Saturday, 21 August 2010

making it simpler

I'm overwhelmed with ideas for snap & tumble and disappointed in myself for not carrying them out. There are too many things on my list of "want to do". The crazy part is that they aren't even things I have to do. This unnecessary pressure has me restless and ambivalent.

I very much like the idea of holding onto a single idea and giving it everything you've got.

Having these imaginary spinning plates makes me want to drop them all. It's become impossible for me to accomplish anything because my attention is so divided. Projects are started and abandoned because I can't hone in on what I want it to look like. This is followed by procrastination which just spells disaster. No wonder I feel stagnant.

I'm not sure what the solution is to curing my paralysis. But it seems obvious to just cut my list down until it just isn't a list anymore. I'm leaning towards focusing on one idea, one project, one thing I really want to do. Meaning no juggling with greeting cards, custom stationery, art prints, wedding invitations, craft shows, or wholesales. Would this mean business suicide? Maybe. But my brewing feeling of deadness can't be good either.

I'm  keeping in mind that this is all changeable. The great thing about doing what you love and working for yourself is that you decide what's what. Your own rules and own pace. I'm just trying to figure it all out as I go. The loot bag project for instance, my latest endeavour, is beginning to go in a different direction than what I planned. And it may very well be the one pursuit I keep to focus on. I very much like the idea of holding onto a single idea and giving it everything you've got.

I won't be able to make all of the changes I'd like to overnight. But if that were to miraculously happen, then at least you know how and why it did. I'm cutting myself some slack, taking risks and evolving.

image via we heart it


Melinda Josie said...

Sometimes I hit a bit of a wall with my work, and have to step back for a little while. I've taken breaks completely from work, which ended up being a mistake because it's even harder to get back in to the swing of things when you've stopped doing it, even for a short amount of time. Breaks are good though. It will probably help to clear your head. Good luck with everything! xo (PS - I apologize for not getting back to your email yet. It's still been pretty busy here! But I've spoken to Chris and we'll touch base really soon!).

Jaime said...

I second simplifying the to-do list.

amusetoibien said...

Hey Tanya,

You're right, the plus to having your own business is that you are able to change whatever you like, whenever you like. But just like people feel the need to change and evolve, your business is probably at that point where it needs to do the same.

You have built a very strong foundation for yourself. You are full of wonderful ideas and have inspired so many people! I think that you are moving in the right direction, with focusing on one thing in particular and making it grow.

Good Luck!

jax said...

Tanya I feel exactly the same way but I'm unable to put it into words as lovely as you have done! Use to working in a team and too many ideas in my head I'm finding I hard to focus and get things completed, wish we lived a little nearer then we could have a chat with a little printing thrown in of course ;)

small caps said...

tanya, at times I keep myself from starting a new design/project/print, because of too much balancing reasons and calculating risks. Then time passes and I go frustrated.
But at the end a rather different idea pops up and and I realize it in just a few days or so because I was very persuated and taken from my idea. I didn't thought so much about it, I just had to do it and I've put all my heart, all my time and all my power in it.

My experience is that projects made of those ideas are the best. The personality shines through it and that makes them unique. In short words: Listen what feels right, really right. {easy to say, but hard to do} Focus your energy and then go for it. It don't mind if the project will be sucessful. Finally you can say you did it. If not you will ever ask yourself why you haven't tried it.
And one thing you mentioned is also important: be open to change the direction of your project during the process. :) That's how creativity works... All the best, Sabrina

t a n y a said...

Melinda Josie: taking a break is good advice. though i won't be taking a break from the business, i'll just be stepping away from some of things i use to offer. with too many services, i don't want to spread myself too thin.

ps. i'm so looking forward to having you and chris in the studio.

Jaime: lists are great, but i need a post-it note with just one thing on it ;)

amusetoibien: on the part about the person and the individual going through change, well put. thanks for the vote of confidence!

jax: i'm, glad that you can relate. and oh wouldn't it be great if we were closer?

small caps: i completely understand what you described about realizing an idea without a moment to waste. that's what i've been doing up to this point. and you're so right on, to be able to say "I did it" and learn from it.

for design's sake {sandi} said...

Tanya, I couldn't have read your post sooner. I am feeling exactly the same. I also constantly have that feeling that I need to accomplish so much in such little time. I'm starting to learn it's ok to simplify, and that it indeed makes you happier. But especially living in the city with things passing by so fast, it's hard to really have that simpler mindset. I also think being a creative person, with ideas flowing constantly it's hard to really stop and concentrate on one project at a time. I really look up to the fact that you admit it so openly, that really encourages others that feel that way, that it's ok! Chin up, your work is awesome no matter what changes you make!! xoxo

alexandria said...

I am positive that however you choose to focus your business, it will be fantastic. Sometimes simplifying can be wonderfully freeing. I know it's helped me greatly when I make the to-do list small and give myself goals I know I can accomplish. I look forward to seeing snap + tumble grow in the way you wish.

t a n y a said...

for design's sake {sandi}: i'm glad my post is timely for you. you're right about the fast pace and being in the city - the need to slow down and take stock is improtant. also, i agree with your thoughts of be a creative person and having to constantly sort through AND realize ideas.

alexandria: i think that's the key, making realistic goals. "grow in the way I wish", words i'll remind and repeat to myself.

Susan said...

I too know exactly what you speak of ... I've been a self employed, working from my home studio, designer for nearly 10 years. Just lately I've stopped writing those crazy, lengthy daily to-do/must-do lists and I try and focus instead on 1 thing and oh my I feel so much more successful, productive, creative and ultimately happy. I still have that giant master goals, dreams & want-to-do list out & visible always and I thrill at high lighting through an item on that list.

But one thing, one day at a time.
check this out

ps. your blog is my blog of the week ;-) S

t a n y a said...

Susan: thanks for sharing with me your experience and your method of keeping sane! it seems to be in line with other suggestions of keeping things light and doable. i'll be putting it into practice as soon as today :)

thank you for the link!

Micheline said...

I think everyone feels like this at some point. I know I did. And do. All the time. It's up and down, organized and chaotic and all the rest of the opposites thrown into the mix on a regular basis. In the spirit of opposites, the blessing and the tragedy is that there is no right or wrong answer. Keeping things simple always seems to help. Absolutely loving what you do also helps. I have a feeling that you'll be putting this lull to good use. I've seen how much energy and passion you put into your workshops. When you figure out where you want to put this new energy, there'll be no stopping you.

I also wanted to share a link with you. It's a vlog by Madeline Bea about the waves of creativity and how to manage the craziness of it all or at least try to. There were a lot of things in the video that I thought about before but couldn't articulate and there are also a lot new points and great ideas. It's a bit long but if you get a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie, it's a great way to invest twenty minutes.

It's taken me a while to settle back in after vacation. I see that this post is from a while back. Maybe you're already well on the way through this rough spot. In any case, I'm really excited to see where this new direction might take you.

p.s. (because this response wasn't long enough) I really love the photo for this post. It must have been taken at the cottage. The water looks so much like a Northern Ontario lake.

t a n y a said...

Micheline: thank you for such a thoughtful comment and for relating to my post. it always does me good to hear about other creative people's experiences.

No right or wrong answer...I agree and keep reminding myself of that.

Also, remembering why I started to print in the first place is the best place for me to go back to - for the love of it.

Thank you for the kinds words regarding my workshops. The excitement and passion are reflected in the participants as well ;)

Thanks for sharing the vlog with not only me but also with the s & t readers. I'm certain it will be of benefit to alot of us.

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