I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately. I’m reading the book Big Magic where the author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about catching your creative passion or idea before it passes you by. Whenever I sit down to read a chapter, writing is the creative pursuit that comes to mind. When I spend six hours a day sitting at my work table sewing, I’m constantly coming back to thoughts of what I could be writing in that time. Whenever I’m tired and overwhelmed, writing is what I want to do. Usually in the form of an email to my best friend across the country, but often just because it’s the best outlet for me to get out everything inside me. At the end of the day when I’m evaluating what I did well or poorly, I’m often frustrated that I didn’t have time to write anything. Writing is what I keep circling back to. Writing is that dream that’s constantly swirling around my brain. Writing feels like what I’m meant to be doing.
So why am I sewing? Why am I using this rare freedom that I have at this time in my life to spend six hours a day watching tv and mindlessly sewing doll parts together? Money is probably the main reason. It’s very exciting that I found something enjoyable to do – at home – that will bring me a small income and a ton of flexibility. It allows me to still be home with my kids in summer and breaks and whenever else they might need me. It brings in enough money that I can buy myself extra things or splurge on bigger gifts for people. It also brings in money that I can use to take guilt free and desperately needed little trips by myself once or twice a year. Selling dolls legitimizes my purpose in staying home and not going out and finding a “real” career.
I DO love making dolls. But I also feel so held up by my shortcomings. I’m one person. I can only make so many dolls a year. And now that I’m genuinely trying to cut out my night and weekend hours, I’m guessing my doll production might be cut by as much as half. There’s a very definite limit to how much I can create and how much income I can cultivate in doing this. It’s not the kind of business where I can bring in another person to help me. This is a one woman show, all the way. And it’s frustrating. I’m doing well! I have a large customer base and I often sell out of new dolls I list within a few days. Which is great! But it also makes me feel like I’m constantly behind and there’s just no way I’ll EVER catch up. When I have this bottomless pit of urgency and failure to keep up, it makes me wonder if I should even be doing this at all. Is it a life giving pursuit if I always feel behind and like I’m letting people down?
I think I’m a pretty talented doll maker. I don’t take shortcuts, I don’t put out anything less than my best work. I’m proud of my creations and I have such joy when I finish them and people actually want to buy them. I don’t think it’s something I can give up. So I need to find a way to blend them all together in a way that makes me feel complete and fills my soul. I need to carve out more room for writing and fulfilling that part of me that I desperately want to satisfy. It’s probably going to mean even less time a day to work on my dolls. And I NEED to be okay with that. Writing is what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. And that scares me. Because saying that out loud and then openly letting my words by judged is terrifying. I might not be good enough. I’m out of practice. I don’t have any worthwhile topics to write about, unless it’s directly related to my life and just the random jumble of emotions I constantly feel. I feel like I have SO MANY words inside of me, but no direction in which to mold them. I can’t change my life to revolve around writing when I don’t have a plan.
So. For now… I’m going to be blogging more. It might be a lot of rambling posts like this one. But I want to challenge myself to just start. Start where I am and write, write, write. This is probably my safest space because I don’t have much of an audience! My words will be out there, but also relatively secure. I can say whatever I want and get the peace that comes with putting my thoughts to the page. It’s a start. I don’t want this creative passion to pass me by because I’ve ignored it for so long. It came back to me and I’m not going to let it go this time.