beads by breul

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not sure where to begin

So much happening in our house right now. My son is doing the hockey thing, my daughter is a junior in high school and very involved in the drama program at school. Her musical opens tomorrow night - late nights, sore throats, lots of homework, PSAT's...... Dealing with the little S*&ts on the bus/name calling and my son. My heart is so heavy for him. I think that after a conversation with the vice principal at school tomorrow, we will most likely transfer him out. The sad thing is that he loves the program at school. How can I get a bus to take him home alone?????? My wonderful husband has been transferred again and his hours are less than desirable right now. I feel like I do nothing but organize, coordinate, clean, cook and drive.  I am also dealing with a herniated disc in my back. God, I am tired of back pain and living by the clock for pain relief. I know that I am not doing any more or less than all of you. I also know that in the larger scheme of things, I have it very, very good. I am just feeling down, stressed and not worthy.  How do you all do it all? You make it look so easy, the whole family life balance thing.

I spend time hopping around out here, reading and looking at all of your works. You all are amazingly talented. I am working on finding my way and my style.  Trying to figure out how to do the whole selling thing. I have read/gotten some great advise from all of you, thank you.  It took me so long to find a "hobby" and I am enjoying the creating.  Still, I get frustrated when I see that others are getting more sales or are a part of an Etsy or Artfire collection. I am thrilled for them but wonder what I am doing wrong.  I get frustrated seeing others gain lots of followers - should I do contests - should I keep blogging - am I getting too caught up in it? Lorelei and Erin are writing a book! What an amazing opportunity for them - can you imagine???? And they are opening it up to us for contributions. Truly amazing. I sit and get excited, think about creating some pieces and then spiral down into to the land of "my work isn't good enough, so many others are better..."

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things did an e-Course on blogging which addressed some of this and made me feel better about some of my decisions and why I do this. Thank you. So I guess here is where I am ~ yes it took me a bit to get here! I am going to keep creating because it makes me happy. I will try to sell on Etsy and Artfire, knowing that my trunk shows do well. I will not worry about the number of followers that I have. I will do what works for me and hey, who knows, maybe I will submit a piece or two to Lorelei and Erin.

Thank you for listening. I do feel better now that I have gotten it out there.


Imaginative Jewelry said...

Courtney, I understand you. I have always wanted things to be a certain way, and I never get there. Things for me seem to work better when I let them in God's hands and stop controlling or expecting certain things.
I also try to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. Be grateful for the little and big things that happen in my life instead of focusing in thos that have yet to come or will not come.
I hear you with the back pain. I too have a herniated disc and the pregnancy pounds I have gained are not helping. I just cannot take any medicins cause it will harm my baby.
And regarding the followers, I just wish I had 50 as you have.

Copper Diem said...

First things first *hug*
There -- feel better?
Now, I found that contests (where following/blogging about it gets an extra entry) increased my followers a lot. Hint's blog gave great advise about relisting often on etsy to increase views/hearts/sales, and I found that worked good to, but my sales are horribly slow too and it is discouraging (plus, WHAT am i going to do with all this jewelry - i'm only one person!)
I think your pieces are beautiful and your blog is interesting and creative and inspiring. Hang in there!

Barbara Lewis said...

Courtney, Hang in there girl! I see myself all over your blog post. I think in some respects blog posts tend to be like the Christmas Letter ... you know the one you get from people you never see anymore. Their life is perfect, the husband got a promotion, Susie won the beauty pageant, Scotty is the varsity quarterback, and the wife just got nominated for the most perfect mom and wife in the community! Be careful not to view blog posts as the entirety of a life. We're all struggling ... in different ways.

I have to tell you that it is hard to hang in there. A year and a half ago I was ready to stop blogging, quit etsy, and start cleaning my house and cooking dinners! Then, Christen Olivarez, Editor of Belle Armoire Jewelry, saw my work on flickr and said she loved it and wanted me to submit an article to BAJ. I kid you not ... had she emailed even a week later, I would have been up to my elbows cleaning the toilet bowl convinced that this was my calling in life!

This is my favorite quote ... it is by Martha Graham, the inventor of modern dance:

“There is a force, an energy, a quickness, that is translated through you into action.
If you block it, the world will not have it.
You do not have to believe in yourself or your work.
It is not your business to compare yourself with others. It is your business to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you,
to keep the channel open."

This quote will be opening to my Introduction to the projects for my book. It has kept me in good stead. Hang in there! I'm rooting for you! Barbara

Michelle said...

Hiya Courtney...I've been thinking about this, too and want to kill the evil voice in my head! LOL We idealize everyone's life...they are more successful, more happy, have more sales, more creative. There is a lot that these people are omitting from what they write. How many sales do they have vs. what they create? It is focusing on the positive not the negative.

I really like what Barbara had to say...and think that it applies to every aspect of our lives. And from what I do have a lot of things that others would envy.

Keep your chin UP!
Bead Happy!

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh Courtney. If I could hug you I would. And buy you a drink. That way we could talk about this together.

I have these same feelings. There is much struggle. Sometimes I have a great hit, sometimes not so much. I love what Barbara had to say. Often only the best and brightest things show up in the blog posts, as if this is one big popularity contest. But it is more than that. Honoring the talents that you have within you is really what it is all about. I just wrote on this recently and it is very much close to my heart. We all have talents, we are called to be creative people by whatever Higher Power you believe in. And to not honor that talent by hiding it or pushing it away is the worst thing you can do. We can't all be the same and have the same gifts but no matter how much or where that talent lies we have a responsibility to share it.

I wouldn't be where I am today without a lot of hard work and some really fabulous mentors. I didn't always believe in myself and I am only now starting to realize where my talents lie. I also want to be someone who helps to motivate others, to challenge them and helps them to grow.

Comparing yourself to the light of another is defeating. You have a light to shine, Courtney, and although it may seem that you are merely reflecting the glow of another, when you step away from their light and point yourself into the direction of the unknown armed with the conviction that you have a light to shine for others, you will forge your path, tell your story, reach your heights. And someone will be there to follow your light... and you will help to give them the confidence to find their unique path.

I hope you don't give up, Courtney. The world needs more light like yours shining forth.

Enjoy the day!

Courtney said...

I can't begin to thank you all enough. Your kind words and inspiration are amazing. How did I get so lucky! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. You are all welcome at the house at 5 pm for a nice glass of wine!!!

Barbara Lewis said...

I'm in Annapolis. I think I can make it if I leave now!

Elisabeth said...

Courtney - (catching up on the blogs - sorry for the late response) please know that I only write about the good stuff - as a way to figuratively run from the challenging stuff. I am sorry that your son is having a rough time - I hate when crap like that happens that hurts your kids that you can't fix. And the follower/sales thing - I am so with you - there is like a zillion taleted jewelry makers out there - how can I ever compare????? Two things help me out. 1. I love to do it and I can afford (with only slight ribbing from Greg) to buy fun supplies and learn new stuff - whether I get any more followers or make any more sales is just gravy. 2. I have this posted over my desk at work as my mantra: "I can only do my best every day" Lastly - there is a gem show next weekend and I am pretty sure there is wine available for sale near by - I hope it works out for us to meet there for some retail and grape fused therapy :-)