I have been thinking for a while about starting a blog series that is crafting related but something more meaningful than just a card post. After sticking to this hobby for so many years now, I have found that I have a lot of thoughts to share around it that go beyond discussing the latest trends and tools. So I’m starting this series this year to spark discussions.
I have made a few small changes to my blog to enable good discussions on these posts. If you leave a comment or reply to someone else’s comment here, they will automatically get an email and can visit again to comment back. I will get an email for every comment you leave here and I’ll be replying as well. I hope we can all have meaningful discussions and share our thoughts with each other on different topics.
This may or may not be a weekly series but if I have a new post, it’ll always be on a Monday.
With that, I’ll start with the first post of the series…
This post was inspired by the fact that in the last couple of years I have struggled to strike a balance between crafting, work and family life.
In crafting, I had a long list of goals to achieve – designing for DTs, creating stamps, publishing, blogging more… the list was endless. I felt sad I couldn’t do all of it and sometimes felt even worse when I saw a really good DT or publishing call that I just didn’t have the time to apply for.
I love my work too and enjoy it a lot. I had a long list of things to achieve there as well. I still do. Its a big feeling of accomplishment to tick off something from my list, to build something, to contribute in some way.
And ofcourse I love my family life. This includes time with my husband. We love to travel, cook and do many things together. This also includes time with family and friends. We have a great friends circle and lately I found myself wishing we could meet everyone more often.
I love all three parts of my life and wish I could do all three all the time. But thats an unrealistic thought. I thought I could conquer it with scheduling and discipline. But creativity doesn’t follow a schedule. Many times I’d set aside an hour to finish making cards for a DT assignment and before I knew it the hour was up and no cards yet! Sometimes I’d find I had an idea that I really needed to get on paper fast! Then either sleep or family time would go for a toss because this was usually evenings or late night! It affected my work life too because who can concentrate well on work when you are tired from a marathon crafting session?
Most importantly, crafting started to feel like a chore for me at some point. It was a stressful job with deadlines. There were times when I really wanted to play and try a new technique I saw, but a DT requirement said otherwise. There were times when I wanted to use some particular products but I needed to use others for an assignment. Crafting stopped being fun!
So by the end of 2014 I laid down 3 rules that I have been following for the past 2 months. They have really worked for me and let me strike the balance I wanted between crafting, work and family!
My 3 rules of keeping crafting fun
Rule 1 : You don’t have to do everything
Its ok to pick and choose. Its ok to let go of a publishing call if you feel something else in another part of your life is important. Same with a DT call. There will be other opportunities. You should also be realistic and decide which of the different aspects of crafting you enjoy. For me its designing stamps and creating with my designs. So thats what I focused on. This will automatically free up your time for other parts of your life.
Rule 2 : Don’t be afraid to make your own path
Being on a DT is a lot of fun and I’ve made some really great friendships that way. But don’t forget to choose wisely. Only commit to the DTs and guest design gigs you truly believe in. Don’t let it become a burden for you. Also, don’ be afraid to take charge of your blog and create your own content. Working for yourself is very rewarding. Iron Craft was my biggest success so far and it was incredibly fun and satisfying to work on it because it was my baby from start to finish! I also started making sure I had time to just play and create what I wanted with the tools and products I felt like using at that time. It made a huge difference!
Rule 3 : Stay organized
I know I said before that organizing didn’t really work for creativity but it was still useful to have a schedule in many ways. I couldn’t have done the Iron Craft series, my DT commitments and all the other posts here without some scheduling. I did learn to keep it flexible and allow some wiggle room for creativity. Its important to have a schedule but to also be ready for changes in it.
A thought for the day
I’ll conclude with a thought for the day. A journaling card I designed that sums up this post. I currently have a board in my craft room with this and other such inspirational/reminder cards. Feel free to download and print!
Thanks for dropping by! I hope you will leave your thoughts on how you keep crafting fun. Do reply to others comments if they speak to you. Looking forward to a great discussion about this!