Journal: Cultivating a presence

I started this blog as a way to journal, write and share what I was making when my nearly 10 year old daughter was an infant.
I wasn’t writing for comments.
I wasn’t writing because I wanted to link up.
I wasn’t posting because I wanted to get shared all over social media (social media wasn’t even a thing back then).
I just wrote because I needed to and I wanted to.

But then I started selling on Etsy and I started getting hits and the world of blogging exploded. It became a way to frame my day in order to be noticed. And I’ve got a thing with being noticed. That drive to be discovered soon overrode any other drive I had. I realized that I needed to start using my blog platform to help sell the things I was making. And eventually all I was doing was advertising. I upgraded my website, changed my logo a million times and tried to figure out how to use this space less as a journal and a space for me to frame my words and more as a space for me to show off my wares.
The words stopped flowing and as my space here sort of fell apart so did my life.

The last eighteen months has a story that isn’t quite ready to be shared, but these months have totally reframed my life and the idea of presence.

I have spent so much time grieving the past and trying to control the future so much that I have become exhausted with today.

And many of my today’s have worn me down.
But they have worn me down because I’ve been trying to cultivate something that isn’t me. I’ve been neglecting the margins in my life and I’ve been putting aside and ignoring all those things that used to give me space. I’ve jumped from one course to another thinking that it was going to be the thing that would make sense of everything and honestly nothing makes sense right now.

So I am doing the one thing that has always made sense – I’m picking up the scrambled words in my head and trying to lay them down.

To begin with bringing margin into my life, my Etsy shop is changing a little bit for the time being. I’m taking an extended break from any custom embroideries and embroidered shoe orders. It’s a pretty scary move for a lot of reasons, but I feel like it’s the right move. The shop will stay open, but for now it will only have downloadable embroidery patterns and finished hoop art that is ready to ship. I’m also taking a break from teaching sewing classes beyond a couple of adult Saturday classes (one in the Fall and one in the Spring).

I don’t know what this space will look like, but I am hoping to use it as a way to bring my focus back on today and life at hand.

2 Replies to “Journal: Cultivating a presence”

  1. I’ll be interested to see what others say in response to this post. I followed your blog before it was a .com and thoroughly enjoyed what you shared and admired your work. I enjoy a blog with a purpose to sell, but only if the blogger shares a bit of themselves along with the product.

    I used to sell what I made back in the 80s when craft shows were the rage. It supplemented my income as I only did Christmas Holiday shows. It was quite lucrative. But I lost my will to create what I loved and began to create what others wanted…or sometimes not.

    Sometimes I think that with the internet, maybe I should give the selling thing another shot. Then I think about all the others I know that spend so much time cultivating a following, clawing for the next sale and I am reminded of why I don’t jump in.

    I know you will determine how you want to promote your art. In the meantime, just continue to create what is in your heart and feeds your soul. It will all come together.

    1. Ah Carol, thanks so much for sharing! I so appreciate your honesty and it makes my observation and realization that I need a change so confirming!

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