A few months ago I had taken a break from the small business of A Blue Swallow after hitting a rough creative burnout. Somehow in the midst of doing what I love, I found myself stressed and extremely overwhelmed. Losing sight of the passion behind every aspect of why I enjoy creating and sharing that with others. Don’t get me wrong, I love my shop and I love what it has allowed me to do and especially what has developed in me.
I just wore myself out.
Many nights I found myself sitting until early into the morning crafting, creating, and filling orders. I’d rush to bed and scramble to get myself up and everyone else for our normal routine during the day. Over time I just found myself not finding any joy in what initially was the best part of my day. Instead of doing what made me most happy, I was avoiding it regularly. Because when you create it’s your heart on your sleeve, for me I’m at my most vulnerable even with these written words…how to maintain that constant vulnerability is difficult and takes skill to manage – a skill I’m developing.
Time has gone by and I am happy to say I’ve made great use of my time away. I do have a few mugs I still need to create that I had promised to send, and slowly but surely I am finding joy once again in my craft. There is such a delicate balance when attempting to make what you love into a job. Of course hypothetically what you love will just become a job, but nonetheless, the work and investment is still required.
I started creating, because it was my outlet (kind of how writing has become over the years). Though I love being around people, I found I best expressed myself through crafts and putting my hands to use. There is nothing like seeing a finished product and allowing it to speak for itself, because it is who you are in the best form possible. You don’t have to explain, your craft tells the story. This is what I wanted to continue and stay true to who I am in this aspect. All of me goes into all my crafts…(I sang that a little).
How do you prevent yourself from creative burnout? Is it even possible? I’d love to know. I’m realizing that less can be more when it comes to this. Slowing down and enjoying the process has allowed me to remember my passion and reason for sharing my gift. I’m really looking forward to this year and the wonderful things buzzing around in my mind!