I've recently read a few different articles about mountain climbing that stressed that most accidents on mountains actually happen on the descent, because the climbers are tired and have let their guard down, and, I imagine, because the sense of euphoria fades a bit, leaving them feeling slightly at a loss.
I imagine, too, that for those who do make it safely down, this faded feeling must make it especially nice to receive a bit of notice, a few more pats on the back, once they get to the bottom, when the peak is again a distant vision, only now behind them.
I've been so lucky that being one of Etsy's featured sellers brought me a huge number of sales from some incredible people, and that it brought me some incredible commissions, which have been keeping me working hard in the weeks since. But the speed at which general attention to my store dropped off once I was no longer on the front page, and now even on the sidebar on the featured seller page, has been almost as staggering as the intense explosion of attention the day I became a featured seller.
Although it has been, to be honest, disconcerting, this isn't actually a bad thing, because it gives me a breather in which to work on commissions, collect my thoughts, refill the creative well, plan ahead, rethink strategies, and most of all, get some painting done.
Also, I believe that it's probably a very normal experience: that for almost everyone, the path to success is not straight but a series of ups and downs and highs and lows. It's a trail that is occasionally paved perfectly, but more often consists mainly of faded marks on distant trees or even disappears completely.
Which means that each pat on the back becomes even more appreciated and encouraging, a way marker reminding me that I'm going in the right direction, and so, I'd like to thank Dotty of Indie Finds on Etsy and dottyral.etsy.com for interviewing me specifically about my featured sellership.
I'd also like to extend my special thanks to someone who has been a repeat customer, who features me quite often in her treasury creations, and whom I frequently find sneakily praising my name in comments other people's treasuries (she probably thinks I haven't noticed): thebeadedlily. She has also interviewed me for a feature on her blog, in which I avoid re-using analogies but tell you why I finally feel like a "real" artist and why my arms are so tired.
And I'd like to thank you, my friends, family, and wonderful customers, for keeping me going all the time with your never-ceasing pats on the back and much-appreciated encouragement. Thank you, thank you, thank you.