So, Boy Lacer has been full time at school for very nearly half a term (and still I get “Oh has he started nursery yet?” grrrhhhh, but that as they say is another story) and although my grand dreams of equally dividing my day between writing and crafting has absolutely not happened (I haven’t written anything fiction related now since early July and actually I haven’t got anywhere near enough craft work as I’d like done either), I am feeling a shift of increasingly taking my work seriously, well at least the craft side of it anyway. Actually I have always tried to take both the crafting and the writing seriously but I have recently seen the change of other people around me also taking the craft work I do seriously as well, which is good and is the encouragement I need (and as for the fiction writing, well if I actually completed something . . .).
So, part of being a business, which is what someone who is working freelance obviously is, sort of me.inc , is that you need to make decisions and you need to look at the bigger picture and it can be hard to balance all that as well as still being the primary carer of your children. I’m finding I’m having to unearth the organised brain that I saw last time I think just as I was about to enter the maternity ward nearly 7 years ago. As far as decision making is going, I am currently being far too indecisive for my liking about certain things, I am seeing the pros and the cons of these certain things all too clearly whilst feeling firmly on the fence, as if I could easily go either way. The big issue with this time of year in particular is time and money and I’ve found that is linking in to how many commitments I can take on, in particular a stall at a craft fair and more longer term, being part of an arts group. I have wanted to do the craft fair and I have not wanted to do the craft fair, I was even writing a list of pros and cons today to see if I could decide whether to do it or not and still couldn’t. The pros were basically I would enjoy doing it (and heck where’s the fun in being your own boss if you can’t have fun in your work?), I would be forced to build up my stock levels (which are pretty pathetic at the moment), it would be good advertising locally, as I’m still at the stage where I’m just happy for people to see my work, buying it is a very nice bonus and finally I could get to drink mulled wine all evening (I have a peculiar addiction to craft fair mulled wine, which often or not is pretty bad, but I still love the stuff, it just puts be in the Christmas spirit 100%). The cons were I may enjoy doing it but I would find the rush to build up stock levels, right now with so much else on, stressful, I just don’t really have the time and I also do not really have the funds to risk on stall costs and materials. The arts group thing was sort of the same, although not so mulled wine based, I thought it was potentially a very good thing to do but my available time feels so variable right now, as are my finances, it also felt risky for me personally.
So I’ve been doing a lot of umming and ahhing about what to do and, and this seems to be getting a bit of a pattern for me, the answer came as I was walking from one place to another not particularly thinking about the issue in hand (it’s so true what they say about how walking can generate ideas). I think (and this is where the memo to self bit comes in) that right now, in today’s economic climate (which so feels like it’s going to get worse with the Spending Review tomorrow), that people, if they’re going to interested in craft, are more likely to be interested in learning how to do said craft and not buying the craft someone else has made. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure people are still buying handmade (which they should of course) but I think people are just going to be spending less whereas conversely the do it yourself ethic will still persist and may even grow as people look to save money and hopefully gain some reward and satisfaction whilst doing it. So, for the moment, I have to decided to concentrate on teaching and pattern design, as that is where, so far, I have had the beginning signs of success. My Etsy shop will remain open, in fact it will, maybe not before Christmas, have increasing levels of stock but it will be more on the principal of showcasing my work (and being a big bonus if someone actually buys it). I will therefore not, for the moment, do craft fairs or art shows, as like I say, I think personally, they’re too financially risky. Not doing craft fairs / art shows will also save me valuable time, which is something I feel all too short of at the moment.
So, decision made and part of me is thinking is all of the above some convoluted excuse for not thinking I’m good enough? It might be, but I have to think of the money first, so either way it’s a no. So this is a memo to self to make sure I don’t change my mind again.