When ideas outstrip time

I recently needed to take a trip to my local craft supply store to get materials to complete a project. Just being around all of the supplies re-opened the door to all of those jewelry-making ideas that I’ve been trying so hard to squelch. Ever since that trip, I find myself mentally creating new bracelets of all kinds, all using different materials than I’ve ever used before.

I’m just dying to buy the materials and equipment I would need to try these ideas so I can experiment and see what works, what doesn’t, and what new possibilities might come from having the materials in hand. There are two big problems with this, though.

A big one is that I just don’t have the time to give to it right now. I am staying so busy right now between work and class and preparing to teach a new yoga class and coaching and writing and the usual house/yard/life stuff that I can’t imagine where I’d carve out more time to play with all of these ideas.

The other big challenge is that most of these ideas involve a big upfront investment in either supplies or equipment (or both) that isn’t very practical for my budget right now unless I know I will have some way to sell some of the items I make to help recoup some of the cost. Without knowing whether my ideas will even work, it’s a pretty big risk to jump to hoping that people would want to purchase them.

And I’ve been feeling pretty frustrated with myself for being so stuck on the selling end of the equation. After all, the joy of creating should come from the doing of the work, not from being able to make any money off of it, right? Yes, I have this need to protect my budget, but maybe that just means that I should come up with ideas that don’t cost so much.

But I finally realized something today. While some of my focus on selling the items I make is about recouping the expenses I’d incur in making things, the bigger part of my desire to sell things is just that I want to share them! When I come up with these neat new ideas, I hate to keep them all to myself. It’s not about making money for me, it’s about finding a way to share my ideas and creations with as many people as possible without going broke in the process. And I get so much enjoyment out of the creative process, that I keep wanting to make more and more and more—many more of any given thing than I’d ever be able to use myself (or even give away to family members as gifts). Selling my items is the only way I can do that.

This realization has finally allowed me to stop beating myself up over wanting to be able to sell my creations, and that has opened up so much more space to get excited about these things I want to try. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t mean that I’ll have any luck selling them if I do make them. And I still haven’t figured out how to fit this creative work into my already busy schedule, but I clearly need to find some way to do so at least on a small scale. I’m too excited about the possibilities and the creative process not to find a way to engage at least a little bit in it.

So as I continue reworking my priorities and the way I choose to spend my time now that I have so much less time to spend outside of work, this is one more activity that needs to be worked into the mix, which means something else needs to go (or at least be reduced). Now that I’m ready to focus on that, though, maybe I can put some of this outpouring of creativity to work on my time management program as well as on new ideas for things to make.

I continue to be amazed at what my creative streak can do when I really and truly open up to letting it flow. The ideas just flood in. I am trusting the same will be true with finding ways to squeeze it all in now that I am committed to making more of a space for this creative work in my life. It’ll be interesting to see what I come up with!

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2 thoughts on “When ideas outstrip time

  1. It is a shame that your creativity is being governed by budget 😦
    Have you ever thought of taking the ideas that you have and making patterns out so that others could make them? Just an idea of how you could let your creativity flow and still sell the patterns without having to put the up-front material cost into the equation. I know that there will be folks out there who also make jewellery who would buy patterns to try themselves. My wife makes jewellery as a hobby and she is always excited to get a new pattern to try out.
    I hope you can get something sorted soon as some of your work I have seen is very good.
    All the best

    • Thanks so much for the idea! I’ll give this some thought. I still think it might be necessary for me to at least try some of these to make sure they would work as I am picturing before I’d create the patterns, but I might be able to borrow equipment to use for just that test run, which would be cheaper. I appreciate the suggestion and the encouragement, and I’ll turn my creative powers to thinking of ways that I could make this approach work. Thanks!

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