I am not the New Year's Resolution type. I don't believe putting things off (going on a diet? Start today - don't wait until the weekend's over, or the Holidays are over - quit procrastinating!) I don't believe in saving things up for one particular day of the year, and then putting a bunch of promises out there - if you have goals, go for it! No time like the present!
I have found that for me, making a promise to yourself (which is basically what a resolution is) can be fraught with peril, figuratively speaking - because I tend toward obsessive thinking, and I feel like I've let myself down (failure!) if I don't follow through and keep my promises. And sometimes a simple promise starts out looking like one thing, and then takes on a life of its own...
So, it's a brand new year, but I don't celebrate by making a shiny new list of resolutions.
That said, I DID resolve last year to be a better blogger. And I have been - at least as far as sheer volume of posts. I blogged everyday last year, and sometimes twice a day. Now, as far as content? Only my readers can decide whether I succeeded at being a better blogger in that respect.
Reflections on a year of daily blogging:
Blogging everyday definitely made me more productive. I wanted to have something useful to say everyday, and since this is a blog about jewelry design, that meant getting busy and producing some designs! I made a lot more things this year than any year before.
Another way daily blogging made me more productive was that I found myself setting goals, and putting them out into the universe - so I felt like I really needed to follow through - which was great, as I followed through on lots of things I might have otherwise let lapse.
But this goal setting also let to one of my disappointments: one goal I set for myself, and really wanted to achieve, was to revive at least one of my Zombie projects every week. I have been piling up unfinished projects for years, and I need to either finish them, or take them apart and recycle the ingredients into new projects. I thought it would be smart to tackle the "biggest" Zombie first - the one I dreaded most, and knew would take the most time -but I never dreamed it would take over 3 months to finish! I love the result, but didn't love the process! And it took the wind out of my Zombie sails - I just didn't want to tackle another one!
Zombie No More: The Iolite Fringe Necklace
Part of that came from sheer fatigue. But part of it came from the realization that every project I do seems to take way longer than I anticipated, and I felt a bit hopeless when I looked at the remaining boxes of unfinished projects! It was pretty easy to forget about them, shoved in their dark cabinet, where they still remain today. And, let's be honest: part of not wanting to tackle another zombie came from the huge volume of bright & shiny NEW projects that distract me everyday!
So, I need to accept that I CANNOT DO IT ALL. (Boy, wouldn't THAT make a great resolution? If I was the resolving type, that is...)
But, I want ALL THE BEADS. I want to make EVERYTHING! I want to beadweave, and do chainmaille, and metalsmithing, and enamel, and so on. I want to do it all! But I need more time!! And lots more money...
Another benefit of daily blogging? I love having this online "diary", where I can go back and look at everything I've accomplished and been through (I lost my precious Gumball this year). I also learned some new things - I traveled to Florida and learned how to torch fire enamel, and I took a webinar on the Picasso glass fusing technique (and also learned how to etch glass, which was really cool!) I taught myself wet felting! I taught myself to Zentangle!
My little Gumball
I met some really nice people through blogging - I have some of the nicest commenters and bloggy friends! And I have even gotten to meet some of them in person!
But here's the thing: somewhere along the way, my goal to"be a better blogger" morphed into "you must blog everyday." Unfortunately, my brain can be very obsessive with little details like this. So despite all the benefits, a year of daily blogging made me resent blogging daily. It never got easier to blog, but it sometimes felt like a chore. There were days I just didn't feel like blogging, and days where I was racking my brain to think of a single thing to say. Along about, say, September, I just wanted to skip a day - but I kept saying "you're so close..." (obsessing about the daily thing). By December, I wanted nothing more than to Just. Stop. Blogging. But there was no way I was going to bail - the year was almost up (obsessive, much?)! But I had gone on record with my blogging goal, and was committed to meeting my goal!
Thing is, I don't want to be a blogger who designs jewelry. I want to be a jewelry designer who blogs!
So here's the deal - I'm letting myself off the hook.
I am not going to blog daily.
I will blog when I have something interesting to say, or something new and shiny to share.
I AM going to try to tackle the zombies again - but no promises - I may do one, I may do ten, I may do more - but no pressure. This is supposed to be fun!! If it stops being fun, you're doing something wrong!
And I want to keep learning new things.
How about you? Are you the resolution-type? What's on your agenda for 2013?