Everything I thought I knew turned out to be wrong.
And that’s ok.
The past few months I haven’t had much to say here on the blog. I’d rather say one good thing once a year than 1,000 mediocre things over the course of a year.
I’ve decided no one will assign my worth to me – I’m going to value myself. I’m going to do things that mean something to me regardless of whether anyone wants to pay me to do them or put ads on my website or send me free products or pay me to link to their product.
I don’t want to be noise and never have, but being noise was the path I was marching down.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals and creative career path and what shape this blog will take (AGAIN. I know. I really need to figure this shit out and pick a direction).
On the outside, what I was doing with crochet blogging and amigurumi designing had all the markers of success. My blog was growing, I was starting to get opportunities to work with yarn companies, I was making a decent amount of money. All that stuff crochet bloggers want to happen was finally happening after years of effort.
But picking up the crochet hook started to feel exhausting. Writing patterns was a chore. Don’t get me started on roundup posts, THE THING any (monetarily) successful blogger MUST DO. I missed writing for the sake of it but also felt the pressure to make sure I created *content* on a regular basis – here, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Pinterest.
UGH. YUK. BLECH.
I’m super not a *content creator.* I’m more than that. And when I sat down and thought hard about what I was doing for the sake of *blogging properly* and doing things the *right way* I felt gross and embarrassed.
And also tired.
So very very tired of doing things I didn’t care about anymore because you have to *niche down* and *curate your identiy* and *only be your brand and your brand is you and everything must be your brand all of the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or nobody will like you and they’ll tell you to go home and eat worms.*
I have some strong feelings about this. But we can talk about those things another day.
So I apologize for trying to be a content creator, which is not in line with my values or the creative life I want to live. It’s not in line with the creative life I want to inspire you to live. I’ll 100% endeavor to do better going forward.
Onward and upward, right?
I was also thinking the fate of Big Dream Alchemy. I still love that idea, but realized it wasn’t as fully fleshed out as it needed to be. I made a mistake.
Mistakes are ok.
Turns out I was trying to create the very thing I needed for myself – space and permission to explore new creative paths. And I also realized that I can’t lead anyone to a place I’ve never been.
BUT. Big Dream Alchemy is not on the shelf, not even a teeny tiny bit. I’m living it already, I just didn’t realize it.
So it’s going to take a different form than the big badass finished project I wanted it to be.
We’re all works in progress, which was a huge part of the original plan. But I got to a point where I didn’t think I had anything to offer because I was so bogged down in my own shit.
I’m following my heart and letting it pull me where it wants, rather than telling my heart where I want it to go and forcing it to do my bidding.
What comes next is mess and vulnerability and imperfection and learning as I go.
And what comes next here in this space is that big bad scary thing all the blogger/influencer/blog coach “experts” say you should never do – change course without creating a new *brand* for your new direction.
I’m still me. Why should I pretend I’ve turned into a completely different person?
Fuck that bullshit.
This is a normal creative life – your interests change, you find new passions and discard old ones. I’m not becoming a new person, I’m growing into the next iteration of who I already am.
I think there’s value in sharing that process, and I’ve learned so much from watching other creatives do this very thing.
So you’re about to watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. And I want you to give yourself that gift too. If you feel stuck or moving in the wrong direction or just plain old not the creative you feel like you could be, hang with me my friend.
If you follow me on Instagram @jensalittleloopy, you might have caught that I recently tucked my yarn away in a closet and I’ve been doing a collage a day as part of #The100DayProject.
Making collages and mixed media art is where my heart has led me. I didn’t plan it or seek it out. It literally landed in my lap at In the MKNG, when I won a paper crafting competition. When I signed up for it I told them I was NOT a paper crafter, I was very much a yarny type, but they were like oh yes you are you just don’t know it yet.
Haaaaaa! Joke’s on me I guess.
Collage and mixed media art let me say all the things I wanted to say with yarn in a more concise way. And it lets me say a lot of things I wanted to say with yarn but couldn’t. Working intuitively with paper and paint frees up my brain to think *stuff* rather than being forced to focus on calculating stitches and rows and shapes.
I can’t even begin to describe how life-changing it’s been to give myself permission to JUST LET GO and allow myself to become a beginner.
When’s the last time you let yourself be a beginner?
Have you ever given yourself the space to change and grow in your creative life, or have you clung to an identity that no longer fits you because *this is the thing you do and are known for*?
There’s so much more out there for you than that thing you feel rooted in right now.
This is the hard truth I’ve chosen to face. I hope I can rise to this challenge with enough grace and humility to learn the lessons I’m meant to learn.
So buckle up buttercup, I don’t know where we’re going but you can bet yersweetpatootie it’s gonna be fun!
Things I’m super-digging right now:
- Andy J. Pizza. Both his artwork and his podcast. I just heard of his podcast and after listening to the one series I wanted to hear, got so sucked in I started waaaaay far back and am now listening to episodes as fast as I can shove them in my earholes. If you are on a creative career path, this is like the only podcast you need to listen to.
- What it is by Lynda Barry. Honestly, I don’t know what this book is but I can’t stop reading it! I was scooting around in the yarn section at the library and BAM this book leapt off the shelf at me. When I went to check it out it wouldn’t scan because it was marked as “lost in the library somewhere.” They thanked me for finding the book but I didn’t find it, it found me. Sidetangent: I lost a library book three years ago and was ashamed to show my face at the library until I found it. I DID! It was waaaaay under my bed! I paid my $23 fine and returned it, and now I’m out of library jail which is such a good thing because I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of money on books lately. Not gonna lie, I kind of want to lose What it is for three years but it will probably be easier to just buy it.
- Kelly Diels’ Sunday Love Letters. Kelly has been doing some really amazing things around teaching us how to be better intersectional feminists. She wraps hard truths in acceptance and non-judgment so the bitter pills are a little easier to swallow. Communication patterns and relationship power dynamics are so deeply ingrained that her gentle reminder each week to check myself is really helpful.
- Jane Davenport’s Palette Pastels in Chilled are my new mixed-media secret weapon. I like to apply them with an old beat up paintbrush that I gave a haircut much like I used to do with my Barbies as a kiddo. The soft pan pastels blend like buttah and when you use them over a textured surface everything pops like whoa! I used them over my favorite gouache on these luggage tags:
Sidetangent #2 as I look at the state of this website (particularly the holiday ads on the side (IN MAY) I’m totally embarrassed. I’m gonna hop on that and whip things into shape, but I’ve been a little preoccupied so it will happen when it happens and I’m going to give myself a little grace for *whew* dealing with all the things.
Let the wild rumpus begin.