As any crafter knows being overwhelmed is pretty easy to achieve, especially if you're anything like me. I've got "squirrel" syndrome. You know what I'm talking about, you're doing your thing when suddenly "SQUIRREL!!!" and your off doing something totally different 'til (ka-bam out of nowhere) "SQUIRREL!!"
Anywho, it's a nasty habit many of us can't really help. Our creative brains are constantly throwing fabulous new ideas and inspiration at us that have to be tired immediately or we'll forget the idea or our passion to try it withers.
Get yourself a notebook and carry it around with you. Make it a habit to jot down notes or sketch pictures when they pop up. Make time to go back and look at your entries once you've finished what you're already doing.
I carry my notebook(s), I have like five of them, all over the place. They've saved me at work, the car and countless other places I couldn't give 100% of my attention to my creative squirrels.
As a creative entrepreneur this feeling is ten times worse. I have SO MANY creative outlets that I absolutely love doing and would love to do for a living.
The problem comes when I have to choose which one to focus all my attention on. You may be asking, "Why can't you do several of them in one business?" That's a great idea, in theory but at the end of the day it's exhausting.
Take for example, I love creating mixed media artwork. Well that is a huge range of stuff in itself. I make canvases, journals, jewelry, cards, and the list goes on and on. Each one takes serious amounts of time to create and each is extremely different for the simple fact that it's handmade. No two will ever be exactly the same.
Now say I want to sell those pieces. I've got 50 individual pieces of each of those categories. That's a huge number of listings!!! Each listing takes 10 minutes to complete (longer if I've got fabulous copyright and tons of photos). But here's the kicker, every time I sell an item guess what? I have to start all over again.
See where exhaustion comes in?
Don't forget you also have to buy and store all of the supplies needed for each of your categories. And what about the customer who was one step behind the lady who just bought the item she wanted? Or the customer that saw something last week and can't find now 'cause someone else gobbled it up?
Will your customers remember you or what you sell if you keep changing it up?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you have to make one item in massive quantities and they all have to be exact replicas (where's the fun in that?) but make it easy on yourself and your customers by narrowing it down to say mixed media canvases.
People love choices but they get seriously overwhelmed when the selection is too great to handle.
My best advice to anyone trying to make a creative living (no matter how hard it seems) is to pick one thing you're the MOST passionate about and stick to it. Not only will your passion sell your products but it will also keep you from burning out.
This advice can also be applied just to crafting, incase your not in the biz. Branching out is awesome and the new creative challenges are amazing but return to your passions. It'll keep you from investing money on something "trendy" or that you'll eventually burn out on.
Your passions can always change and when that happens, let go. Give yourself permission to move on. It's ok to be in love with something one day and not the next. We all change. Life is about enjoying what makes you happy each and every day.
And yes, if you're in the creative biz or just starting out, do yourself a favor. Narrow it down and ultimately pick one thing. I know it's hard and sometimes you'll question your choices but it will benefit you in the end.
'Til next time,