Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Dwarf Among Giants

Today has not been the best day for me financially which has translated into a not so good day for me creatively. I saw my accountant today and the news was not even close to what I expected. Over half of my gross income from all of my Zazzle stores combined have been eaten up by the taxes I now owe. Last year was the first time in my life I owed more taxes than I had paid during the year.
I have always received a check back. Seems now I have hit a point where I will be the one writing the checks. Including the overly expensive one for all the extra forms my accountant had to fill out because they are required to be filed simply because I'm self employed.


That's the word that keeps coming to mind.

I also got news yesterday that not only is my foot broken (the first radiologist mis-read my x-rays) but I also have excessive swelling still which is causing a nerve to be pinched. It explains the massive amount of pain I have been in but it also means that I have been advised by my doctor to stay totally off my foot for the next two to three weeks. That, in turn, puts me even further behind on my training for Warrior Dash. If I have to crawl through the obstacle courses on one foot and one knee, I am doing Warrior Dash, by golly!

So, I leave the accountants office only to remember I have a bill I have to pay today which requires I go home, get paperwork and then trundle off to the bank. Today it seems has been all about dollars leaving my hands.

And the fan in my two year old laptop is making funny sounds. I have discovered that if I give it a little tap, it stops. Not a good sign! I use my laptop almost exclusively for work related stuff. It is my lively hood! And it was not cheap!


There it is again.

I was feeling quite down on my luck when I get a call. It is Steph telling me that she is at the bank and someone has stolen her bank account information and withdrawn a rather large sum. She has to close down her account, open a new one and the bank has to do an investigation. Can this day have better financial news, PLEASE!?

Really. I'm begging here.

So, I get home and I am feeling that feeling again...dismal! I reach out to a group of friends who are fantastic designers on Zazzle. I tell them that after nearly three and a half years, I'm not sure Zazzle is right for me after all. They are far beyond my skill level and create products I wish I could come close to making but I don't have the training or the time to train myself. At least that is how I feel when I write to them. I tell them that I feel like a dwarf among giants. Really, they are all absolutely fantastic.

A few of them have had their Zazzle stores open for only about a year and have already made ten times more than I have in over three years. Some have backgrounds in graphic design or illustration. Some have actually had real classes in art. I've had none of these.

But then they start to reply to me. I don't see the replies because Steph and I are out wallowing in our sorrows by having a beer and a pulled pork grinder at the pub. But when we get back, I see the replies and I get inspired again.

Inspiration is what this group of mostly women are to me. It is because of them I opened up my fourth store. It is because of them I got out my paints one day and tried my hand at painting a rabbit. It is because of them I was reminded about a web site I saw many months ago. I've just watched a video there and realized that I might, afterall, be able to do this.

I might after all be able to continue. I might after all want to continue. Why? Because I love to be creative. Because I love the feeling I get when inspiration hits. Because I love designing what I do know how to design and I love learning new things. And what better way to combine those two things than to watch some more of the step-by-step videos available and learn to love to design things that I never thought I would be capable of designing?

So I thank Steph for consoling me when I'm down, and I thank my group of fellow Zazzlers for telling me to not give up.

Until next time,
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  1. Wonderful post Jess. As Churchill said, "Never, never, never, never give up". You can do it!! (hugs)

  2. Hugs ~from another Zazzle girl who knows how you feel

  3. I am not a Zazzler (yet) but I agree it sounds fun. Sorry about the Dismal stuff. I like your blog though! About the foot: you may not want to race with it even after the staying-off-it period. Just saying. It is good to meet you online!

  4. Much love to you, friend... don't ever give up. Life wouldn't be near as colorful without your creativity!