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.