The Things That Keep Me Up At Night
Good morning, friends and foes!
Hope you're all doing well and sipping on something delicious this foggy morning. I was woken (awoke? woken up? whatever) by black bears going through our trash again today, which is a really adorable and smelly way to wake up. We have a mama with 4 babies that live near us, and while I love seeing them it makes me so nervous to know that they're out there near a busy street, bad humans, and having to dig through our old pizza boxes to stay fed. I know better than to mess with nature, but man would I like to cook them a healthy dinner, two of those babies are super small and I spend lots of time thinking and worrying about them. Just one more thing to keep me up at night. They're really freakin cute, though.
I spend a lot of time worrying and overthinking about a lot of things, actually. For being a moderately chill human, I think A LOT about A LOT, often. I text my friend the other day that I wanted to think about my thoughts. Ummm, that's a lot of thinking, Kristen! Geez. I've currently been overthinking about the future - the future of this country, the future of me, and the future of my business, all of which stress me the fuck out, some of which bring me joy. Weird how those things can go hand in hand sometimes.
I'm pretty consistently discouraged by the internet (uh, by most of it, but we won't get into that today). I look at my followers and wonder why there aren't more, I look at my grid and wonder why it isn't better and when will I have the time to devote to improving it, I look at all the things I want to learn how to do and I'm horribly overwhelmed. Every day I get up earlier and I go to bed later to try and carve out time to do more. To make more. To stop and have dinner with my partner. To drink water. To breathe.
In my last Shop Talk with Anneliesse of Spoon + Hook, we talked about when to take the leap fully into your art, and while I know I'm not there yet, something is bubbling within me. I need to get the parts that keep me up at night in check - both by gaining more followers, investing more into marketing, and also by getting the fuck over it. A grid is not the maker, success isn't quantified by followers. I need to get those parts in check, which is happening, slowly but surely, and I also need to start to plan. I've begun to mess with resin and I'm saving up for a Glowforge. I don't want to start focusing on the future without there being more plans laid. I'm always unsure about everything; is polymer a trend? What if I quit my really good job to do this and people don't want it in a year?!? What if I run out of ideas?!?! What if I never get past 2800 followers, and the customer well runs dry?!?! Just more shit that keeps me up at night.
While all of those things are legit concerns and absolutely should come into play when you're building a business, there's the good side. The side that allows you to dream, the side that lets you look at your car and go "she's a good car, dont buy a new one, invest that money in yourself". I start looking at things as other things - the new car I planned on buying in January has now morphed into paying off credit card debt and buying a very expensive laser cutter to use on acrylic and wood. The shift that I want to give up at work to start focusing more on These Hollow Hills has now morphed into an extra credit card payment a month so that when I do take more time for this business, money doesn't have to keep me up (as much). The sleep i sometimes crave has now turned into an extra 3 hours of life that I can devote to something, even if it's something as simple as watching bears eat my garbage over coffee or spending more time taking photos of my work for that pesky grid.
All these dreams will get me somewhere, I'll learn, I'll resin, I'll start Glowforging, Ill work on being better at sending out an email list (first one written at 2 am last night and sent today!). Another maker (@professionaltay) posted "Don't wish for it, work for it" the other day and that really hit home for me. Here's to wishing, but more to working. Those also go hand in hand.