Today marks one month since I opened up this website to the public. If you were to ask me how things are going, I would probably say something like "I'm learning a lot." That's code for Holy crap this is the hardest thing I've ever done.
This month, I've been faced with a creative drought. If you're a creative, you might know what I'm talking about. Sometimes all of your ideas seem like fireworks and everything you touch seems to turn to gold. But sometimes, you can create 50 ideas and every single one is terrible. The worst part is that you know the ideas are terrible. You're profoundly aware that it's not your best work. You know it doesn't have that "wow" factor.
Over the course of the last month, my biggest project has been developing my very first line of products: five Christmas cards. I chose to make only five cards because I knew I had a lot to learn as a business owner. I wanted to keep things simple. Five seemed like a very manageable goal for my first time... and then the creative drought hit.
For two weeks I painted every single day. I made an inspiration board of Christmas images that made me happy. I listened to Christmas music in October. (Christmas music in October is an unforgivable sin if you ask me.) I started from scratch half a dozen times. I chose colors that were strictly Christmas. I chose colors that were NOTHING like Christmas. I went modern. I went classic. I tried things I've never done before, and nothing seemed to work. I was getting worried and frustrated, and I started to wonder if I had made a terrible mistake by starting this business.
It was a hard month. I eventually did come up with 5 designs I could live with, but it took a lot of failure to get there. (I have about 50 failed Christmas card designs that I will probably bury in my backyard just to make sure no one ever sees how horrendous they are.) I had to learn to just keep going.
That's why I chose this quote for a free download this month:
"Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."
[On a side note: I would like to tell you who said this quote, but no one is really sure. Some say it's Winston Churchill, but others argue there is no proof he ever said that. I try not to spread internet fallacies, so let's just agree it's a good quote, although we're not really sure who said it.]
If you like this quote, I've created phone, tablet, and laptop versions so you can enjoy it as long as you like. Click the buttons below to view and save the images.
Failure is not the end; it is necessary for creativity. Failure is just a part of the process, and I'm learning to live with that. I've survived one month as a business owner! That alone is an accomplishment. Here's to having the courage to continue this month.