Creativity makes me feel good. When I make something, I feel like I’m bringing something new into existence. I feel I’m connecting authentically to the core of who I am, and who my Maker is. But that’s not how most of us think about ourselves, and it’s not where I began. So, let me go out on a limb and describe to you why you need to take a few minutes to think of where you are in your creative life.
Why do you create things?
We all start as complete beginners and you probably enjoy how you feel when you create things. Even when there are snags, you feel good about what you created.
And creating things is your favorite way to spend an afternoon, so you start to look for more reasons to create.
-You might make someone a personalized gift (because you’d get them a gift anyway).
-You might tell yourself you can make something cheaper than you can buy it (go you!).
-Maybe you got gift cards for Hobby Lobby for your birthday (how’d they know?).
It’s kind of addictive. The more you make things, the better you feel about it, and the more you want to make more things! Legit- it can be a rush of endorphins when you hold that finished project in your hands and try to wrap your brain around the idea that YOU made it.
Just a warning: At some point towards the end of this stage you may find yourself begging your moms’ group to please let you personally hand embroider decorative covers for all thirty of the mason jar mixes they’re making at the next meeting. (This might be a true story.)
I have to say, it’s a little humbling when you realize how far you’ll go for an excuse to create.
You LOVE to craft
You’ve now progressed to Self-Realization #1 where you realize you have to make things. And not just some things…. ALL the Things!
Signs you’ve reached this stage may be that your Pinterest page has blossomed from the single “ideas I like” board to a dozen boards or more.
In fact, you now have separate boards for each room in your home. There’s a board for your non-crafty sister. Even your dog has its own board. 😂
In a way, it’s a good thing because this is the time where you’re starting to zero in on what you really love to make and you’re getting more confident in your abilities.
At the same time, you’re starting to feel pretty guilty about the amount of time and a significant amount of money you’re investing just to feel good. It can feel a little selfish.
It’s a Side Hustle
So, at the latter part of this stage you start to look around for a way to justify the expenditures. You open an Etsy shop, create an Instagram business page, or you start posting to Facebook in hopes someone will want to purchase something you made.
Welcome to Self-Realization #2 wherein you feel you need to make money with your crafts, so you can support your making habit, without it becoming a drain on your family or your finances.
Your creating becomes a side hustle.
Welcome to Pro Crafting
Now you find yourself moving into the next stage, and that’s professional crafter or artisan (that’s a great word). It’s kind of exciting. You may start to look specifically for projects that you can create to make money.
You’re designing for trends, and you take the plunge to do the craft shows.
You maybe spend just as much time now on the business aspect as you do on the crafting.
Some creators stay here and make a life out of their love of crafting. Awesome!
But some of us get to the point one day where we realize that it’s become less about the joy of making something and more about the relief you get when you sell something.
This is the stage you’d dreamed of getting to when you first opened that Etsy shop, but the reality of tendonitis in your wrist, periods of feast or famine, dealing with testy customers, and the boredom you feel making the same thing over and over again, all overwhelm you.
Self-Realization #3 is when you realize you just want it to end, and you want to go back to the beginning when you made something just because it made you feel good.
But that’s self-deluding because if you look back at the progression, you realize that you never did feel totally free to just enjoy it. There was always a feeling of guilt associated with it.
You don’t have to feel this way.
Do a Creative Reset in Your Heart
What if we start back at the beginning? What if we begin this time by acknowledging that the reason we have the desire to create, is because we were actually created to have that desire?
Gardener, entrepreneur, writer, artist, designer, teacher, parent, engineer, or cook – it doesn’t matter what you personally subscribe to. We were all created with a desire to make something, build something, improve something, or inspire something.
What if we did a heart reset, and realized that we could see crafting much like eating a healthy diet, or going to the gym? In other words, as something that we should prioritize because it’s good for us. Would you still feel the same need to justify it?
Benefits of Creating from a Place of Inspiration
Filling up on creative inspiration is like filling the well in our soul. When you need inspiration, you can draw from it without going dry.
-If you create from a place of inspiration instead of desperation, how much more is going to pour over into the other areas and people in your life?
-You’ve taken the time to fill your surroundings with inspirational quotes or images so that your friends and family are inspired to live life around you.
–You make small things in abundance that they personally connect with and can even bring hope, motivation, or a much-needed laugh into their lives.
-You’re able to say yes, if an opportunity to use your creativity comes up and it’s something you want to do.
Important: Keep in mind that unless you continue to fill your well, it could run dry and you’ll be creating from a place of fatigue and guilt again.
You were MADE to CREATE
When you see value beyond the momentary or monetary, you start to see ways that it can be used for a higher purpose.
If creating is part of what you were designed to do, if you create from a desire to fill your soul and to connect with your Creator, then you will be asked to use it for kingdom purposes.
Because no matter what you create, finding value in the act of creation, and value in your desire to create, is what will really show you what kind of maker you are, and will help you do a reset in your heart.
Money never has to come into it, either as something to feel bad about, or good about. It’s not about the money- it’s about being your best version of who you were made to be.
Keep Your Eyes on the Why
That doesn’t mean you can’t be a pro-crafter. If you’re perfectly fine with that, then that’s awesome too.
It’s just important to keep in mind WHY you’re creating, and not get too wrapped up in the need to validate your efforts with sales. That’s a road that can really mess with you and lead to burnout, I’ve experienced that firsthand when I was voluteering as the product and creative designer at a ministry that worked with co-ops of women in other countries.
It was super rewarding, but when it got to be more about making more money for the ministries then using my talents, it led to burnout.
More Resources for Your Creative Business
But if you are at a good place for a small business right now, then I have some fantabulous Small Business Resources for you under my Crafty Business category. ❤️
Now that you know why you may need to be protective of your creative life, my hope is that you will find inspiration, encouragement and validation at Well Crafted Studio.
You’ll also find my Creative Resource Library, which is here to get you crafting with LOTS of free designs. The sign-up is below, and you can unsubscribe at any time!
Need the password? Just sign up for my email list, and you’ll get the password emailed directly to you!
Thanks for Reading,