Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fighting the Inner Pessimist

One of my first posts to my blog was about my inner critic and what a poisonous influence she is. I've been working hard on silencing her, and I'm glad to say that I've made some positive headway. Some of my neatest designs have happened because I've given myself freedome to experiment and create, regardless of whether I know

But even more dangerous than my inner critic is my inner pessimist. The inner critic just tells me my stuff is crap. The inner pessimist tells me that my stuff is good, but that other people won't like it, it will never sell, there's just no point.

My inner pessimist has been calling a lot of attention to herself lately. I've been struggling the last few days to keep my Etsy momentum going. I feel as if I'm making stuff and sending out into some black hole. The rational side of my brain knows that is not true, that even if there are no sales my items are getting viewed. And hearted. And I've had some really positive feedback from customers. My low sales are in direct proportion to the frequency (or lack thereof) of listing and promoting.

Kept within reasonable bounds, the inner pessimist has her role. She's the one who keeps me from spending $350 on wholesale this or that, or going off half-cocked in some bizarre direction. But left unchecked, she starts to suck my desire to make art. She ignores any positive momentum and focuses only on the items that get listed and get no views. Or, worse yet, looks at other people's shops and sees how many items THEY have sold, and then makes a point of noticing when THEY signed up on Etsy. "See, ShopSuzyQ has sold 35 items since January 9. At your rate, it will take you a year to reach the same number. Why bother?"

I know the first thing I need to do is to lay off from cruising Etsy shops. I need to list my items and promote, promote, promote but I need to be sure that I stay focused on my own goals and my own inspiration. I'm also going to work on a positive project. Denise has been telling me about an item she is making for a charity auction. I think I'll work on making a small item to donate as well. Positive begets positive, right?

I have a feeling that I'm not the only one with an inner critic or an inner pessimist. If you have one of these ugly cousins hanging around in your subconscience, do you have any advice or keeping them within check?


Dianna said...

I have the same struggle every day. Don't get yourself down. Your items are unique and someone out there is searching for it. Keep promoting and tell your inner pessimist to shove it. :)

Punkinhead said...

hey, have you been peeking at my blog posts??? ;)

Your things are SO cute, and I can't imagine them not selling! Mine, on the other hand... lol!

Denise Felton said...

Are you having a hormone surge or something? You ARE the only person I know who has made the Etsy front page. And your item DID sell within 3 minutes of being listed...

I think you just need a White Russian.

Julie Anne of Diamondmeenuh Creations said...

I'll tell your inner pessimist what I told Denise's inner critic, which is what I tell both of mine all the time: I have 5 loaded cockatiels and I know how to use them! It works because I don't like doing extra laundry, critic and pessimist go bug someone else....for a while

P.S. I think I'm the 'white Russian' Denise was referring to--I am Russian, 3rd generation American and you can't get much whiter than me ;-)

idyll hands said...

Kick that inner pessimist while it's down!

ScrapbookDBA said...


You are the crafter/artiste who started our little ya-ya group!

You are the SU demo of all the land .. whenever we leave one of your stamp camps we are in awe of what you have taught us and we sleep with our card under our pillow hoping for some of the Anne-ness to creep into our beings during the night.

You are retro .. quirky ... your own style! Everything you create is awesome! If I wore pins .. I would have bought ALL of your felt creations!

Just take a deep breath and repeat .... "Yes, I am the queen of all the land!"


Lisa_in_AR said...

Ditto what they said. Promote more. Your stuff is super cute! I was hoping the white russian would come to my house after you see him...heheh

ThisOldHenHouse said...

Tell that inner pessimist to stick it where the sun doesnt shine!! Your stuff is gorgeous!

idyll hands said...

I took this picture for you!