I'm warning you right now that I've been pondering this for the last couple of days. If you aren't interested, then just move on. Or scroll down to the bottom and think about the questions there, because I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts on the process.
Turns out that trying to write about things that Mark and I create, even for the greater good of expanding our business, is a really hard thing for me to do. But why? Why is it so hard to write about the fused glass that Mark creates or the quilts that I create? Some people have no problem saying, "Hey, look what I'm working on. Isn't it GREAT?" I've donated three quilts to MCC for their fundraising quilt auction and each time they have been hung facing the auction audience. For me, that has always been the ultimate honor, my equivalent to performing at Carnegie Hall. Why? Because of all the quilts donated each year, only four are hung facing the crowd.
The down side? It causes all those voices in my head to start talking at once: Why mine? What about THIS quilt makes it good enough? And how to respond to people saying, "I really like your quilt"? I usually end up saying, "Well, you know, Mark's cousin, Ione, did an amazing job of machine quilting. THAT'S the reason it's so good." True enough--she is an artist with that sewing machine. It just feels so awkward, just wrong, to acknowledge out loud that, hey, I made this quilt, I LOVE it, thanks for noticing it and thanks for liking it too.
And Around the Block Designs? Mark's work has been published in three magazines, he has been commissioned to make recognition plaques given to world-class quilters and appreciation plaques given to corporate sponsors with really big names--Bernina sewing machines and Gammill. And yet, other than very close friends and family, we haven't really told anyone.
So what is it that makes some people comfortable telling the world about their accomplishments, whether the world agrees with them or not? And others, like me, jump up and down, but only on the inside? Is there a recording that plays in my head, something I got growing up perhaps, that tells me that public attention is bad, like a character flaw, that pride goeth before the fall?
Well, I want to be like you, Jessie. So, resolved for 2009, shout it from the rooftops. You'll be seeing what we're working on, what we've completed, what we hope people will want to purchase. And when things don't turn out the way we thought they would, that's okay too--it's part of the process, and you'll be the first to see--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because in the words of Scott Adams of Dilbert fame: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
So what about you? Are you comfortable tooting your own horn? Or do you hide your light under a bushel?