What if there was no need to wait until you’re “perfectly formed”?
It’s almost exactly a month until my silversmithing course begins. This will be the first formal tuition I’ve ever received in any form of jewellery. And I’ve just finished the first piece of jewellery I ever made with intent to sell. Everything I know so far is self-taught: I know it from books and from copying existing work, and from working it out for myself. I’m doing it all backwards.
And there is a voice in the back of my mind asking me what the hell I think I’m doing, who am I to put myself there with all the skilled jewellers of the internet and have the audacity to charge money for this junk. There is a voice telling me that I’m treading on people’s toes, that I’m being presumptuous, that I’ll be laughed off the internet.
To which I reply patiently that it’s not a zero-sum game; that if somebody wants to spend money on something I’ve made the chances are they’ll spend money on something someone else has made, too; that my stuff is not at all bad, really; that I at least have a decent eye for colour.
I’m not ready to go yet. I have a whole host of practical things to put in place: stock to make, regulations to puzzle out, pictures to draw, photos to take, cards to print, all that sort of thing. And I still have a cold.
And I’m a little bit afraid that the moment I’ve got it all up and running I’ll get fed up with the whole affair and chuck it. This is the thing. Once it’s up and running I want to be spending about an hour a week keeping it ticking over, and more if and only if I feel like it. I want to be ready to go already. I also don’t want to spend every spare minute between now and the go-live date, whenever that might be, frantically working through that list above and ending up hating it. I have no intention that this will ever become my full-time job. I have to trust it to not take over my life.
As for the other projects… well, I played the ‘what if it’s already good enough to go?’ game a bit earlier in the year. I sent the mermaids out to break the surface at the end of June, and we’re in the middle of the training montage – except it’s a door-knocking montage here (the bit which in a movie would be the speeded-up shots of calendars flicking by and me knocking on all the doors in town until someone lets us in). I remind myself that the film The Way cut out pretty much all of the meseta, and that’s a hundred kilometres that you have to walk through if you want to get to Santiago de Compostela. Piano lessons. That’s going to be an interesting one. I have to give myself permission to not be very good, like I did with Pilates. And as for Parisienne en Ligne, it’s done almost all of it itself. I just need to kick it into the right order and hand it over to the web host.