How I Got Burnt Out On Scrapbooking - An Important Lesson Learned

It's funny how things can changes so drastically.
If you had asked me 5 years ago what I wanted to spend my time doing, I would have said  "Scrapbooking and crafting!"

It was my TOP hobby and I got pretty dang good at it! I was published over 200 times, I was in every single scrap magazine...every month. I was on the top design teams. I was all over HSN and QVC. The fame was a blast and CHA was home.

Then something changed. 

I found myself feeling burnt out and I'm sure it's because I was working like a sweatshop. I was so grateful for everything given to me, but the demand was too much. I stopped scrapping for me and it was all about finishing assignments in the end. 

One of the most time consuming parts of the job was the HSN and QVC shows. Every time I finished my 30-40 layout assignments (in a week's time), another box would hit my doorstep for the same amount of work (for the next show in less than 2 weeks). My fingers were tired and my creativity river was drying up. The money was amazing and being put to good use and I loved getting checks every week, but after a while... I noticed my family was always on the back burner. 

The boys would be off watching a fun movie or hanging out and I would be at my table, rushing to meet deadlines. It was killing me! I had enough! Plus on top of it, every time CHA rolled around I had a boatload of work. I freelanced for WAY too many companies and Mr. Sonboul's response was always the same:

"Wait, how much are you getting paid for that layout? I really like that layout a lot. Can you get that layout back?"

I was sending away layouts to those that purchased them and after the shows, would never see them again. It was sad.  Some of the layouts were my favorites and I just gave them away. After talking to friends in the industry I knew I wasn't alone. It's part of the climb. It's what was needed in order to be someone in this "weird crafty world/bubble" I lived in. 

Then one day (8 years of hard work to be exact), I changed for the better. I decided that it was time to retire from design teams. It's now been 4 months and my river is rushing with thoughts of what to make and with all this time in front of me (not needed to fill assignments for others). I have this amazing book opportunity and being able to scrap what I WANT is just down right amazing! I'm craving my crafting time again and working on the book is so much fun. A fun I completely forgot about. So sad! 

So what did I learn from this experiences?

Don't abuse the things you love the most and treat them with respect. I'm not telling you crafters out there to retire from DT's, but I am telling you to be aware of  "too much work". Never put your family on the back burners, because it's just paper and glue. If you are not having fun, take a step back and cherish your talents. Don't try and be on EVERY SINGLE DT.  Just pick your favorite 3 and be careful of overdoing it. 

I hope this raw honesty inspires my crafty friends out there. For those lovely gals stuck in the climb. Be wary of overdoing it and remember... crafting is meant to be fun :)
It's a lesson I had to learn the hard way.


Pin It!


Nikki Love said...

Thanks so much for sharing your lesson learned. I, too, found that being although being on design teams and enjoying the free products can be rewarding, it also causes your passion to become more like a job and not a hobby. I can't imagine giving my layouts away to never have them return home to their rightful albums where they belong. Scrapping for me is about recording the special memories that our family members share and it's hard to make memories when you're constantly scrapping to meet deadlines and keep up with your obligations. Kuddos to you for putting your priorities in line and putting your family first!!! And don't forget to treat yourself to non-scrapping "you" time in the process. As wives and moms, it's so easy to lose ourselves as well ;)

I'm just a simple gal said...

I love your story. I only scrap for an hour each night after Edward goes to bed. I spend most of my time with him first and then I scrap. I agree, don't put your family on the back burner... Congrats on the book. I can't wait to see some of your work again!!!

Beth Hallgren said...

Wow Heidi! I don't know how you managed to kick out all that each week. I feel overwhelmed sometimes and I'm only designing for one kit club and a blog. Kudos for cutting back. They are only kids once and I regret not spending more time with mine when they were littler because I was so obsessed with keeping my house clean and the day to day stuff.

The Ark said...

Amen! You children are priceless and they will never be that age again. Enjoy every minute of each age they are, once they are gone, they are gone! You are an awesome mother! Love, Mom

Emmajean Hicks said...

Heidi, I feel your pain.. I was new to scrapbooking and paper crafts as I call it. I dicided to be come a seller for a small scrap book company, I ended up on the design team and loved it at first... I then found my new hobby had become to much like work I was not having fun anymore. I did learn and grow from my time on the team but when I had the chance I took it and stepped down... Kudo's to you for sharing all you are in the craft world for so long.. I am glad you will make time for yourself and scrap your life..I do miss the those little box's filled with goodies, but I like the freedom to design for me. hugs

Cindy deRosier said...

What a wonderful post! I can't imagine making 40 layouts a week ... and to then not even have them when you're done. No wonder you got burned out! It's great that you have kept your priorities straight and manage to create balance. I can't wait to hear more about the book. It's sure to be fabulous!

Danielle Holsapple said...

Hey girl! I was never as busy as you were - but I kept busy enough. And yes, it wasn't fun anymore. I haven't been designing now for nearly 2 years and it feels great! I miss the "free" stuff but get to create what I want, when I want! Good for you Heidi!

Michelle said...

I don't know how you did it. I always loved your work and it is amazing to know how much you were getting done in a week's time. Good for you for taking control back of your time. You've more than paid your dues and now you get to reap the benefit with your book. Congratulations!

I totally understand where you are coming from, it was a big reason that we closed our kit club. It took too much time from our family, and it totally sucked the love out of a hobby I had loved so much. I got to where I only scrap for me and my family now, it has been forever since I posted in a gallery or on my blog.

Good luck with the book!


Thank you for saying the things that everyone wanted to hear but were afraid to say so themselves. Take care and enjoy the process of creating your beautiful book.
Hugs from India.

Julie Bonner said...

Such a great post!!! As you know, I have been in that position too - twice actually, and finally (I think) have learned my own sense of balance :) It's just so gosh darn tempting to be part of the scrappy world!!! LOL :) I have just one kit club I design for right now & I enjoy it so much - it's just enough. A HUGE CONGRATS on the book - that's awesome!!! Can't wait to check it out :)

Pam Callaghan said...

haha! Heidi.. My fellow Anna girl!

Trine Brandt-Lassen said...

I totally get it! I'm on 3 design teams and never have the time to use my SC kits just for me!! What 40 layouts a week.. You're crazy, Girl! Really tired of wanting people to like my work and comparing myself to better scrapbookers. I am trying hard to be happy with whatever I create, happy if I only inspire a single person, get a single encouraging comment and never get more blogreaders. It's just numbers. I really need to focus on documenting my life and have fun. Thanks for this post!!

Venus said...

thank you so much for sharing your story.