Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! and reflections on last year

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?


DeborahRead.com said...

Its all about making it fun
I too wanted to blog every day but found I was trying to "force" making things - I did find I created more freely when I was not worried about blogging about it - yes I have lots of zombies too - but they can only be fun and creative if I want to not because I have to - so this year I will continue to have to work a full time job - not have a lot of time for my hobbies but somehow hope to have some fun
You are an inspiration with each blog I read and watch - I may not comment on them all but I totally love them all and the effort you put into your creations - I cant wait to see what 2013 brings

BackstoryBeads said...

I so admire you for meeting your blogging goal for 2012, and I found your blog had great rhythm among all those artforms - beadwork, metalwork, chain maille, owning a bead store. You are at the top of my list of favorite jewelry designers who blog!

Sweet Freedom said...

Thanks, Deborah and Karin! You guys have been wonderful, and it's been so fun getting to know you through your comments and YOUR wonderful blogs!

You haven't seen the last of me!!