This will be a long post but please bear with me- it's been building up for well over 3 months.
The last couple of weeks have been hectic but not due to my schedule.
I've had plenty of time to play with paper.
I bought lots of stuff to work with (part of my problem- no really- a problem).
I've pinned many beautiful pages onto my already brimming full Pinterest boards.
I haven't made any actual work.
I'm not sure why this happens but it's regular as clockwork.
For every three pages or so, I need a week of rest.
I tend to freak out then because I have deadlines to meet.
Not working for a week means I now have to cut into blogging time or family time to catch up.
I see many other scrappers working every night or what seems like every other night- many pages are made- all different and pretty.
Why doesn't that happen with me?
I can easily spend 5 hours on one page.
Much of it sitting there trying to figure out why it's not "working".
I then think about all the other things I could be doing- cleaning, reading, running around with my family and I lose all interest.
Or worst- I sit down and hate every single thing I make- everything.
|So many mistakes in this page. So. Many. Mistakes! But after a few hours I can honestly say I like it. |
This was my work on May 5, 2013. And soon I'll be somewhere else.
- Cleaning. "Cleaning" is really shifting things from one part of the room to another. I haven't found an effective solution to this problem other than throw everything out. Considering the insane amounts of money involved that isn't going to happen. Obviously there is something about this hobby that sparks the addictive part of my personality. Maybe it's the positive feedback. Perhaps it's the community and the competition to get noticed. Combine those with the easy availability of new products and you get addiction. I spend more time writing and responding to social media than I actually spend making pages. I shop to feel better and in control. But with every purchase I get further away from control and empowerment. No savings, an increasingly crowded home environment, family members who wonder out loud how much is "enough". It hurts my productivity because I am frozen by the mess I live in. Paralysis. This is the first time I ever admit that in print.
- Get on the computer and try to leave love in as many people's work as I can. This can take hours and isn't really effective because it's usually "Gorgeous", "Amazing", "Fantastic". It's not really connecting with anyone in a meaningful way. People want and deserve real comments- real insights. I can't make them- I over scheduled myself and have too many things I need to get done just to keep in place- forget making gains on any particular relationship.
- Go outside and shoot some photos. I take the family and it's great but any great outing takes all day and all my energy. I'm usually too tired to sit up another 3 hours shifting paper bits around for a blog post. I start to wonder- why do I do this?
- I watch videos on new techniques or take notes on what I see in my past work that I want to try again. This is actually the most effective thing I've done this week. One video that helped was a"Glitter Girl" adventure where Shimelle picks a specific amount of papers and embellishments and makes three basic scrapbook pages. Here was a solution to my problem! The answer isn't more shopping and more choice- the answer is to pre kit and to stick with your choices till some work is made. So I did.
Another answer to "Why am I not more prolific?" came to me in the April meeting of the Mariposa Collective.
This is my group of creative entrepreneurial types who meet once a month to talk about our latest creative goals and dilemmas.
A fellow member brought up the subject of having a "mindset of abundance".
I've heard versions of this idea before.
I call bullcrap.
I believe my friend. I can see the positive effects from her change in outlook.
Her energy is way up and she's finding solutions to all kinds of problems big and small.
She is in a state of general and fairly constant happiness.
Obviously something about the "abundance" theory that's true.
I call bull patootie on the part of "abundance" mentality which is actually magical thinking.
If it's really true that "all you need to do is put out to the universe that you need x,y,z to get it", why are so many people starving?
This isn't me on a dramatic hyperbole streak- it's a genuine question.
Were they too busy being hungry to think positive thoughts?
Are we to blame starvation on the starved?
I find the idea incredibly offensive and deluded.
So I dismiss the conversation when I hear people start.
By doing that I miss out on a key point- ideas that could lead to a break in my paralysis.
Answers to why I need to "shop till I drop"and why I go on the computer for hours rather than start a new project- even though I genuinely enjoy the process of making things.
I start to think about the "abundance mindset" without the obnoxious magical thinking aspect.
It's clear that most successful entrepreneurs are relentlessly positive.
They have to be- if not they would give up.
Giving up is the failure.
Current culture is really against mistakes.
You cannot make them.
You cannot make them more than once.
Make the mistakes.
Then make the amends.
It's going to be ok.
|So the water color I was using didn't look to good.|
Neither did the hand written journaling I added.
I covered them both up with two older failed experiments.
Just. keep. swimming.
Entrepreneurial minded people assume that if they leap, there will be ground to land on.
Perhaps the assumption is "the ground will be green with grass and there will be plenty of cushiony flowers."
This is dangerous.
The best thinkers are ready for variables (rocks, thorny bushes, a rusty roller skate)
They are ready for a possible broken ankle.
But the point is to LEAP.
Eventually to LAND.
Sometimes there is a major crash or maybe just a stinging friction burn.
A positive outlook helps with that too- it keeps you TRYING.
A positive outlook also keeps you flexible.
So you landed in Duluth not in Chicago.
Get going where you are.
So this week I pushed through layers and LAYERS of self imposed negativity and made one page.
Not a symphony or a painting or a cosy sweater.
Not a cure for the common cold or the latest tech gadget that earns billions.
Not a financial product that earns trillions for a corporation based out of New Hampshire.
A scrapbook page.
For this tiny blog with 275 readers (thanks guys)
A rock thrown in a pool to make waves in my own private fight with self doubt.
To prove a point.
We are all struggling through issues.
Self doubt, work or family stress, financial insecurity, a broken boiler, car transmission trouble, bad health.
For me having a mindset of abundance means accepting that I don't DESERVE anything in particular.
Everything is fought for, compromised with, chosen.
If I "miss out" on something- it will come back again.
I CHOOSE to be messy, ineffective and unfocused or I CHOOSE to be organized and productive.
I choose to feel guilty and like I'm a waste of space.
I choose to forgive myself and move on.
I choose to see my work as the great happiness of my life or as the mad waste of time others think it is.
Perhaps I messed up by saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person.
Perhaps I let a deadline pass because I was too busy feeling angry or tired or overwhelmed.
But ABUNDANCE means- I get another chance.
I can try again.
There are always second chances.
I can say "I'm sorry".
I can say "Dude- you stole my idea! " or more likely "DUDE! This idea SUCKS! I spent two hours on this?"
Guess what? I have another idea. (And another. And ANOTHER!)
I just have to be open to the variables.
I have to be flexible.
I have to be people and relationship focused.
The answers are there but not if I let fear and self loathing cloud my outlook.
Fear and anxiety block creativity.
Which is why I only make 3 or 4 pages every few weeks,
I'm a roiling ball of anxiety and doubt.
I will stop the second guessing and move on.
I post this page knowing it's not the best thing I've ever made.
But it's not the worst. Not remotely.
It just is.
Another point in a long line of work.
Work I enjoy and which will eventually lead to my gainful employment.
If this is what's meant by "A mindset of abundance"
Then I can SO get with that!
Have a great day people.
It's gonna be ok- promise.