3 Months Later: What I've Learned from Taking a Step Back

Hey, everyone! So three months ago I decided to stop blogging and emailing regularly and stick to solely using regular posts on Instagram and Facebook, only choosing to write blogs when I had genuine content to share. It was a big decision in the exact opposite direction of everything all these business coaches of today tell you to do. And it was the perfect and correct decision for me to make so let me explain why. 

3 Months Later: What I Learned From Taking A Step Back

At the close of 2016, I was posting 2-3 times per week on the blog along with a weekly newsletter and twice daily posts to Instagram. In January I realized something important: I'm not a blogger and that's not the goal for me. I started Blessed Bookworm to design paperie products. In December I decided I wanted to begin the education process to eventually take the business in the direction of hand lettered creations so I dove into that and have been obsessively working away on it everyday since December 1st. And let me tell you, there's a massive amount of progress to be found in daily practice - but I'm going to plan on writing about that in June for a 6 month progress piece. The point is, I am not a blogger so I shouldn't be spending 40+ hours per week working on keeping all of that up to date when it's not what I want to do as a creative! I love writing for you guys, I really truly do. But creating and learning how to actually see and respect myself as an artist is where I want to be.

This is also why you won't see me at any markets in 2017, you guys. This was a big decision after a lot of contemplation. In truth, I love the snot out of markets and art shows. I have gone to them since I was in high school and it's a favorite activity for me. Being a vendor at a market in December was amazing. That being said, I want to spend all of 2017 truly focused on finding my path as an artist and investing the time I think is really necessary to learn this craft before I start spending hundreds of hours working on, building, supplying, and actually being present for booths in markets. It's a giant behind-the-scenes commitment to join into the market scene and while I love it, I want to make sure I am fully ready with all this new stuff before I pile a whole other Mount Everest onto my already-very-full plate.

So I have spent months focused on all of that art and I've picked up so much new knowledge and tactics and I've been able to devote myself to client commissions without worrying about coming up with blog content. I've started watercolor lettering and painting, working on digitizing work, botanical illustration, and wedding paperie pieces. I'm in love with where Blessed Bookworm is headed. 

There are two other major reasons that I have dialed things back and I would not be presenting an honest portrayal of my life if I didn't share them with you as well. First, I'm a parent. This isn't news to readers and followers of the business, but the fact of the matter is that creating this business will always come second to my responsibilities as a mother to my three sons. Blessed Bookworm gives my identity a separate plane of existence from that, but it will never be as important as the work I put into raising the boys. I take days off to play with them or go hiking with them or to have Star Wars Marathons when I decide its what they need from me. Some days I take off from work in the interest of getting some cleaning taken care of because that's just a fact of life. Some might see that as a cop out and some might be able to do all those SuperMom things while also hustling 40-60 hours a week. And those women are amazing. I'm just not one of them. And part of that is the other major reason for the new life and style of Blessed Bookworm:

I have an anxiety disorder, PTSD, and fight depression. I have insanely productive days and I have days where I struggle getting out of bed (and on those days my kids are literally the only reason I end up doing so....because they have to eat. That's literally the reason.) and days where I have sensory meltdowns or anxiety attacks that last hours where I can be in a total state of freakout all day. The cleaning is not always on par because of that. Nor am I naturally an obsessive cleaner anyway. I don't believe in spending a monumental part of my life making sure my home looks pristine and perfect for whoever stops by to judge it. There's 5 of us and 2 dogs in a small townhouse and I don't care that we have toys on the floor or that I haven't dusted in this millennia. With all of this combined into one category of thought, I simply don't have the mental interest or ability to continue to compare my small business to someone who calls their business small when they actually make over $100k per year. Me and those people are not the same. They have employees. And accountants. And basically people to delegate shit to. I don't and shouldn't take the bait to build an inferiority complex over the struggles I have in trying to keep up with them. Blessed Bookworm is me and only me and that's damn okay because it's how I like it. I take self-care days and I use painting or lettering to calm me on some anxiety days. My creative pace is just mine and that's all that matters. 

With all of that being said, I have decided I want to keep the blog as a special monthly editorial for a while. It's feasible and keeps things fun without becoming cumbersome. I'll post thought pieces or info on how things are going with the new direction, special focus pieces on commissions, and/or book reviews because I'm still a bibliophile and love sharing that with you. I will write when there are things to write rather than trying to serve a master who I don't truly love. The blog is a fringe benefit to Blessed Bookworm, not the main event. That being said - if you want more interaction with me you can always reach me on Instagram every day @blessedbookworm. 

Much love to you all, and I'll see you back here in a month!