The other day, I read an Instagram post by Mirta from Modern Botanics sharing some personal thoughts, worries and feelings we do not usually see on carefully curated Instagram photos. This post started a really interesting conversation which led to 2 other blog posts by 2 lovely girls, Kathy and Tempy sharing their struggle, thoughts and concerns on being a maker. You can read Kathy here and Tempy here.
I read all the three posts and I felt I could relate to them. I share the same thoughts, concerns and doubts since I make a lot of stuff with my hands despite the fact that I do not own a shop. At least, not yet! My thoughts focus on the pre-opening of a shop stage.
To tell you the truth I have mostly questions and fears in my head concerning the opening of an online shop, rather than facts or beliefs. Despite the fact that opening a shop is an idea that popped in my head 2-3 years ago, I haven’t opened one yet because I am not sure, I doubt, I am afraid.
I am not sure that there might be people out there to find interest in what I make. And that is why I always seem to postpone it. I fear that I will not always have the inspiration to make something truly beautiful, honest, something from the heart, something that people would want to give money for. I fear that I will not be able to improve myself, to go further or even escape all of my fears about “making” and end up abandoning the effort soon. I am afraid that there are oh-so-many brilliant makers out there, so why would someone choose me?
Making for me is like a physical need. Through the years this need developed to a more conscious practice that also helps me feel self-sufficient, dreaming of a homestead living. Nature is my biggest inspiration and also a haven. I really admire the simplicity, elegance and wisdom of nature. Besides, a walk by the seaside or in the woods has always a calming effect when the doubts get really deep and painful!
So, what is the solution to all of this?
Believe in yourself. Believe in what you make. Believe that you, as a customer, would buy the things you make. Meaning that you make things you love and not just produce like a machine. Find your path, find your voice.
But, anyhow all these need time and constant effort. Right? Maybe it’s a process in which you get improved and learn through experience. I suppose that the answers come slowly while you keep making and keep living. You live and learn and change. Maybe we have to admit and accept that there will be ups and downs, self-doubts, comparisons etc. and maybe in this whirlwind we have to try to see the things more positively and instead of comparing ourselves to others, start getting inspired by others! Maybe we have to free ourselves from the “have-tos” and just make. Let it unfold. Let it be and let it lead us wherever! That’s probably the best way to explore ourselves and the making process. Maybe there are no “have-tos”. Maybe it’s just “what I do by instinct, by love, by need” and realize “who I really am, what I really care about”. And so I make. And that’s the source. And of course, it’s not easy at all.
Like Tempy beautifully said, put one foot in front of the other. And keep going.
So, what do you struggle with? Did you ever had difficulties in deciding what to make, how to make it, what your target group might like to see from you? How did you find your way in the making world? What worked for you? What were your priorities? How did you find your voice? And how can you be consistent towards your making and the people who follow and buy your work? How can you be out there regularly and make new things regularly?
Please feel free to take part in the discussion and share your thoughts, your questions, your way, your point of view! It would be great to take this dialogue a step further!