I’ve decided to start an experiment of sorts.

You see, I noticed lately that I’m really struggling to focus. This isn’t something new, but since moving into my year off to work on my art business, it’s become really, really obvious. I find myself drowning in thoughts…trying to figure out what to focus on, what to spend my time on, what to put my energy towards. My mind simply won’t shut off. It’s this constant barrage of ideas, worry, and inspiration. And to be honest, it’s stifling my ability to actually get shit done.

I feel like this issue with focus is compounded by the fact that I feel compelled to check my phone every five freaking seconds. Okay, maybe not that often, but you get the idea. It’s a lot! I’m constantly thinking about what I should post on Instagram and whether or not I responded to every comment on Facebook. So much so, I sometimes forget to keep working on what actually matters…the work of my business.

I tell ya, I didn’t think I’d spend my first four months off fighting with my schedule so much! But that does seem to be my new reality. Figuring out when to work, what time to get up in the morning, what days to take off, what to do if I have a crap day that’s not productive, etc., etc.

It’s very different when you work outside the home and even more different when you work for someone else. Working for someone else, if I had a crappy, unproductive day, I’d see it for what it was, do better tomorrow, and let it go. Working for myself I feel guilty, decide not to take my next day off to make up for it, and belittle myself for being so irresponsible. Because when you’re starting a business you feel like every second matters. And if you waste a second, you waste money, and if you waste money….oh god, what are you going to do? 

When I put the words to paper, I realize I’m being a little dramatic here. And silly. But when they’re floating around in my head, it all seems totally reasonable.

So…back to my experiment. 

It’s simply this…do whatever the hell I want to do. Listen to my own ideas, my own business advice, my own intuition. Stop trying to follow every business guru’s ideas. Stop listening to all the “sage” advice. Build this little business in a way that is sustainable for me. Take care of myself. Put my own health and happiness first. And write it all down. Here. On this blog.

I’m starting my days with morning pages. And I’m writing those pages right here, with no regard to rules. Oh my goodness, are there a lot of rules about blogging these days! And even more if you have a business. Don’t write too much personal stuff. Only write what your client/customer wants to know about. Your customers don’t care about you. Make it pretty. Add photos. Make sure those photos are magazine quality. Etc. Etc.

Well, I’m dumping all the advice. I’m just going to write. I’m going to check in each morning about what I’m thinking, feeling, doing. Whatever I like. I’m going to get the stress and worry and concern out of my mind and onto the paper at the start of each day, and I’m going to hit publish. And then I’m going to let it go. I’m going to let go of the need to post beautiful photos with each post (as much as I love photos, it makes it harder to post because sometimes it simply takes too much time).

I’m going to set up a very simple work schedule. Write. Film my art classes. Work on my Etsy shop. Figure out how to get the word out about my business. That’s all.

I don’t know where social media fits into that. Maybe it doesn’t. At this moment, I’m taking a social media break, attempting to bring a little focus back to this brain of mine.

And the rest will work itself out. At the end of this year off, I’ll see how the business has grown and what good things have happened. I hope it will bring in an income I’m proud of (regardless of whether or not it’s enough to sustain me full time). I hope I will have built something that makes a difference, that makes someone smile, that makes someone feel more in touch with their creative side. I hope to feel like I’ve accomplished something fun and creative and worthwhile. 

So that’s where I’m at. I’ll leave it there for now, and I’ll return to the page tomorrow. Thanks, friends, for being here.