About a year ago, I looked at the tidy stacks of book rings and pages of writing prompts that needed to come together to create some of Gadanke’s bestselling handmade journals. “I can’t keep doing this,” I whispered to myself. Pre-motherhood, I didn’t mind all the management—people, materials, tools, finished products, space to do it all—because I always had time for the parts I loved: sharing stories and encouraging folks to share theirs. Then I became a mom; it’s my favorite thing in the whole world! My available work hours shrunk, and I felt like there was no time for connection and empowerment.
I realized that if I separated the medium (handmade paper goods) from my message (storycatching), I could really begin to help people celebrate their stories.
If you’ve popped over to Gadanke any time this month, you’ve seen the change. I’ll still offer a couple handmade journals for a short time this summer. But I thought I’d step back and share a little of my discover with you.
Step One: Offer several beautiful bound journals
The first thing I decided to learn about was professional publishing. I already knew how to add ISBNs to my products, but I didn’t know how to build a book layout or find an American printer. I had to locate my ideal editors, illustrators, and designers (they’re all moms!) and create a gifting program
to help kids affected by domestic violence. And to me, the most important thing was that I needed to compile everything I’ve learned about writing, storycatching, and relationships and work them into my new journals—taking me as a writer and you as a journal keeper further than ever.I started with the professionally bound Montana travel journal
because this state is my comfort food. The journal let me stretch and learn, so I’d be ready for my first big dream last Christmas: Time Capsule: A seriously awesome kid’s journal
.This month’s another really exciting story in this chapter: Between Mom and Me: Mother son journal
The illustrations are beautiful, the words are powerful, and the prompts have a way of getting boys to open up.
This engaging journal has been wildly popular already this month. It’s for the mother and son who crave a rule-free, creative way to connect with each other.
It’s the perfect tool to strengthen a mother son relationship.
Step Two: Let go so new ideas can come
By closing handmade at Gadanke for a while, I can really focus on the best ways to serve you in the future. It’s also the chance to celebrate the new mother son journal
and Time Capsule kid’s journal
. I’m not yet sure which handmade products (if any) will be available later. I have a few other storycatching directions I want to take my work—steps three, four, five!
Thank you for letting me take this ride full of rich stories with you.
Huge thanks to these bloggers who helped me spread the joyful message:
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This month’s announcement is a part of an on-going monthly essay series on gratitude and joy. If you’d like to receive monthly stories published on Making This Home in your inbox, sign up here.