November 2016 calendar

Metablog – November 2016

(I’m playing catch-up with this post, one I’d fully intended to have up almost a month ago. You’re lucky I remember the month so well, otherwise I’d have to make things up like alien invasions to pad it out.)

As with last year, November was spent in fitful preparations for the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium’s Etsy Made Local market, as well as those for my birthday in early December, Yule, Christmas and the new year. I like to get in there early. It’s one of the busiest months of the year and, as with last year’s, I looked forward to it being over – not because I disliked what I was doing, nor how much work everything was, but because it meant I’d be able to rest.

The ‘funny’ thing about such preparations as those for Etsy Made Local is that it forces me to be useful, to do things that have a direct and immediate positive impact on others. It disproves some of what I said in October’s metablog post, proving that even if what I design, make or write doesn’t solve a problem, there are other ways for me to… Make a contribution, I guess? And, given my attitude to selling my own creations, the irony isn’t lost on me at all that my most successful endeavour of the year is to help others to sell theirs.

I had planned to take along some of what I’d made to the market but, as November progressed and I was swept up not only in the preparations for Etsy Made Local, but also my ‘day job’, I realised that I wouldn’t have the time to make sufficient preparations to have my own stall; this caused a significant amount of stress as I scurried to find a couple of hours here, and a few minutes there, to work on what would be necessary for me to participate on the same terms as my peers and colleagues.

I had to give up. If I’d carried on, I would have had some kind of episode and not been able to do anything, so I decided that I’d attend to support those who were selling, and try to make the event as successful as possible for them. Once I’d made that decision, and went back to just the (to use the industry vernacular) administration and project management, I felt fine, and looked forward to seeing what would happen at the event itself. Funny that I’d find some small amount of comfort and relaxation in things I consider so far removed from the practical activities of designing and making.

All of this meant that my other creative projects, either personal or collaborative, and any development of my personal creative practices, went completely ignored. I recognised this but was able to take no action to remedy this – at least, not without an adverse effect on something that was, at that time, more important to more people. I was aware that something needed to change, and it needed to change very soon, otherwise I was going to find myself with no other course of action available to me but to down tools permanently when it came to everything I wanted to do for me. I read through the last couple of metablog posts here, and I looked forward to at least trying something in December that would help me move on from this, pick myself up, dust myself off and, at the very least, make a start on what I’ve been hoping to accomplish for what is now a very long time.