Saturday, July 28, 2007

What would happen if ...

... I suddenly got tired of stamping? I mean, this comes up occasionally because I hit these "dead" spots in my desire to be paper-rubber-scissorsly creative and the terror strikes. What if I woke up one morning and said, "Right. Time to box it all up and give it to Stampers' Goodwill."? Would my husband divorce me because of all the money I’ve invested in my stamping/scrapping obsessions that would then be thrown away? Would I lose all my friends (because most of them are stampers)? Would I get back the friends who run the other direction when they see me coming because they’re afraid I’m going to ask them to yet another Stampin’ Up! class? Would I shrivel up and die of lack of creativity, or would something else fill the void? (Actually, I already also write, so at least there would be that, and the only money spent there is on paper, ink cartridges and notebooks, but that also requires a bit of inspiration.)

I did quit scrapbooking (and, consequently, stamping) for two years once because I totally burned out. We went to Ireland and Norway in the summer of 2000. I started scrapping the week in Ireland almost as soon as we got back, and it took me almost a year to do it (jillions of photos, jillions of pages). By the time I got done with that part I was staring down the barrel of photos of TWO weeks in Norway, plus the self-imposed pressure of needing it to be even more perfect since there were relatives involved, and I just blew a gasket somewhere. I did a few pages and then couldn’t do any more. Then we moved to Texas and all my stuff stayed in boxes for two years. Not because it all had to, but because I just couldn’t bring myself to drag it all out. It was overwhelming. During that time the entire scrapbooking industry exploded. Eyelets came out. “Embellishments” (waaaaaay beyond stickers) were now a huge part of the pages. Pages were lumpy (boy did I have a hard time getting used to that!) It was as if I was starting all over, or at least going straight from Kindergarten to college! I survived, but I have nowhere near the page output that I did in my pre-burnout years.

So I started on this huge card-making binge back in October when I finally started playing with the techniques in my Technique Junkies newsletters. I was a madwoman, making cards as if there was no tomorrow. I loved it! I was addicted! I just couldn’t get enough of making cards! And then one day I didn’t actually make it into my craft loft. Then a couple of days later it happened again. And now I enjoy going in there and making stuff, but I’m not driven like I was, and there will be whole weeks (like this last one) where hardly anything gets made at all. I still buy stuff, but I’m really not making enough to justify it.

I don’t really think I’m burning out. But it does scare me sometimes when I have weeks like this when the thought of going in there tires me rather than energizes me. I even find that I’m deleting more of the Yahoo groups messages than I’m reading these days, and that bothers me. I get such great inspiration from those groups, but sometimes it’s just overwhelming to have all that e-mail stacked up in my inbox …

So, just thought I’d muse a little today. Hopefully tonight I’ll make some kind of creative progress in the loft. If I do, I’ll be sure to post the results of my labors!

2 comments:

Etha said...

I think, most of all you should have fun in what you are doing. All of us go through phases where our hobbies change or we need a break or something. Its not about what you are doing, but that you enjoy it and it gives you something in life to look forward to, to immerse yourself in, get your senses recharged. Sometimes when I can't get any inspiration to work with my paper stuff, but I sort feel that I want to, just nothing good comes out of it, instead of being frustrated and throw the towel, I just sit down and start sorting my stuff, take some mental inventory what I have, play with all the toys without actually doing anything. Very satisfying indeed! So, don't fret about all the money you have spent but rather do something that you enjoy and gives you pleasure! Unless you are dependent on an income from your art you are free to do whatever you like, that's the beauty of it all :)

Stacy said...

Thank you, Etha! Well, actually, BLESS YOU -- this helps!!