Works in progress, snippets of tutorials I was writing; pretty much anything I was working on or that caught my eye was potential fodder for a blog post. 

Then, as I became more focused on publishing my books and tutorials, I was encouraged to hold things back, to keep them "secret" until publication.  This seemed to make a lot of sense, and most authors do this, so why shouldn't I?  But I'm not good at keeping secrets, I don't enjoy keeping secrets, not about things that excite me.  I started writing because I love the give and play of sharing ideas.  My books and tutorials were and are a direct outgrowth of that love. 

Holding a project back until it's published, (or until it's made its rounds on the the teaching circuit) might make a lot of sense from a professional perspective.  But it's not fun, and by the time I COULD write about it, some part of me felt like I was breaking a taboo by doing so.  I've found it's very hard for me to give myself permission, once that permission has been denied for too long.  When I did finally try to write about whatever project it was in my blog, I felt like I was writing marketing copy.  Many of these posts fizzled and died before they ever saw the light of day.  My blog became more and more random, less and less frequent.  Notable exceptions included my Happy Fish bead embroideries, which I started just for myself, just for fun, with no expectations of tutorials.  The funny thing is, they became one of my more popular classes this past year.  Hmm....

So, what does this all mean?  Why am I writing this?  

As the title of this post states, I've decided to make a new start and go back to the basics of why I create, why I write.  To recover my delight as an artist-explorer, a bead bushwhacker, as someone who's willing to ask 'what happens if' and then dives in, simply because I'm curious, because I want to see what will happen.  To once again become someone who's willing to  embrace the challenge, play and adventure of creating simply for the sake of creation.  Someone who's willing to share whatever answers I might discover.  Just because.

Towards that end, I'm planning to spend November going through my backlog of tutorials.  It's amazing how many tutorials I abandoned in the half-way stage, or simply never published because I was 'saving' them for the teaching circuit.  I expect that you'll see several 'new' tutorials available in my Etsy shop by December. 

I've also decided to stop producing beading kits for the the time being.  This week I'm going to inventory all of the bead kits that I have currently ready, and I plan to offer them first to my newsletter subscribers.  Any that are left, I'll post to my Etsy store by mid-November.  Once they are gone, they may be gone for good.  Right now I only foresee making new kits for specific classes or workshops, but that's something I'll address if and when it comes up. 

And after that?  

Well, November is Nanowrimo and I plan to jump into the fray for the first time in several years.  I still need to figure out what I'm writing about - this year I'll definitely earn the 'Pantser' badge.  Are you planning to write for Nanowrimo?  If you are, let me know.  Perhaps we can become writing buddies and help spur eachother on to victory (or at least 50,000 words)!  :-)

I'm also planning to write about my most recent travels, and some of my play time in other mediums - including my latest designs for my Cricut paper-cutting machine. 

And yes, I'm still beading.  In particular, I'm continuing to work on a 3D, freeform peyote, juvenile Rosy Rockfish (pictures of this project to come in another post).  Once he's done, I have this idea in my head to make a whole series of life-size beaded fish.  It's been swimming around in this head of mine for forever, and it seems like it's about time to dive in. 

So those are my plans.  We'll see how it goes....