I was holding myself back from writing this Blog for so long, out of fear. You may have been following my Yarnigans for the last four years; while I not only retaught myself crochet (I was badly out of practice), I started designing my little heart out! I quickly realized that making, just-to-make. Wasn’t on trend. That somehow even though I had poured countless hours into my blankets/ hats and Ami’s, I was still left pennyless, stressed, sleep deprived & frustrated.
I somehow let myself get washed away in the title wave again, turning just below the surface, but unable to reach it or breathe. I never do things according to ‘plan’ & I’ve decided maybe that is the ‘problem’.
See the true issue lies here: I want to make, all of the time. I have add and it has become a new obsession that fills my heart to explosive proportions (insert grinch heart clip here). But a designers life isn’t really about the making as much as it is the sharing of content. Because let’s face it, we all have to eat, even if we also ‘have’ to make.
& I realized that is what I was lacking. STRUCTURE & FORM.
I have always been an observer, usually from the outside looking in. Creative, uptight & ‘funny’ depending on your definition of the word.
The fiber community is the only place that has ever resonated this level of interest in my soul.
I didn’t mention I’m stubborn sometimes, but you’ll see. Even if I’m an unwelcome guest to the party I know I’ll have a great time. I may have rough edges & need polishing but I’m not worried. It will come with time.
Finding Structure that fits
Finding ‘structure’ can mean a lot of things, but to me, it will mean one (or twenty) long ass to do lists.
Here are some pointers for starters:
RESEARCH your target market
For us, this means exploring the maker community & just seeing who you vibe with. Do your favorite influencers have a “style” that’s cohesive? Probably. Do they take amazing photographs come rain or shine? Most likely. Are we at that level? Not I, but am I willing to put in the work it takes to get there? Heck yes.
I have never been the greatest at keeping in contact with friends, although they know I love them, I feel like a disappointment for this. My advice to you is Schedule schedule schedule. Make time for family, friends & loved ones. I use Google calendar for this. I schedule work & life all in one spot on my phone. It never leaves my side & is the perfect day planner (maybe not as pretty as my paper one) that gives off audible alerts.
This one is hard for me. Anxiety has a hold on my heart, my hands, eyes and brain. It is hard to participate when you are frozen with….. not quite fear…. but more of an electric buzzzzzz that you can’t shake or put a real name to. Calling it ‘anxiety’ is what works but the way it feels is af if you’re about to cry and someones choking you & holding your chest. For me sometime participating is going out of my way to comment on someones post, share it, like it or tag a friend I know will get some small amount of joy from what we’ve shared.
We get busy. I get it. But participating in your own life is most important and yet sometimes what we are really lacking. Do you connect daily? o you reach out? Do you practice self care?
Care about YOURSELF
I’m not saying stop caring for others. What I am saying is once a week (or three// OR FIVE!) go for a walk. Wake up and FEED yourself. Even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t just settle for the coffee that isn’t curbing your appetite (it’s suppressing it). Work out not so that others will think you are attractive, but so that gravity will no longer feel like it has the brute strength of ten men. (I’m really talking about my to do list, I hope no one is taking offense - sharing is caring)
Make a PLAN
I don’t mean I’ll be imagining my greatness come to pass, I mean setting attainable goals for myself by breaking down what work I do for Off the Hook Mamma. This will include dollar amounts I hope to earn & strategies I plan to implement in my business.
WRITE IT DOWN
For a long time, I had no idea how to write a pattern, but I still worked magic with a hook & yarn because the ideas and shapes are all in my head. Maybe I’m slow (probably) but it took me 2 years to figure out how to actually write my patterns down so that they were legible. I think differently and it took me almost the whole of my daughters life (almost 4 years) to get a feel for counting stitches. I wrote everything down & because I had no idea what I was doing it was worthless. I didn’t take these steps in order, I just jumped right in.
Alotting time for activities will add structure to an unstructured life and maybe -just maybe- the balance that you’re craving. (May I speak for both of us when I say I’m a wreck without a schedule - I can be up crocheting until 3am some days & then try to wake up at 7:30… not a good look// Zombie Mom)
Give yourself DEADLINES
BUT never be afraid to step back & reevaluate them. Are they helpful deadlines? For example if Suzy wants you to make her a twin sized bed spread for $25 by friday… are we doing that..? I hope not. It would be detrimental to your mental heath (it’s abuse) it would be a financial waste of time, & it could also cause health complications (carpal-tunnel, tennis elbow, sciatic pain — again speaking from personal exp. I have fibro so it ALL hurts baby).
What to take from this is to design yourself a path of NON-failure. Tomorrow is a new day & if you haven’t published that pattern by the weekend, the world will still turn, the true followers will still be interested & no one worth their salt will or should be dissapointed in you for having a life & setting boundaries and priorities
Find your Niche
This one might be hard for some people & really easy for others. Have one interest? Pursue it! Does something specific exciting you?? Follow the trend & capitalize on it! If you are more like me the “Wandering Artist” it may take you more time to figure out your flow & direction, but as long as you stay with it and stay consistent (like everything you love) you will find your own successes in your business.
Just do it. Like Nike. Like Elsa. Just let it go. All of it. Everyday start fresh. Everyday start a new and everyday give your whole self to the world. Your ‘people’ will come. You are worthy of love, why wouldn’t they love you? Letting go could be as simple as sharing your patterns by letting go of your insecurities (which I KNOW is easier said than done), but what better way to start something than by trying?
Looking forward to my future blog posts with a lot more patterns and less words? Subscribe below for new content updates & don’t forget to pin this to your pintrest board to help a maker out!