My did that muddy the waters.
Again and again I come up against this fact: To be recognized as successful in this industry you must do one or more of the following:
- Write a book
- Design fabric
- Go to market
- Travel teach
Right now, I don't want to do any of the above.
I don't want to travel. I want to be home, making things, being a mom, enjoying quiet moments and deep heart friends.
I don't want to write a book because the pay is abysmal, you have to travel to promote it and you have to fork over significant control of the process to your publisher. Moreover, a book is not as useful to my readers as a class! Photos and words are so drastically limited in physical publications. Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy craft books! But, I can't shake the feeling that my online classes are my best work.
I don't want to design fabric. Haha, and that's a good thing too!
So why would I go to market? Why run after the hype? Why are these waters muddy at all?
...because I hate feeling that "they" don't think I'm legit. That I'm insignificant, going nowhere and not a real voice in this industry. Apparently I still care what "they" think. Always have. I'm not free from that.
And it's so silly. For lots of reasons! On being that there's another "they" that seems to quite like me, respect me and so kindly encourages me.
Apparently, I am listening to the wrong "they" and it really is my choice who I harken to. If I care more about the "they" that overlooks me, I am giving them a superior validity that makes my angst real. If instead I somehow ignore them, don't read them, don't hear them, I live in my own happy space.
Not as connected, not as big, maybe going nowhere, but happy.
Big or happy? Reach or contentment?
Is it fear that if I don't keep pushing on to more that the "here" that is happy and supportive will disappear?
My relationship with my readers is the biggest thing I value in my "presence" as it were in this industry. They are the people that I really want to know, to help, to inspire. When someone creates something she thought she couldn't from my tutorial or breaks into a new skill set via my class or just starts a new project sparked by something I made... well then my heart sings! And that's all. That's enough! That's real impact, real engagement that makes my day in a way that feels so much more true than any other measure of online impact that I've experienced.
I guess the thing is that doing those industry validating things could create more of those moments. Yes, I'll admit it - they would. BUT, I would sacrifice some dear things (time, family, friends, home) that would not be worth the trade.
Some things are worth keeping.
I am so grateful for the beautiful, delicate and glorious balance that I already have in Stitched in Color. I am happy now. I am satisfied and I shouldn't let comparisonitis take that away. This balance may be precarious or fleeting. Who's to say? Who can see the future? God give me grace to respond to the changing winds of time.
At the end of the day, two goals when it comes to Stitched in Color: I am happy and my readers are happy. So tell me, what makes you happy in this space?
p.s. She is pondering the idea of a traveling bi-annual retreat, to get to know the dear "they" in various U.S. cities. Very small scale. Very much pure sewing and friendship. And can we start in Lake Tahoe, CA this April?