Some days my life seems like an oxymoron. It seems that I am forever burning the midnight oil and pushing myself to finish something, only to find that once it is completed it is weeks and sometimes even months before I realize the benefits of completing it. By the time the item is published in one of the magazines or in the catalogs, it has been so long since it was the focus of my attention that I am somewhat surprised when I finally see it in print. There have even been times, I admit, when I have forgotten about it altogether. I am now in a period of time in my business life where I am awaiting several decisions on many key projects and issues.
Such is working in the publishing business.
Since I began writing this blog back in May, it has made me acutely aware of the passage of time. This is the first time I have done anything of this sort, and I am seeing that it is quite useful to have documentation of the progress of the many projects that I do and also of my life in general. My friend Ellen is the only adult that I know that keeps a journal. There have been many times in the years that I have known her when a friendly dispute may have come up as to when a particular event was, and Ellen would look up in her journal and come up with a definitive answer. She tells us that she has kept her journal since she was a young girl, and I can only imagine the volumes that sit in a box or a drawer somewhere in her attic. I wonder if she ever rereads them and relives those parts of her life. I will have to remember to ask the next time I see her.
Did you ever ask yourself “Where did the time go?” I think that most people have thought that at one time or another. I feel it especially at this time of year. Perhaps because it is because of the significance of ending the year and entering a new one. It seems like only yesterday when the kids were small and the new millennium was approaching (remember Y2K concerns?) and now here we are ten years into that. Is it just because I am getting old? Or is it just because as I get older I appreciate the good days more and look at them much more closely than I had in the past.
I find that writing every day has been very useful and beneficial to both my business and my life. Yes, it takes precious minutes out from my busy day. But the returns and benefits that I have gained from doing so far outweigh the cost of the time to do so. Not to mention the new friendships I have made because of it and the valuable advice.
When I started writing here, I was concerned about putting my thoughts and feelings out here for all to see. What if people thought I was foolish? What if no one reads it? What if they think I am an annoyance? When posting those first few entries, I was quite nervous about hitting that ‘post’ button. After all, this is a woodworking site with hard-core woodworkers and furniture builders. There was a part of me that thought perhaps I didn’t belong here, as scroll sawing is my specialty and it was such a small part of this vast site.
But I was never one to be a conformist and run with the masses. It has always seemed that I somewhat marched to my own drummer if you would please excuse the cliche. I found that at most times in my life when everyone else was doing one thing, I was looking to do something else.
When I first began doing scroll sawing, there were few women that did any type of significant woodworking at all. There was one woman whose name is Joann Lockwood, that was probably the only significant female that I knew of in the scroll saw world. She has long since retired, but she did a great job in pioneering a place for women in this type of field. She helped open the door for we woman to not only do scroll sawing, but woodworking in general as well as painting. She was a significant influence in my life and it made me want to also share what I have learned and show people that anyone can do not only scroll sawing, but also woodworking. Thus began my career as a ‘teacher’.
So that brings me back to writing every day. I feel that by documenting my experiences here regarding my work and my business, it may help others who are interested in starting their own businesses in the woodworking or publishing field that things are not always as they perceive them to be. I hope that by sharing my experiences with you all, that it helps not only to motivate you if you are thinking of working on your own, but also motivates you to try new techniques even if you are only doing woodworking as a hobby. Nothing pleases me more than hearing that because of my daily writings and patterns that I have encouraged others to either dust off their scroll saws or even purchase scroll saws to give scrolling a try. I feel very strongly that creativity is an incredible outlet and whatever form you choose to express your creativity will absolutely enrich your lives in many different ways. I see it every day not only in my own life, but also in the lives of the many others I interact with throughout the day.
When I started writing this post, I had intended to discuss time frames and playing ‘the waiting game’ when involved in the publishing field. This was because so many aspects of my professional are on hold at this moments waiting for decisions, answers and publishing dates to arrive. However, as I began to write, I see it has evolved into a discussion about writing this blog in general.
I don’t usually title my posts until after I am finished writing them. For those of you who are regular readers, you realize that my style of writing is rather ‘stream of consciousness’ where I tend to just type what comes to mind. I believe that is the best and only way I am able to write so much on a daily basis. It is as if I am sitting with you and having a cup of coffee in the morning and discussing the day’s plans.
On rare occasions, I title the post prior to writing. I used to do this more often, but I find that by the time I am done with the post, I went off in an entirely different direction than intended and the title was no longer relevant. Today’s post was a fine example.
I am happy that you for the most part enjoy my blog. Even when I write short posts as I did yesterday, I received some great feedback and PM’s that made me feel that what I am doing here is somewhat relevant. (Yes, there are days when I do wonder!) If I can help even one person with a tip or an insight or even an inspiration, then it is definitely worth my time and effort to be here. It is a wonderful motivator all around.
Thank you all for reading. I hope you have a wonderful and creative day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"