Crafting While Depressed – Balancing Progress and Passion

Pursuing interests is a precarious proposition while depressed. There’s the very likely chance that my interest will disappear, and finding it again after the depression wanes is really hard. I mourn for the interests lost, and I have the extra associated guilts about being a quitter and not deserving to have things that I enjoy.

Card making is my newest passion. Even as I started learning and buying tools and really getting into it, I feared it was going to fizzle out like everything else. Between Alchemy and various mood changes, it did, right as I was starting to put together my Etsy store.

I worried that I wouldn’t get it back.

One part of a creative pursuit is the passion and exploration, where you’re just engrossed in creating, delighting at how different tools, techniques, and ideas are coming together.

The other part that you might aim for is progress of some kind. That might be trying to get better in measurable ways or doing something like turning the creativity into a business.

I want to make a business out of my card making, but the steps to doing that are much different than just playing with creativity. I need to think about product photography, pricing, packaging, and working with Etsy or learning about craft shows. Those are the kinds of details that are more likely to really upset me if my brain isn’t quite right.

If I screw up a card while I’m sort-of-depressed, I can just toss it and make something different. If I sit down at my craft table and can’t muster up something to make, I can just rearrange my supplies and it doesn’t really matter. If I try to take product photos and they come out like shit, though, I get really distressed. I can get bogged down in all the steps to setting up an Etsy listing. It’s just a different kind of process that hits my brain in a different way.

Trying to set up my Etsy shop, Alchemy, and a depression all hit me at once, and it derailed my card making for weeks.

The last few days I’ve been getting it back, bit by bit. One thing I’m doing is giving myself permission to not worry about progress. I don’t have to do anything “good”. I don’t have to do any of the business-y stuff. I just want to play with my materials and have fun putting them together.

So far, that’s working, and I’m starting to have fun with my cards again.

Here’s what my work space looks like right now.

imageMy laptop is there because I’ve been doing some design work for use in my Silhouette Cameo. A lot of reviewers said it was tough to learn, but I’m finding it really easy. I continually find new, awesome things to do with it.

Here’s my latest little creation I’m working on:


They are 3×3 cards intended to be used as gift tags, lunch box notes, etc, and they come with a handmade matching envelope. The green is a much brighter, neon green, but I’m relieved from taking quality product pics right now! I think they are super-cute, and I’m happy to be working and creating again.