So back to today. I told my assistant when I came in this morning (about 45 minutes late since I had a heck of a time getting out of bed) that I started taking these new little pink pills so if she happened to walk back to my office and find me asleep on my desk, just make sure I’m still breathing, turn off the light and shut the door. Through a constant infusion of Diet Coke, I’ve managed to stay awake but can’t really concentrate on much (like that end of the academic year college-wide service learning and learning communities report I need to write), so what did I do? In my drug induced stupor, I joined Twitter! Sounded like a great idea for my even more shortened-attention-spanned self, right?!
I’ve been fighting jumping on the Twitter bandwagon for a while, figuring I didn’t need yet one more thing to keep up with. I recently took a free five-day online marketing course from Etsy guru Tim Adam, and the first day’s assignment was to (1) start a blog, (2) open a Facebook account, and (3) open a Twitter account. Since I already had two of the three done, I figured I was doing pretty well. The next three days’ lessons concentrated on each of those venues and how they can help you promote your art online. After Tim received much feedback on how much time the above three can suck out of your life, the fifth day’s lesson was changed from Google Analytics to Time Management. He has some great suggestions, and he’s been a very charitable mentor to many a struggling Etsy seller through the forums and through his Handmadeology site. He’s done very well with his own Etsy business, going from working two jobs and selling his art in galleries and fairs to dumping his day job and concentrating on his art full-time. Kudos to Tim.
However, what he doesn’t have, my dear friends, is children, and that is key! At the close of his five-day course, he asked for feedback on what else he could have included, and that was the point I mentioned to him. There is simply not enough time in the day for one woman to successfully work a full-time “day job”, parent small children AND spend all that time marketing herself on her blog, Facebook and Twitter. I’d be glued to the computer all day! Then, of course, there’s the actual creative time that must be taken to actually create the art that you are trying to market. And yes, I know, I know….you make time for what’s important…I’ve heard that many times. But there is wanting to make time for what’s important and then there’s the reality of life with small children (and the fact that I do actually need sleep).
This got me thinking more about my mission for my art, in whatever form it may take. I talked about this some at the end of this blog post. While I’d love to have more time to work on my art, I’m not willing to quit my day job (nor can we afford to financially even if I were willing). For the most part, I like my day job. I’ve built a great career at the college and I know that I’ve been a great positive influence on hundreds of students who’ve walked through my office door. Yet I still have that huge drive to create. And to get my creations out there to others. Is my art my “life’s work”? I know that I wouldn’t feel complete without it, but I also know it will probably never be my sole income…and I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that that's just fine. I can create for me and if things sell, great; if they don't, no biggee...I'll find some place for them. Maybe that’s my subconscious telling me that my family needs health insurance, I need to build up my girls’ college fund, I need to have at least a little bit of stability in my life…who knows. Maybe I’m just not thinking clearly in my klonopin- and celexa-filled brain right now! :-) (And don’t even get me started on the topic of why I’m taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications for a balance disorder, as I haven’t figured that one out myself...I just listen to the good docs at my Mayo-clinic affiliated doctor’s office [and do my own research], but I digress). So I’ll Tweet here and there, and maybe I’ll develop a little Twitter following (with my humor and wit, how could they possibly resist, right?), and we’ll see what happens. If you are on Twitter, come join me here. We can juggle our crazy lives together! Oh, and in case you were wondering, the picture with this post is some of my photo boxes all stained and polyurethaned, ready to have a photo mounted on them; one of these days I’ll figure out how to caption my pictures...