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Christine: Advance….and Retreat…

Oh, the holiday season is upon us once again! As a jewelry artist and metalsmith, this should signal some of the busiest sales times of the year for me. The truth is, I prefer to have my busy-ness occur before Thanksgiving, and be done. Since I don’t need to support myself with my work (I only really support my work with my work), it’s not as crucial to maximize the sales figures.

Besides, I’ve had a very successful year, being able to pay off my new kiln, bank some money toward a new torch, and send in an entry to a much larger show for spring that has a much larger booth fee. So, I’m pretty happy all the way around.

This is also the time of year when I feel myself totally pulling back from all the online communities I belong to, and spending time focusing on my “real” life and family and myself. It’s the season, I think, to turn slightly inward, become more insular. I’m posting on forums less, blogging a lot less, not getting involved in art trades or challenges or online classes. That works for me, and it’s been happening for at least the last two years, so now, instead of resisting, and wailing about how my mojo has left the building, I lean into it and accept it. The funny thing is, I think most people who go through something like this, and get all panicky about it, feel that the community they’ve become a part of will somehow leave them behind if they don’t constantly stay engaged. I’ve never found that to be true for me, though. People I *really* want to stay connected with will still be there when I re-engage.

It has to do with the amount of creative energy I don’t realize I am pouring out in the time between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Stopping to consider it, in that time frame our family has a holiday, followed by a birthday, Thanksgiving, another birthday, Christmas, and then finally, New Year’s. I am designing and making costumes, decorating, cooking, baking, choosing and wrapping gifts, planning birthday parties, decorating some more, cooking and baking some more, choosing more gifts, MAKING so many gifts, doing more decorating, telling stories, playing with my kids, going on special holiday outings, and just enjoying the rush of family life in this season. Whew! All of that uses creative energy, and social energy, and I am just frankly OUT of energy to spend on my online presence. It’s okay, though, because come late winter, I’m ready to go again!

Fields that have a chance to lie fallow will become more productive later on. By letting my artistic and online social “fields” lie fallow for a time, I can manage my holiday season and my art-making seasons with much less stress. How do you manage?

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