I realized I was in trouble when the folks who run craftgawker.com and foodgawker.com rejected my first photo submissions. Somehow that ‘professional opinion’ knocked me to my creative knees, in spite of all of the lovely compliments and encouragement during the lifetime of this blog. As painful as it was to have my composition criticized and deemed unacceptable for craft- and foodgawker’s reader base, the experience has also launched my thoughts about the why’s and what for’s of my little handmade corner of the world and catapulted me into new territory. I am now convinced that I needed this shake-up, that I was drifting in complacency, not to mention low productivity.
Do you know that in-between state, somewhere before you are fully awake but still tethered to your dreams? This morning, as I was slipping into consciousness, a voice said, “You’re not spending (enough) time with your own crafting/making/creating — stop browsing (and admiring, to be honest) everyone else’s work and focus on your own!” Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. (Could the amazing Elsita do what she does while frittering away time on the ‘net? Don’t think so.)
Once again I was reminded of Julia Cameron‘s advice to suspend recreational reading (for at least a week) so as to facilitate focus on one’s own work. (Not so different than suspending access to electronic devices in the classroom, which was a discussion topic at school this week.) Now, I love to browse the web sites and flickr photostreams of other artists and crafters. I love connecting with creative types all over the world, commenting on their blogs and photos, cheering them on and feeling a zing! of inspiration and the thrill of conversation when they respond in kind. But I have to wonder if this pattern of mine has become like starting and finishing a meal with dessert, and has left scant room for the basics, that is, time with me-myself-and-I.
Finding a balance between feeding my curiosity about what everyone else is up to and tending to my own endeavors is my new priority. Funny how ‘balance’ seems to pop back up, time and again. I wrote about it four years ago, and here I am again.
Do you find your own creative juices compromised by too much time web surfing? Does your inner artist ever feel soggy, saturated, and overwhelmed? Have you considered a social media detox? I’m putting myself on a social media diet. No time constraints, but until I make progress on that list of unfinished projects.
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I’m with Raina… don’t scare me like that! I count on you to inspire me. Thanks for keeping at it.
What a great way to look at rejection, instead of getting defensive. (My first reaction, generally.) I like your photos, but as Raina said, you have no idea what they were looking for or maybe even why they turned your offer of photos down. I like the idea of detox. Sometimes I get so behind in looking at the blogs/sites in my reader that I ‘declare bankruptcy’ and hit mark all as read. I am sure I miss some fun stuff that way, but it frees my mind up. I hurt my shoulder recently and have spent much less time at the computer. Not all bad.
Oh my gosh, I nearly had a stroke when I started reading your blog thisw morning! I thought you were leading up to saying you were ending your blog!!
Rejection is so difficult. One thing to remember is that we have no real idea what they are looking for or need. Your photo’s always inspire me and are very high quality! Keep up the great work!
As they say in the south, “Bless your heart!” I love your comment and am absolutely tickled pink that someone would so miss my blog were it to go offline! Thank you, thank you.
My, you really know how to prompt many thoughts to begin the week! What an incredible approach to the “rejection” and one that will no doubt will take your creative world to new levels.
These pictures really pop. Detail and simplicity. Thank you!
Can’t wait to hear how your week progresses, Trudie! Thanks for this.
Unless your photos weren’t the right dimensions for craftgawker, I don’t get it. Your photos always inspire and delight. It’s great that you could turn this experience into the positive step about spending more time on your craft.
(smile) Thanks, Carol. I love knowing that my pics can inspire!