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  • janenewaudby

Hobby or business

Before this year, I was a potter who sold her experiments. Some days I worked all day in the shed, but often the pottery took a back seat to other things, like visiting my dementia friend or working for my husband's sailing business. That was my balance - and I made pots when I needed to and when I had time - with an intention to create at least one epic pots before I died (obviously impossible on the basis that no one is ever completely satisfied with their work). Then this year my work got noticed and everything has changed - my equilibrium has been disturbed and my calm pools of creative energy are ruffled!

I have been working pretty much seven days a week for 18 months with hardly a break. If I am honest, I feel pretty rung out (this coming from someone who used to have a desk job that involved pulling all nighters and 100+ hour weeks)! I thought that when the tourists left, I might get time to take a breath, but now I am getting enquiries online. Everything has changed and even though its all in a really good way, it has knocked my equilibrium. Balance is the key to much (everything actually) in life and the universe, and when things are out of balance, there tends to be some kind of flow or momentum to try and reestablish it. Right now I am out of balance. The rhythm of my work needs to change to meet demand, and my relationship to galleries and people is different now. So I am trying to work out where the new balance is for me. Do I focus on making as much money has possible (not me), and if that's not it, what should I be doing? I could just keep making all the current work that is selling so well, but then I also need time to develop new work and ideas - and this takes time and space. There is also the practical issue of burnishing side of smokefiring - which is a bottle neck. I simply can't make hundreds of things in a few weeks - its just not possible. Where is the balance? Working hard is not so much the issue because I love what I do, but I need to find a way of feeling calmer about the demand for the work, and creating space, rather than feeling like I am constantly playing catch up. I think the main thing needed is a mental adjustment more than anything else - accepting that there is only so many pots I can make and accepting the demand without letting it create stress. Anyone got any tips!?

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