Starting Again

Starting Again, Again

Happy New Year, everyone! I know, I’m a little late with the new year greetings, but we’re 18 days into January and I’m back with a little update for you. I’ve been off-grid for most of the month because I’ve been working so hard on the relaunch of my little art shop Rosarts. It’s taken me a while to start again with selling my prints. Almost two years, in fact. Still, it’s now back up and running, albeit very tentatively.

However, revisiting my first foray into the online world has got me thinking about starting again, again. I remember when things all went disastrously wrong with my art business the first time. It was back in early 2017, when by some kind of horrific accident I accidentally deleted my entire stock inventory – and I didn’t have a backup.

Two years of work, gone in a single press of a button. All the art I’d curated, prepared and produced for printing, vanished. It was devastating. Everything came to a standstill and I had to pull everything from the shop, because I no longer had any prints to sell.

Needless to say, I thought my business was dead in the water. And I was right, I couldn’t face looking at it, let alone rebuilding it. The thing is though, the reason it died out wasn’t because of lack of interest from people, or because things had gone so spectacularly wrong that there was no way back.

No, it died out because I let it.

Starting Again, Or Not?

Starting again seemed like too big of a mountain for me to climb. At that point in time I was going through a real rough patch with my anxiety and my confidence just took the biggest knock ever. So I let it dwindle. Starting again just wasn’t in my vocabulary. Instead, I did what I always tend to do when things go wrong, and that was start something else entirely.

I came up with a new, but somewhat very related business idea that was much more hands-on, and way more practical. Crucially, It involved actually going out into the community and taking my art out as workshops for kids. To begin with, it was great. I even got nominated for an award and went on the TV. But truthfully, my heart was never 100% with it. I just wanted to make art and have people buy it. I wanted to write stuff, and for people to read it. Being out there in the real world, trying to convince people to buy into my project in person was too hard for me, too daunting; I just didn’t know how to admit it.

So after some soul-searching, I wrapped up my new business last summer, after only a year. It had loads of potential – people have told me I was absolutely stupid to have closed the door on it so soon. But I needed to do it, for me. I knew that it was starting to get the better of me, and the moment I began to dislike doing it was the moment I knew I needed to stop it before it grew too big.

Writing The Way Back

Six months of writing on here helped me enormously. Writing has always been an outlet for me, and it gave me a chance to reevaluate what I wanted to do. So, in November I wrote the first draft of my book, and now that January has come around it’s time to think about starting the editing process. But more on that in another post.

The end of 2018 gave me time to reflect on starting again, and I made the decision to revive Rosarts. This time though, I planned to slimline my process and make life easier for myself. And also to have backups. Lots of backups.

So for the last three weeks or so I’ve been working away at that, slowly finding the way back to my love of drawing and creating, and finally starting again, again. It’s a good feeling, albeit a bit daunting. I’m also going to have to structure my time carefully, to avoid plate-spinning as I had been at the start of last year. I’ve got a good feeling about it though, and I hope you’ll check out some of my artwork too, if you’d like to see what I’ve been making over Christmas.

Starting over is often more challenging than starting from scratch. But it’s how we learn, how we grow, and how ultimately we move forward from the places we can become stuck in. Wish me luck.

Have you ever started again with something you thought was finished? I’d love to hear your thoughts if so. Leave me a comment below or you can catch up with me over on Twitter or Facebook.

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