I firmly believe that our thoughts have the power to become things. My thoughts are constantly in my work. At times I feel that this endless attention is something to be ashamed of, something to apologize for. I even frequently find myself doing just that- apologizing for thinking about pottery, talking about pottery, working on pottery. I diminish my work through these apologetic phrases. I find myself slowly becoming convinced that I have an unhealthy obsession to my work, and I am sure that if I am able to convince myself, I am also able to at least suggest the thought to others. But then I remember how much I have changed my life in the last year, and suddenly I feel purposeful pride and confidence in my work. I have made this life.
If our thoughts must always be somewhere where better to assign my mental attention than on the very thing that makes my life what it is? I work hard and I work often. Always seven days a week. Usually from the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep, in some capacity. I acknowledge that this probably qualifies me as a Workaholic. And I am completely okay with that. I would like to recognize however that this title is not a derogatory attachment. I work hard because I have to. I truly need to work just as hard as I do. If I worked any less my business would not have grown in the way it has these last twelve months, and my business would not continue to grow with the same acceleration if I decided to work fewer days or even fewer hours. In order to maintain this momentum I must push forward with the same endless commitment.
I am not complaining about working long hours seven days a week, I am simply offering an explanation. I love my work. I find great pride in what I do. One of my very favorite things about my work is knowing that every moment I put into it will reward me. There is a direct connection between the time I spend thinking about clay to the time I spend working with clay. Taking that a step further there is a direct connection between the time I spend working with clay to the number of sales I make each month. More sales, obviously means my income rises, but more than that, more sales means more recognition, support and a greater sense confirmation that I am on the right path. With this sort of linear relationship it is honestly hard to want to put my time anywhere else.
In the last year I have created a life and a livelihood for myself. Making a living from dirt is no small feat. I have recently had a few people ask me how I have been able to make a living doing what I love, and this question has me thinking. I consider myself a lucky person, but when I break this down I realize everything I am calling "luck" is actually hard work, dedication and constantly thinking and talking about pottery. Alright, so luck has little to nothing to do with it. For me, I have created my dream through constant dedication. I have made sacrifices to make my lifestyle work with my livelihood. I have become adaptable to my circumstances, all the while envisioning my future through my constant dedication both in thought and physical studio hours.
I say all of this to acknowledge to myself the growth I have made in this short time. From waiting tables and teaching part-time at an art studio to running every aspect of my business and supporting myself from my work in just twelve short months. Making big changes in your life is possible. Having a dream that you are willing to put yourself into one hundred percent is in my experience the best way to change your life, to shape your future. Thoughts become things. I took my thoughts and became a full-time potter.