The Creative Process of an ADHD Witchy Artisan Crafter

The Creative Process of an ADHD Witchy Artisan Crafter

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I pride myself in being open about my struggles with mental health issues because suffering in silence benefits no one and further emboldens the stigma around mental illness. While my depression and anxiety issues are under control outside of occasional situational reactions, I do struggle with ADHD on a regular basis. I was twice misdiagnosed as bipolar because the ADHD symptoms mimic those of mania without the psychosis, mood swings, or delusions. I was on Adderall for seven years, but switched to a non stimulant medication called Straterra in June when I was dealing with chronic insomnia due to a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Sadly, it seems that the Straterra is no longer working effectively because I have become more erratic, bouncing between hyperfocus and inertia, having several conversations at the same time, forgetting things, and having lapses in short and medium term memories. Oddly enough, my long term memory is pretty detailed and epic.

I've always been a creative person as a result I went to art school and pretty much took classes in every major (except interior design) over the years. Eventually, I graduated with a BFA in Studio Art (mostly photography) and Art History. I also did a year in grad school for photography as well. My adult life is pretty much a stream of endless ideas, to do lists, half finished things, random explorations into new shiny things, revisiting said half finished things, more new ideas, expanded to do lists and so on and so forth. I'm surprised that I get as much done as I do all things considered.

At the beginning of 2019 (or maybe later 2018) one of my said to-do lists was to great a pagan product line. I'm working on other blog posts chronically my own personal journey and how witchcraft fits into who I am and what I do. This may take months to do or I will write them all one afternoon. My focus and creativity spurts are hard to predict. I honestly can't make something or won't write if I am not in the mood to do it. This is also why my product releases are all over the place, one week its all ritual oils, the next its soaps, ritual powders, more oils, and random things that came about at the spur of the moment after that who knows? It really depends on the week. I spent most of April and May making shampoo bars and outside of the new ones I created for Halloween and the Winter Holidays. I haven't made any since then. Making soaps and shampoo bars are one of those things I have to be in the mood to do, so I tend to work on them for a few weeks and then don't make any for months. Again, I am hard to predict that way.

I realized that while I have extensive documentation that it is pure chaos. Most of it is in my Google Drive in various documents of ideas and formulations, some is in my book of shadows, and the rest is in multiple notebooks, scrap paper, and post it notes. It can sometimes take me months to do something after I have formulated it. I am always working on numerous products at the same time and often have a backlog to work through I currently have formulated over 20 new botanical blends (including an Imbolc and New Years Intention one I did today), 10+ ritual herb blends, a few more bath salts and bubble baths, more ritual oils, a years worth of monthly subscription box themes and corresponding products, 10+ new kits and collections, several more incense blends, a couple more soaps, flying ointments, candles, spell bottles (which I just decided to reclassify as witchy decor), perfumes, botanical perfume hair mists, two new herbal hair rinses, and a bunch of other stuff that I am forgetting.

I am inspired by my experiences, things I see, and people because that is the nature of creativity, but everything I do is based upon my own research, my own creativity, and extensive education and training in my field, which includes numerous Aromatherapy certifications and courses, Herbalism, Perfuming, Incense Crafting, Soap Making, and skin care formulation. These are the building blocks of my products. I have an extensive home apothecary of herbs, flowers, dried fruit, oddities, essential oils, perfuming aroma chemicals and fragrance oils, carrier oils, colorants, salts, soap making supplies, candle making supplies, jewelry supplies, and random things I buy for projects as I go. For instance, I have bags of those wooden coffin boxes they sell at craft stores around Halloween. I stocked up because I know that I will use them for something at some point.

I'm doing my best to function and get through each day without forgetting basic things like eating or brushing my teeth. I'm literally at the point of decorating my house with post it notes until my medications get adjusted again. It can take me up to two weeks after I've made something to design the product labels, label & package them, photograph new products, figure out the wholesale/retail pricing, and finally list them on my website, Etsy, and Amazon Handmade. I recently started using a social media scheduler to post new products to my social media because I kept forgetting to do it. Though, I occasionally post progress shots to my personal Facebook and Instagram.

As my best friend said to me 20 years ago with regards to my online writing: "a sentence ought not read like a car chase," but, that is how my brain works. At least, I have gotten better at writing and editing and often have to read what I wrote several times to make sure that it makes sense or that I am elucidating myself clearly and also I realize that I've missed crucial details or remembered something after the fact that I now have to work into what I wrote. That pretty much sums up my current state of being - its messy, erratic, forgetful, and there is candle wax everywhere.

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