I’ve really been enjoying the watercolor class I mentioned a couple days ago. It’s fun to learn a new skill, but even better than that, it’s a creative endeavor that has absolutely no pressure attached to it. Sometimes it seems like everything that I do creatively is high stakes. Obviously it’s important that I do my work well. Blogging is pretty creative, but there are also a lot of people potentially reading, so it should represent my best effort. House projects are fun, but if I fail that’s wasted money, and I have to live with it.
With watercolor, I’m just mixing paint on the page. If it looks like crap, I’ll get out another page and start over. If I can’t figure out how to do something, it’s not like I want to quit design and become a professional watercolor artist, so even if I never figure it out, it doesn’t matter. It’s fun to learn how to make things look a certain way on the page, and it’s even more fun to just sit in a studio and mess around for a couple hours, and then just go home and not have to think about it again until I want to.
I read something interesting (it was actually a biz ladies post) about how it’s a lie that if something is your calling, you won’t resist doing it. I’ve been feeling that way with my business. Iwant to succeed, and learn and grow, but it’s also scary and sometimes I resist doing things that I know will help me succeed. The subsequent feelings of frustration leech into other parts of my life, and I’m left questioning how much I even like making things, which I’ve always taken for granted, as a core part of my identity.
There are creative small business owners like me out there, so I have some advice, based on what worked for me. If you’re left feeling creatively drained, and overwhelmed, start doing a creative project that is just for you. Don’t put it on your blog, don’t even tell anyone about it if you don’t want to, just make something for making’s sake. Don’t get attached to the end product, and enjoy the process. We put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed, that we forget to just play. I’m on week 5 or 6 of my class, and I honestly feel like a new person.