For the past four and a half years I’ve owned and operated an Etsy shop called Chucka Stone Designs. The shop was, using television lingo, a spinoff of my larger company of the same name. In the parent company I conceptualized and installed faux finishing techniques in rooms and on furnishings for clients. Over the years the Etsy shop moved in and out of various incarnations – it began as a jewelry shop, moved into tote bags and other sewn fabric items, and now showcases both personal-use sewn accessories and smaller items of home décor with a faux finish applied. However, not too long ago I started putting the feelers of a Writing life out there and added my Zine trilogy, “Random Lunacy”, to the shop.
The Zine was, in my eyes, a complete success as I believe I sold at least one copy of each volume to someone I didn’t already know. As a business owner, most of us can relate to selling our wares to family and friends, not to mention acquaintances, but the thought of that first completely random person not only discovering but appreciating our work enough to buy it is a rush! It was super cool and then like many times in the past I walked away from writing the second I got a teeny taste of what it took to be a Writer.
Well as tempting as it would be to do it again, this time I’m pushing forward full steam ahead! I’ve joined a critique group and those of us in the group right now are sharing novels with each other. I could have taken the easy road and provided my first but I truly feel that book is complete and ready to be published so instead I am charging ahead with my second full length fiction novel.
So right at the end of December I opened Writesy. It felt great to get my Zines out there again and in the spirit of “The Year of No Excuses” in 2012 I also spent some time in December pulling from my poetry pool and assembled a chapbook containing thirteen prose pieces, a dedication page and a color front and back cover. It’s called “Trying for the Moon” and I’ve decided to release 100 copies in the first run. So far 11 people have picked up a copy and I am so grateful!
So what does all this writing stuff have to do with being a business owner? Well two things.
1. There’s no way I can run two companies at once full time – and –
2. I need to follow my heart, gut, passion, and realize that I am the other company
That passion is being a Writer, Author, Novelist. That passion is being a student of life. It’s pushing past my comfort zone into something terrifying and scary but undeniably “me” in its daily work. I love to write and the more I looked deep into the reason for my painting business I realized it was the most difficult easy thing I’ve ever done.
What do I mean there? I mean, I learned a skill of how to install beautiful treatments and I was damn good at it. But then I pretty much stopped doing it once I opened my company because I had no idea how to run the business side. I had wonderful logs and charts set up, I was joining teams and blogging. I was reading newsletters and planning the future of my salary. But I was completely lost at running the business side.
Have I emphasized enough? Okay.
I had no clue how to source business, I had no clue where to advertise, I was flying blind and picking up a random wonderful client here or there but basically as a business owner I sucked. Big time. And you know the funny thing? I didn’t really mind sucking, I had no drive to get it out there in any meaningful way because it wasn’t, for lack of better terms, me. Not really.
But, Is It Different for Writers?
I’d like to think so because although my final product is actually a work of fiction, the business side of it kicks in way before you ever get to the selling part in this industry. And I’m already there doing it every day. You have to be a Writer before you can be a Writer. Know what I mean? No? Okay well let me give you an example.
The 745 words above.
I love blogging and article writing, I seriously need a 12 step program for my social media presence, and there’s something exhilarating about joining a monthly Writer’s Group and Critique Group. The difference in it is that I feel alive when I’m Writing. When I’m painting I am definitely feeling creative but the jolt at knowing I could sit here pecking away for a living while being a student of life well, that’s something that sounds way too awesome to pass up.
So I’m diving in. After twenty five years of standing ankle deep and running away from the waves that weren’t anywhere close to past my knee, I’m running full force into the ocean of words and I’m fucking owning it.
Chucka Stone Designs is unfortunately going to be no more in the end of this splash-fest but that’s okay, paint isn’t exactly good for the flow of the ocean. So if you’re interested in anything in my shop let me know and you may just get it for your birthday. I won’t be taking custom orders any longer and once the items in my shop expire that will be the end for Chucka Stone Designs. The ride was fun for four years but I’m much happier when I float in the boat I’ve been working on my whole life.
So I Bid Adieu
I want to send an insanely huge thank you out to everyone who has given me a hand of support be it physical, financial, mental, spiritual or otherwise, I am truly thankful to have had the encouragement and backing all this time. This is going to be my last post here on this blog but I don’t plan to close it at this time. You can still search back through the archives to find that perfect article or finish, or to read about my journey along the way since 2007.
If you’ve enjoyed my blog here I’d love to ask you to follow me over to Writesy. I don’t plan to get a Facebook account at this time, just the shop and blog, because the premise of the site is me and my work. To friend me on Facebook or follow on twitter use my real name with / - or - @ jennshon.
Shop – http://www.etsy.com/shop/Writesy
Blog – http://Writesy.blogspot.com
And of course I still have Random Lunacy – http://randomnessandlunacy.blogspot.com
I hope to see you over there but if not, thanks for coming on this part of the ride with me, it sure has been a great trip. Who knows, maybe I’ll even develop a character that reminds you of you, after all, as a Writer unlike a finisher, I need to look at the real world. The one in my imagination.
Stay intriguing my friends.