Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me

I've been feeling a little needy lately. The last few days have been rough, sales dried up, blog views were way down and I found none of my pieces had been chosen for any treasuries. I was starting to go to that bad place where I thought nobody liked me anymore and I was a few ill chosen words away from starting a "I need sale" pity party thread. As I was hitting the bottom of this ego bruising time, I learned the lesson in it that I shall now share with you.

As I've previously mentioned, I was an actor for a time, a performer really. I started as a dancer, dabbled with singing and majored in theater in school. If you are even remotely familiar with the performance arts, you're aware that rejection is part of the deal. If you are wise and well adjusted you will quickly learn that not getting the part has very little to do with you as a person, it may even have little to do with your level of talent. Obviously I'm biased, but I think I'm a pretty good actor, however I am not what you would call leading lady material in appearance. Once I embraced that fact, it was easier to accept the rejection of those parts. I was simply not the right type or look for them.

So you're wondering what this has to do with sales, well what I failed to do is divorce my self worth from my tatting. I should have known better, but I allowed my validation to come from sales and blog hits, so when they dried up, I assumed that I had fallen out of favor, the streak was over and no one liked me anymore. The lesson I would like to share with you is this, as much of your own blood, sweat and tears is poured into your jewelry, art or creations, they are not you. As much as you wish that talent and skill was the only factor in sales, they are not. Taste is often the gorilla in the room. When someone isn't buying your jewelry it is most likely not because that don't like you, it may not even be because you're untalented. It is more likely that your pieces are simply not their style. So, to get all psycho-babbly, don't let your personal validation come from sales and external forces. Sure they are great, but they don't reflect on you as a person.

Well, my story has a happy ending, I found a few new treasuries featuring my pieces and this morning I woke to a sale. I guess I just needed a nice humbling blow to the old ego to get me back to a good place. I hope my lesson was well learned and I'm moving forward.


Shiny Black Shoes said...

Oh man,I hear ya! Sales are SO slow for me, and yeah blog views are down too...but I did get a sale yesterday so that was good. I think summer is just generally a slow time, I mean who wants to be inside when the weather is so nice out? (well I do, but anyone else? ;)

High 5 to your sale and treasuries :)

LazyTcrochet said...

Well-said! I've been taking it easy this summer, but am looking forward to busier times for sure. Congrats on the sale and treasuries. Wish you many more!

beadinbythesea said...

As usual, your thoughts are right on! Here's a boost for you... I really like your style of writing. You have talent there too as well as your beautiful tatted creations!

Callooh Callay said...

Don't doubt your talent--your pieces are fantastic! But I know what you mean, it's easy to let your spirits rise and fall along with the sales. We need to all learn the zen of Etsy.

kaboogie said...

A bit of introspection is often good medicine. As a designer for many years "BK" (before kids) I knew the folly of getting personally attached to your work. You can't if you want to survive the arts. Moms learn this early when the kids go "EWWWW", and you KNOW it's a good dinner. Nice work, a well timed pill for the slowly plodding masses!

Anonymous said...

That's a great way of looking at things! Thanks for sharing

Tattycat said...

What caught my attention was the title to this post, as I'm sure was your intention. My husband and I sing this little song when we don't get emails! This is a wonderful lesson that we all need to keep in mind. I am glad you got back to your happy place.

Gina said...

I don't market my stuff anyway, but as buyer, my buying tends to be seasonal and summertime isn't the season. LOL! People are on vacation, they travel, they don't even get on the computer for weeks at a time as outdoor activities consume them. I'm having a hard time even finding time to post on my own blog.

But you bring up an interesting point I've been thinking about for a long time...about how people measure their self-worth by the number of hits on their blog, comments, etc. I've always written strictly for myself, but I did go through a phase where I'd go from elation to depression depending on the number of readers I had - and yet, I seldom pushed my blog or sought attention. I found myself changing the way I wrote because of my audience (something that still bothers me) instead of for me. But I wasn't trying to sell anything either (not even my writing) and if you're selling, you have to promote your work.

:-) Gina

Barbe Saint John aka Saints & Sinners® said...

it IS hard, our art IS our soul, I totally understand!

I'd LOVE to do a blog review on your for Craft Gossip
I've actually had you bookmarked for a while now, butI've been lazy and working non stop to get ready for a big show myself the last few months.

Can you email me? rkabillygal AT earthlink DOT net and I'll get you up this week.