a long way down

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I’m not sure whether I got off the horse or fell off the horse, but either way it was a bit of a rough landing. Here’s an important life lesson: it’s much easier to stay on the horse than it is to get back on.

I’ve been doing so well with my 30 day challenge – in fact, it’s almost over (Day 28 today!). But last week I had a bit of a fall. It always starts with a small stumble. On Wednesday I was REALLY feeling a day off. Just one day. Well, that felt good, so I didn’t work on Thursday. Or Friday. Not only did I not work, I kind of disappeared. No blog, hardly any Facebook… quiet. It was odd, but at the same time, oddly liberating.

When you’re running a business online, you have to put yourself out there… constantly. As an artist, you’re always kind of on the edge of your seat, waiting to see if people will like your stuff. On Facebook this is especially true since people can literally ‘Like’ what you post. I try not to worry about it too much. Some days you can’t help but sigh a little… Someone posts a bead and gets 225 Likes, you post a bead and get 4. But it’s important to remind yourself that you can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Many of the people posting beads on Facebook have been around, posting beads, for 5, 8, 10 years and have developed quite a following. Everyone starts somewhere.

Back to the days off, and the derailment of the 30 day challenge. Putting yourself out there all the time can actually be kind of exhausting. It’s a lot of work. In the end, it’s totally worth it – building relationships and communicating with people because of things you have created is just the absolute best. It might be better, even, than actually making things. But something you should know about me is that I am NOT an ‘out there’ person. TOTAL introvert. Every introvert who has to put themselves on display is bound to turtle at some point. Turtles, I know you’re out there, do ya feel me?

So I turtled. You know, I had about a day and a half of the ‘sads’. I just felt blue and I couldn’t tell whether I was sad because I wasn’t working, or if I wasn’t working because I was sad. But when that passed, I started to feel some mental creative space opening up. Energy started to flow… scribbling on Post-Its with little drawings of things I wanted to remember… new ideas. Exciting ideas. I think when you’re totally focused on a certain color palette or design scheme (which I usually am), there isn’t a lot of space for new ideas. So the slowing down, it’s a good thing.

I always say that creativity is cyclical. I really admire beadmakers who can put stuff out there, day after day after day. But for me, there is ebb and flow.

You know, I’ve always loved the ocean.



7 thoughts on “a long way down

  1. Ebb and flow seems necessary to me. It will help bring about the magic that results in the end products that we all admire. Amazing art doesn’t come from a machine. It comes from a dream!

  2. Julie, you write so beautifully. As you share what you’ve learned, I learn too and begin to consider my old thoughts in new ways. As the self-proclaimed queen of turtling, I understand the need for it and celebrate your creativity that grew out of it. The shell is both comforting and confining and you are learning to navigate those poles to your advantage! 🙂

    • Love this. Your comments are always so thoughtful, they make me go back and mull it over again… There is something of a polarity there, I’d never thought of it that way before…

  3. Turtling is the best way of describing it I’ve heard, I love it. Me too, absolutely. I’ve been staying in my sister’s house with 4 other girls (all singers) for the past week and a half, and I am SO looking forward to even just 4 night by the sea, even with rehearsals all day every day – I’ll have my own bigger room, with mini kitchen and my own loo…..I can turtle a little every day without feeling rude. I think we all need a little ebb and flow. What’s the alternative? Burn out, surely. Or possibly substance dependency…! I think we just all reach that stage at different points.

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