Thursday, 5 June 2014

Toasted Teacakes and Making Plans

 (The Art House Cafe, Penistone)

As a self confessed dreamer, and wandering somewhat aimlessly these last few months it feels jolly good to be at the helm of my little ship again and to be steering it with a sense of purpose and direction.

One can only meander for a while before coming undone and ultimately lost, not to mention fed up.  When a person has no purpose, life loses its lustre.  When one has nothing to achieve or aim for, it becomes humdrum and tiring.  I figured this all out for myself after losing interest in much of what I did for a living sometime last year.  I questioned every facet of my capabilities and decided that I was tired of art, tired of painting and creating stuff and just like that, gave up.  Weeks passed by where I didn't paint a thing, and I lost my passion for writing too.  It was like someone had turned the taps to my creativity off.

However, the true fact of the matter was, I wasn't actually tired of any of those things.  No, I'd just lost myself enroute to nowhere, and that was the crux of it - I had no goals in place, no intentions, no five year plan, no nothing.  I didn't know where I was going anymore.

I'm aware all that might sound dreadfully dull to some of you; indeed, the very nature of the word 'goals' sounds as if energy is involved and just the very idea of getting up and creating some goals made me feel weary! But in my months without any, where I drifted and wafted, I felt myself becoming very disatisfied.  My life didn't have a purpose - oh, it was full to the brim of stuff, and things to do, but I wasn't heading anywhere and that is most dispiriting.

So, with the help of my new guidebook 'Grow Your Handmade Business', I am finally setting some goals and intentions, and I am not feeling afraid by the enormity of some of these; quite the opposite infact, I am feeling fired up and ready to go!  My delicious green filofax now has a monthly goals section, and I add weekly goals to my diary pages.  It is most satisfying to tick these things off once they're done and I get the added bonus of feeling like Im achieving things, instead of just thinking about them.

One of my smaller goals is to have business breakfast meetings with myself at a very lovely cafe in a nearby village, where I will go over my plans to see where I am with things and what needs tweaking.  I also use the time to dream up new products and ideas.  Working from home means getting out of the house from time to time is essential, a fresh space brings fresh perspective; not to mention hot buttery teacakes and a pot of the finest Yorkshire tea.

I had myself one of these meetings on Tuesday morning, and enjoyed it enormously!  From this very meeting I'm pleased to report a new stream of ideas for greetings card artwork has been born, the latest being some seasonal art for my agent.

Life feels so much clearer now I have a good idea of where I want to be, and what I want my creative biz to look like.  Business doesn't have to be boring, and I think for creative businesses especially it can be exciting and very inspiring.

Til next time,
J xxx


  1. Well, I thought you were writing about me! That's EXACTLY how I've been feeling for a while now, especially the drifting aimlessly. Time to get back to meetings with myself I think, though I wish the energy would turn up first! x

  2. Well done Julia! I did notice you'd gone a bit quiet and wondered why. :) I've been through this recently too and I'm still struggling with confidence in my painting even though it looks otherwise on social media. Your story gives me hope, thankyou!
    Jess x

  3. What a well-worded post - captured how we all feel at times, but glad to hear things are getting better. I work at home quite a lot and I agree, you need to get out - love the idea of a business meeting with yourself. BTW, stayed near Penistone in February and visited that cafe - a very welcoming place for a business meeting
    Caz xx

  4. I think I need to buy that book!

  5. I always appreciate your honesty, Julia - it make us feel we are not alone!

  6. Oh Julia
    I've been feeling much the same way, i think it's only natural and out of all that drifting and wafting comes a decision making moment and then your set on a path to new things. Your blog is inspirational in itself and you have helped me find some clarity xx

  7. I am so glad to see your post - it is as though you've been able to put into words the way I have been feeling - Julia I have so much to thank you for ....

  8. Your post really resonated with me, I think I have been going through something similar. I am glad you found a solution and are now back on track. I love the idea of taking yourself for a business meeting. As long as you don't start talking to yourself while you are in the cafe then you will be fine! I have had the book ' Grow your Handmade Business' on my wishlist for ages, after reading your post I decided to treat myself. Thanks' for such a timely post.

  9. Hi Julia, I hope you are well! I think we all go through these phases where we wander and feel a little lost. I did last year. I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to take my life. Everything just sort of got all jumbled and I felt lacking in energy to really get structure back. It's the nicest feeling though isn't it when it starts to come back and we start to feel invigorated again!

    Your art is always so beautiful, you have such a wonderful talent.

    Take care and have a super week

    Vanessa xxx

  10. Dear Julia, it's been a while since I last popped by your blog to say hi. I also go through those phases and I think it is very natural. Life has been busy for me of late and so not had a chance to stop and think. But... I am very glad you are getting back on track as I love your art so much and am hankering after another seaside pic for my bathroom to go with the other two! I will be keeping my eye on you. xx

  11. So so true. I'm completely rubbish without a bit of structured creativity in my life!

    By the way, have you considered selling some full-scale prints of your paintings? I'd buy several!! I LOVE the Coastguards Cottages painting, but can't quite run to buying the original...

    Love your work.

    Lisa x

  12. Please ignore that last comment, I'm a complete moron! Of course you sell prints. I'm off to dip my head in a bucket of cold water.
    Lisa x


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