Even though I started my blog as a place to share projects and ideas, lately I've been spending more and more time thinking about the writing that I put into it. At first, it was just a matter of "This is made from this material, and it took me X number of days to make," and I was totally ok with that. Recently I've been writing more posts analyzing both myself and the crafty Blog-O-sphere I love so much. A year ago I would've been embarrassed to post without pictures, but I find myself writing more and more, that I just don't have the right photo for. And that's ok, too! LOL
It's really interesting to me, how positive most everyone tries to be. Not that I want to bring anyone down, but I think it's normal to have negative thoughts, and even express them. Not that I want this to turn into a bitch-fest, but it feels good to get the bad stuff off your chest every once in a while. (Feel free to leave now, if rants aren't your thing!)
First, a confession; I get so jealous of people sometimes. I mean, really jealous. And it's not as if I think badly of these people because of their successes; merely that I wish I felt more successful myself. It's such a trap I fall into. I check the "How's Your Etsy Shop Doing?" thread on Craftster frequently, and while I'm proud our community as a whole is growing; it's so easy for me to feel so envious that I haven't made a sale in over a month. That I haven't felt as much a part of the community, as I really want to. That I don't feel successful, even though I've made huge progress in the last year. Those emotions are like quicksand for me, and it sucks me down into a spiral of "I'm not good enough." (Don't even get me started on other Tsumami Kanzashi sellers on Etsy… I could turn green just thinking about how many more sales they get, than I do.)
Those times, I try and remember I am successful, even if I haven't reached a lot of my goals yet. Even if I haven't ever won Whiplash, even if it really seems the grass is greener on someone else's side; it doesn't mean it is. I think about how hard some small business owners push themselves to get where they want to be, and how I so blindly fell into that trap. I think about how overwhelming it all feels sometimes, and I wonder how I'd really feel about wholesaling 200 pieces (of anything! LOL) or not being able to keep up with demand. That might be right for some sellers, but for me it's about the customer. I want every Crafty Ginger customer to be 100% satisfied with everything I put into my products. I love writing little notes saying Thank You! to my buyers, because I'd love to try and make their day as good as they made mine by purchasing from me. I like having total control over my packaging, that I can print up small batches, and make them personal. I'd really love to sell more, but I don't want to sacrifice quality of product, or the buying experience.
I guess what I'm saying is - define your own success, and don't let others do it for you. Only you can know what truly makes you happy, and if that's selling hundreds of products in a week - that's great for you! But if you want each an every buyer to feel special, that's ok too! I think in this day and age, it's easy to let outside factors determine how we feel. I think that's a copout though, as it's always harder to stay true to yourself and be an individual. I think that's what this community is really about though, embracing who you are, and what you love. Be who you are, and do what you love - in whatever way that's true to you.