Not unexpectedly, the recession has come home to roost. I learned today that my major client, a museum in NC, will be pulling in their belt and replacing me with volunteers. Even before the recession, I expected to loose them at some point; organizations like theirs really DO need someone "on scene" to best communicate their message.
However, these things always hit hard and more so when the director is a good friend and it was she who gave me the news. We've been through a lot together over the years and many folks who know her wondered at the longevity of our partnership. She is a wonderfully fanatical workaholic who has a tendency to attract -- and then also to burn out -- even the most hard workers in a crowd, like moths at a flame.
We will remain friends and, as a professional, I will help make the transition as painless as possible.
At the same time, losing a large chuck of my design business revenue, my brain in vacillating between panic and mad brainstorming ways to make up the shortfall. "What, in THIS economy, will people and/or businesses continue to need that I can easily and affordably supply?" bounces around batting against "What do you WANT to do?" and "What CAN you do?" and none of them seem to want to line up in any coherent fashion.
I can design stuff... but in these days of almost universal computer usage (so it seems) and "everyone" having access to something that at least purports to be a design or publishing program I am not sure how much that will or should figure into the equation. Especially in tight money times, I suspect that the understanding of the difference between professional communication services and what they think they -- or their hotshot computer-user friend or relative -- can do will seem like so much BS or 'smoke and mirrors.' And, at least on some level, I no longer feel driven to do this. At one point it grabbed me and consumed me -- or we became one, or something like that -- but now if feels like the "demon" has spit me out. I CAN do it, but I don't have to and I am not sure I still want to, at least in the same way I did in the past. I still feel the need to use these skills to promote messages and provoke change, but not necessary for anyone else's vision.
I can write. And indeed I have a mostly-completed book that must get off the starting block, self-published at least. In the past I have made a decent part-time living as a freelance writer and that appeals to me again. However, I am not anywhere near being part of the "mainstream" or so it seems to me, and I wonder what, if anything, that I might want to write about would be of interest -- and to whom. "Back in the day" I wrote how-to articles on saving money and making do and gardening and food... but what about all that hasn't been said a million times. How, I ask myself (and you, if you wish to accept this mission) do I make it relevant to this very different 2009 world?
I can do folk art and will continue to promote my hex signs, but as "non-essentials" I wonder how practical this will be? True, the indoor ones are quite affordable and "small indulgences" are one of the trends that Faith Popcorn's Brain Reserve has been talking about for some time. But how does that fit into today? As an amateur futurist myself, I have been following her work since before the publication of her book The Popcorn Report in 1991 and have seen more than a few grains of truth in her observations. For this year, the four trends they are highlighting are: Reclaim, Retrench, Reset and Reinvent so I am keeping these thoughts in mind as I brainstorm ideas.
Nothing has settled yet, except the knowledge that I am on a familiar part of the path, in a new season, walking the road of reinvention. When I put aside the desire to panic (which is, as always, totally nonproductive) I am left with more questions than answers and a hint of curiosity as to what this chapter will hold.
- ► 2010 (16)
- Hanging on for the ride
- It's GROWING!
- New Moon, Stirring the Pot
- Maine Maple Sunday
- Season of changes
- in preparation for Spring
- two days ago they weren't but now they are
- Spring and days off
- No worms in this moon for us!
- By the light of the silvery moon...
- It's beginning to look like MUD season!
- Road trip!
- Busy time since the last snowfall!
- ▼ March (13)