Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The next few months

First off, I want to say a big thank to all of you who purchased one of the Sew Fab pattern bundles. THANK YOU! I hope you enjoy creating the things from those patterns and maybe even take the time to snap some pictures and share your creations with the world. From what I've heard, the sale was a huge success overall and I definitely felt that way about it here on my blog.

I know it can sometimes get a little tiresome and even (often) feel a little un-authentic to have someone trying to sell you something for a week straight. And for those of you who follow several of us who were participating in the sale, well, let's face it, you probably got a little weary of hearing about it after a while. But I want to say, as a person, a mom, a creator, a girl on a budget who's doing the best she can, it meant a lot to me personally to feel your support as you commented on my posts throughout the week last week. I know several of you said you felt inspired by the things I made from the pattern bundle and I just want to reach back and tell you how much that meant to my little heart. I know something silly like a pattern sale can seem insignificant and impersonal, but, to quote You've Got Mail, "It was personal to me. [And] whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal." Thank you, friends. 

And if you'll excuse me talking about money for a little bit, well, I'm going to talk about money. :) One of the reasons I was so thrilled with the success of the sale (you know, aside from you all getting your hands on some truly wonderful patterns) was the fact that the money I earned from it is going to help me re-invest in both myself and in you. I know a lot of bloggers run their mini-businesses a lot of different ways, but for the past year or more I've been running my blog and funding my projects (including everything it took to write my book) from my own revenue. While I'm not at a place yet financially to really contribute anything to our family budget, I do try my best to keep from taking away from our family budget for my own projects and creative pursuits. In other words, the money I earn from selling patterns and printables from my shop, the few ads I host, and the occasional rockin' pattern sale goes right back into buying fabric and other materials for projects and tutorials that I share here with you.

Still, in spite of my best intentions, my creative budget has been a bit in the red since some necessary book-writing purchases and I've been trying to do a few extra things to help pay back what I owe to our family budget. I don't share this to sound pitiful (although maybe that's the effect it's having--haha), but because I think it's important to share what it's really like to be a blogger and an author and the wife of grad student all at the same time. It's not just pretty pictures and gorgeous fabric growing on trees. It's a lot of work. And even though it's work that I love and that I pour my heart and soul into, it rarely leaves me with piles of money. (Uhh... and by rarely I mean never.) I've laughed a handful of times in these past few months as I've seen the way others glamorize my becoming an published author. I can just see the money signs in their eyes and feel the way they assume I'll be appearing on television and becoming this really famous person all of a sudden. Ha. If only. :) The truth is that I'm still just sketching out projects in 50 cent notebooks and working on projects in my little basement studio and fighting the daily battle of "no, you really should wear something other than yoga pants today." 

But can I also tell you how amazingly happy I am?
I get to do exactly what I want to be doing. I get to be a mom and a wife and a (very) small business owner and a writer and a creator all at the same time. I get to sew and craft and blog and play outside with my daughter and stay up late laughing with my husband and watching movies. 

I have the freedom to dream. And to act on those dreams. That is huge.

Someday I'll write a post (or, more likely, several posts) about all the things that came together to motivate and allow me the opportunities to write and publish my book, but for now let me just say that it was a combination of a lot of encouragement, a lot of hard work, and the hand of the Lord helping things work out along every step of the way. And, the finished product of the book aside, it has been such a blessing for me to see first-hand that it is possible for my dreams to come true. That no one but myself is really holding me back from doing all the things I dream about. That there are more big dreams that are possible, than impossible. What it requires, more than money, is work. And not giving up part way through. 

Did I ever tell you that I almost called it quits the night my publisher sent me my contract? Not because of the publisher or the contract--both were fine. It was because I was so overwhelmed by the decisions I had to make, even though they were good ones. I remember telling Bryan, "I just want to give up. I could do it, too. I could give up on the book and quit writing on my blog and just go to play groups with Olivia and read books and actually clean the house and do the laundry. A lot of women do that and lead truly happy lives. I could do that."

I thank my Heavenly Father every single day that I did not. A lot of women do do those things and they are truly happy. And I strongly believe that all of those things are deeply important things to be doing. But I also know that that was not Heavenly Father's plan for me and I wouldn't have been happy doing anything other than living up to my full potential. We have dreams for a reason. They help us grow and find joy.

I guess this is all my very round-about way of saying that, if you're just starting out on the journey of following your dreams, know that they're worth it. Not because they'll lead to a glamorous life, but because they'll lead you to your happiest self. 

Now that I'm done writing the book and it's off to the printers (and will be released next month! eeek!) I'm really enjoying re-focusing my creative time on things that I can share with you freely here on my blog again. Yesterday I published the first tutorial on my blog since January and it felt so good. Maybe it seems silly and backwards, but I love giving you things for free. I've been so blessed and empowered by the tutorials that others have shared and it brings me a lot of joy to be able to give back in that way. Over the weekend I sketched out several new projects and I'm really looking forward to sharing them with you over the next few months. If things go as planned (which they hardly ever do, but I'm hopeful anyway), I'll be sharing at least one new tutorial a week until the end of the year. Are you so excited for that!? I'm so excited for that. It's fun to make things. :)

I'm also grateful for the drive I feel to work on so many different things over the next few months to keep me busy before our baby boy is born in January. The last few months before Olivia was born were stagnant and hot and miserable in many ways. I'm grateful that these next few months for me will be busy and, not to mention, full of nice cool weather.

Well, this is a really anti-climactic ending, but now I really should sign off and go clean up the debilitating mess that I've been avoiding in my studio downstairs. Maybe if I call it a studio it will make it feel more glamorous and clean-able. (fingers crossed)

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Go follow your dreams.


Josh and Alice said...

Ha. I don't think cleaning the house and doing laundry makes for "truly happy lives." :o)

Unknown said...

I love hearing from you and I'm so excited for you that all your labour on your book is coming to fruition!! I totally didn't mind hearing from everyone about the Sew Fab sale, especially since it was primarily through completed projects with stuff from the bundle. THE BEST advertisement for sewing patterns, but then, y'all know that!

Fresh Juniper said...

Hi Katie,

Very sweet and heartfelt post. I think new bloggers may find comfort in your words. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Wednesday!


Kathy Haynie said...

Since I'm your mom, I can weigh in here and say that you have been a creator and a maker of joyful things since you were such a little girl. This all makes such perfect sense to me. And speaking of sense, I'm so glad you have had the good sense along the way to stick to your heart and be true to what is really you. (I normally don't make such personal comments in a public space, but your post today inspired me.) Atta girl! Love you!

Mike Koponick said...

Katie, you have a God given talent. It would be a shame to hide it away. Things worth while are rarely easy. You will make the right decision no matter what you decide in the future to do.

Mike Koponick said...

Katie, you have a God given talent for so many things. It would be a shame to hide it and nor share. No matter what you decide to do today or in the future, it will be the right decision.

Sherri Sylvester | Thread Riding Hood said...

Thanks for writing this! It's great to hear about real-life and blogging.