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Guest Maven: Becky Striepe on Self Care to Nuture Your Creativity

 
Of Glue and Glitter

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Have you ever felt like you’re taking on too much or you’re stuck in a creative rut? It might be time to step back, reassess, and make some time to care for yourself.

Last year, I had sort of a creative crisis. I was juggling freelance writing and running a crafty business, and doing it all just felt unsustainable. The crafty biz side of things wasn’t the dream I thought it would be, but at the same time it felt like I couldn’t quit. After all, hadn’t I quit my day job to pursue a crafty career?

It was that same year at the Summit of Awesome that Willo O’Brien mentioned during one of her talks that she was liquidating her line. Wait…what?? This is a crafter and a creative person that I look up to, and she was doing the very thing that my brain had kind of been nagging me to do! After her panel was over, she and I had a long talk where she introduced me to the concept of self care, and it has changed my creative life.

When you’re making a living from your creativity, there’s a tendency to push yourself, isn’t there? You want to do it all, and you kind of feel like you have to do it all. You’re living your dream, so you should be making sacrifices, right? I’m not saying you shouldn’t work hard. I work my tail off, but I also set aside the time to tend to my mental health, and that’s what self care is all about.

A Little Bit of Self Care Every Day

Self care can mean different things to different people. Maybe it means taking some time each day for a proper lunch break or a quick lady date for coffee and a cupcake. Maybe you need to set aside a few hours once a week to head out into nature or take your dog for a walk to clear your head.

We get so bogged down with the need to make, create, and produce that we forget to take care of ourselves. The key is finding what works for you and making the time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big time commitment, but it should feel like a treat. If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, you probably remember this great advice from Dale Cooper:

Do that. Even if it’s just a cup of good, strong, black coffee.

Reassessing and Letting Go

Self care can also mean letting things go when they aren’t working for you. For me, it meant giving up my crafty business to focus on writing. It was a hard decision, but it has made a big difference in my happiness and creative energy.

Letting go doesn’t have to mean completely ditching what you were doing. When I quit selling my crafts, I was able to funnel that crafty energy into writing more tutorials. I’m still making a living from my creativity – and from my crafts – but taking that step back allowed me to find a way to do it in a sustainable way.

When your creativity defines who you are, it can be really difficult to let go of projects that aren’t working for you. It’s not just that you’ve invested time, but when you’ve put a little bit (or a lot!) of yourself into something it’s that much tougher to step back and recognize when it’s time to move on. There’s a difference between working hard on something you love and pushing yourself to do something just because you feel like you should.

Do you find little ways to treat yourself each day? I’d love to hear how you’re working self care into your creative life!


Becky Striepe is a freelance blogger and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! You can find her at Glue and Glitter, on Facebook, and on Pinterest. {top photo by Bonnie J Heath Photography}

 

3 Responses to Guest Maven: Becky Striepe on Self Care to Nuture Your Creativity

  1. Willo says:

    I’m so happy to read this post, Becky! The decision to let go of my line wasn’t an easy one for me, either (we’re so identified with our craft!), but I know now that my creativity abounds way beyond that one incarnation.

    I have written about this a lot on my site, including having several incredible conversations with other inspiring creatives in my WilloToons Connect video series: http://willotoons.com/connect

    I also had an interview come out recently that is probably one of the best documentations of my uncomfortable metamorphosis (as I call it): http://bit.ly/JQ51EH

    Our conversation sat with me for quite some time too, Becky, and it’s so nice to see it shared here so thoughtfully. Keep spreading the gospel about self-care! We’ll all be able to serve the world with our gifts that much more when we’re taking care of our selves – creatively, physically and emotionally – to the best of our abilities.

    xoxo
    w

    • Willo and Becky, I’m loving this conversation so much! I’ve been through the same thing- stopping doing the craft business thang and trading it in for a new role. Also trying to find ways to have better balance in my life and shedding some of my former roles to focus in on what I really want to be doing. Willo, we love what you’re doing with WilloToons! Looking forward to reading your metamorphosis. I wish we’d had more time to sit down and talk at WDS, because I think we can really help each other. I’ll email you personally and we can discuss this further. Becky, I really love your perspective and thoughts on self care! I knew you’d do a great job and you totally exceeded my expectation! xoxo to both of you! – Jen

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