Today, we are officially halfway through the year. The artist in me has been taking it easy, mainly just working on projects that make my heart flutter. I had been working so much for the past two years that I burnt out HARD, so I decided to not take any new work that I wasn't absolutely head-over-heels excited about. While I feel a little guilty about not "hustling" for the past few months, I'm glad I did it because I needed this break.
Out of curiosity, I started to look back at what I had accomplished for the year. So far, 2018 has been drastically different from any other year with Cozy Reverie. Since I love lists, here are 5 surprising things I noticed:
Less blog posts
I have only written 16 blog posts this year. 16! I couldn't believe it either! There was a time when I was blogging every single day or would feel super guilty when I didn't have any content to post. I'm so glad I've given myself permission to take breaks and not shackle myself to exhausting tasks. A big part of less blogging was when I reflected on my 5th blogiversary, but even those goals had to take a back seat due to the overwhelm. Perhaps it's just a phase, or maybe I am moving on from blogging all together?
Making Time For Myself
I rarely do this, but I started this year in such an exhausted state that I knew making time for myself had to be a priority. I started reading more (highly recommend this one and this one) and listening to podcasts for creatives (omg, why did it take me so long to listen to Goal Digger???). It has done wonders for my self-esteem in the creative part of my world.
Art Because I Feel Like It
For years, all my designs were solely to put in the shops and finding a way to monetize them. This year, I decided to just draw things that made me happy. Don't get me wrong, I still uploaded designs to my Society6 shop, but I didn't worry if they didn't sell. I just wanted to put more art I loved out in the world and it has made a huge difference my happiness this year.
Permission to NOT Make
In the early part of April, I gave myself permission to not make everyday. We are taught to constantly hustle, hustle, hustle in the hopes of being more successful, but I finally realized how that mentality can actually be super detrimental to the creative process. It's okay to not draw every night. It's okay to not have a new blog post every week. It's okay to not do anything creative for a month. We all need breathing room, even from the things we love. This is necessary to clear the mind and recharge.
A New Career Goal
Last month, I went to the Society 6 event, Girls Art Now, where I realized a new goal. One artist mentioned that she had a regular day job because she loved the certainty of a paycheck, and she did the art on the side, "keeping it sacred". I know it's silly to say this now (because this is basically what I have been doing since 2014), but I loved that mentality. To be honest, becoming full-time freelance sounded terrifying. I thought I wanted it because we're told that was the next step to be considered "successful". There were so many inspiring women at the event, telling their own different stories of success, but knowing that this one particular artist chose to keep the day job that she loved while making art on the side, was what I needed to hear. I can have a career I love and do art on the side. YES. Yes, please x 1000.
That's it! Thank you for reading through my musings for the first half of the year. Strangely enough, looking back can be super enlightening, especially when you are feeling a little lost or stuck on your current path. This year has helped given me some clarity on what I hope to accomplish in the future. The key was to allow myself to be open to other possibilities and opportunities.
I highly encourage you to look back at your own recent history. What are you proud of? What can you let go of? What are you excited about in your near future?