Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have to be honest, I had planned to skip Show and Tell Monday. I just felt creatively stifled this week. I'm not exactly sure why, perhaps too many late nights . . . .distractions. . . . lack of sleep. . .house falling apart at the seams. I just couldn't get myself together. I was starting to feel burnt out. I would sit and stare at the table before me, paper spread out, boxes of embellishments overflowing. . . and nothing. My mind was blank, I tried everything I could think of to get my creative spark back but just felt empty. I reorganized, shopped for new materials, spent hours going through magazines and websites for inspiration, took naps, spent time with nature. . . all the while hoping for a fire to ignite, and still . . .nothing. This went on for days, each morning I would try and things just weren't coming together.

I finally started journaling, trying to figure out why I felt this way. I love what I do. I usually fall asleep thinking of new ideas, and wake up just itching to make something. This feeling I found had been replaced with a sense of having "chores" to do. I don't want this to ever feel like a chore, it is a love, a feeling that if I don't get to "play" I will simply explode. I finally gave myself permission to simply . . .step away. I took time to do other things, find the joy again, find the reason why I started this in the first place. It's more than just a business . . it's an outlet, an expression of who we are, what we love, our style. I realized I was feeling pushed to go in an area I was not happy with. I suppose we all have our own clock. . . I just need to slow down a bit and follow my own, not get wrapped up in measuring my success in time, but rather in the joy I can try to bring to others. Isn't that what this is all about?

I received a letter the other day from a frequent customer of mine. She said she had spent time with her family (several states away) and when she arrived home, she was feeling a bit down, as she missed them terribly. Waiting for her was a package with a journal she had ordered, she thanked me and said it brought tears to her eyes and a smile to her face, it was exactly what she needed. That was it right there. If I never sold another thing, my creation made her feel better.
What more could I possibly ask for?

Here I am. It has been about 5 days since I have made anything. I am beginning to feel clear headed, the ideas are coming back. That itch to create is growing. Tomorrow I will tiptoe back into the paper. . get lost again, in hopefully something wonderful. I suppose my message to you is simple. Remember to let yourself breathe from time to time. It's okay, to step away and find your inspiration. You will be happy you did in the end.

Have a wonderful week and thank you so much for listening.


Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

An important reminder to be who you are and not get caught up in letting others define your time line or where you should be going or doing.

I'm happy you are refreshed and ready to create again.


Lilli Blue said...

Carrie we are so connected heart to heart. I understand. I still have Christmas in my boutique and I just have not been able to get myself to load new things. But it seems the cloud is lifting.
Your writing is wonderful. You gave words to things I have been feeling. Love you girl. Lilli

sita said...

I know what you mean, sometimes when I get caught up in wholesale stuff I don't get to create for me and it can be down right sad around here! I am dying to start on some Christmas goodies but haven't had the time, I think this week I will take some time for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your sweet customer, that is what it really is all about isn't it?

Patricia said...

Very well put, Carrie. and you are so right. We have to do these things at our own pace and on our own path.


Susan said...

Everyone needs a breather! NEVER let business run you! I did once upon a time, and it almost ran me over...not good!
Susan *dutchrose*

Marie said...

Hi Carrie,
I loved your post. I have been there too. What you say is so true. Sometimes you just have to "step away" as you said and let it happen. Thanks for reminding us.

Love LOVE LOVE your music. I have the Billie Holiday album on vinyl. Yikes! I started listening and forgot what I was going to write. :o)

Lisa said...


I think we all have that "stifled" feeling from time to time. It does our minds good to step back and take a look at things from a different perspective. I'm glad you got your creative mojo back. I love your journals, they are absolutely amazing.


Michelle M. May said...

Carrie would you please get out of my head!!! My goodness girlfriend when I was reading your post I felt like I was listening to my own thoughts. I can sooooo totally relate and have had the same feeling for the past month! Thanks for sharing this and making me feel better knowing I'm not the only one.

Big hugs my friend,

Inka Thomas said...

Awesome post Carrie. Very true for us all.

Craft Diva said...

great compliment! so glad that you are able to refocus too.

Cottage Flair said...

That creative block is so hard when it comes but somehow, the creativity will start flowing again. I feel that way once in a while when I am overwhelmed so I try to give myself a break and be okay with not working for a few days. Your work is just beautiful and you will begin again.

Silena said...

Hi Carrie,
I just can't imagine you getting an artists are so creative and so prolific. But just remember that it happens to every creative spirit. You seem to have worked yourself through it and given all of us inspiration in the process. You are right, give yourself time just for yourself for a bit and then you will find that you return with a refreshed sprit and a renewed desire to create. Thank you for putting your thoughts into are a wonderful writer as well as a wonderful artist!!

cathy said...

Carrie, I think we have all been there from time to time. I know I've had to step away and take a break & in fact I usually take January off since I get so burnt out in the Fall months. I'm glad you ar getting over your slump & the creative jices are starting to fow again!

Janet Bernasconi said...

Hi Carrie, sound like you need a hug. I can't tell you how many times I have hit moments where I could not think of something new to create. It happens,but don't worry the creative juices do come back. We all need to take a break and renew and I am so glad that you did exactly that. You are very talented Carrie and I just know you will be successful. Actually you already are. ;-)
Have a wonderful week!
Janet's Creative Pillows

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Hi Carrie,

What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing what you felt with us. I think I concur the same feelings. I don't feel creative when I am so exhausted, and so I just have to trust and let my body do the work! I am sure now that my LPB will be postponed for opening, but meanwhile, I am still working hard to get my pieces together!

((Hugs)) Hope you have a fantastic creative week!

Pei Li

SoCal Helene said...

Hi Carrie, I’m glad to hear that you took a little time off to “Smell the Roses” we all need some time to recharge, it is so easy to get all wrapped up with all the things we want to do.