I've been following your blog for quite a while now and honestly, I'm quite jealous. Apart from style differences, you are doing with your blog exactly what I've always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten the courage/gumption/time to do. I know it's largely a matter of will on my part, but I'm curious as to how you do it. You have the blog, you are writing a book, sewing garments and documenting their construction, painting fabric and the list goes on and on! Are you still working for someone else? Do you sleep and do laundry? How much time does it take to maintain your blog? Make a video blog? I am just continually amazed at how much you have going on.
First, the basics. I have a full-time job editing books, and it's a creative and interesting job. It can also be pretty high-pressure, but I try to keep the bulk of my work at the office. I read manuscripts on the train and at home, so the job doesn't keep me chained to a desk for super long hours. (If you want to know more about my job, I happened to do an interview on the subject just yesterday. My interviewer was also my husband, so the post title may be a wee bit biased.)I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you are able to make time for everything that you do, and I'm sure others would as well.
As for my home life, I'm married but don't have kids. I imagine the "kid-free" part of the equation is what helps me pursue my hobbies more than anything else. I sleep about 7 hours a night. I absolutely don't do laundry! A grand thing about living in New York is that you can drop your wash off at the laundry in the morning, and pick it up, all clean and folded, on your way home. They charge by the pound and it's worth every penny. I wash my handmade dresses in a tupperware bin at home and let them line dry in the shower. I don't clean as much as I should and my husband does most of the cooking. (I wash the dishes.) I also don't go to the gym as much as I should.
The work week is pretty routine. I get home from work around 6:30 pm, and I usually have a little free time to relax. Usually this means sewing (or in the past week, painting a little), but sometimes it just means collapsing on the bed catatonically. After dinner, I get my second wind and that's when I get my real work done. I write a blog post for the next day and set it to go up at 7:00 am, a full hour before I even get up. I would say I work on my blog for 1-2.5 hours on the weekdays. If I have time left over after writing my post, I'll do something creative like work on a sewing project for a bit. Or sometimes Jeff and I put on a pot of tea, make some cookies, and watch sitcoms together. Then I shower and go to bed around midnight or so.
The weekend is when I get bigger projects done: working on my book, making a video tutorial, or just sewing for hours on end. I always sleep in. (People are generally worried about me being sleep deprived, but I'm really not!) I would say I put in a good 6-8 hours a day on the weekends working on various book, blog, and sewing projects. I break up my days into tasks I know I want to get done (i.e. finishing a chapter, hemming a dress, writing a post). Videos are quite time consuming, as you guessed. Even if they only take half an hour to shoot, the editing takes twice that usually. One thing that seems to fall by the wayside is answering reader's e-mails. (Sorry about that! I try; I really do.)
Those are the nuts and bolts of my schedule, if you will. But it's less robotic and much more intuitive and emotional than it sounds. My blog writing is generally about whatever I'm feeling most passionate about at the moment, whether it's shoes or bound buttonholes or silk painting. It's easy to be motivated when something is really speaking to you. I also keep pretty close tabs on how I'm feeling. Last week I got really overwhelmed (stressed, tired, and anxious), and that was what prompted me to take a week off blogging. I'm definitely ambitious, but I'm trying to learn when to back off and give myself a rest.
Speaking of being ambitious, I would definitely describe myself as someone who's always looking toward the next level, so I really related to this e-mail. There are so many creative women out there who seem to have it all (pattern companies, fabric lines, multiple books, etc) and I often compare myself to them. I wonder if I should be trying to make a living out of what I do in my free time (even though I think my day job rocks), or if there's something more I should be pushing myself toward, or if I'll ever be good enough to get there. When I fall down this rabbit hole of anxiety, I remind myself that it's all a process and we're all at our own place.
I didn't start my blog until after I turned 30, and I've recently been feeling so inspired creatively, like I'm getting closer to what I'm supposed to be doing. When I'm 40, maybe I'll be even closer. I'm a work in progress, no doubt.
Things will change a bit in the months to come. I'll be sewing garments for the book, so I won't be able to share what I'm working on. And the entire thing has to be finished (edited, revised, photographed, etc) this summer. But it will be a temporary thing, and I guess I'll figure it out as I go along! More to come on that front.
I hope this helps answer the question! I'd love to hear from all of you what your perspective on this matter is. How do you fit it in everything you want to do?