Creative Side Hustle

by Shanyn Hosier

I have long enjoyed – or suffered from, depending on your perspective of the resultant mess and preoccupation – a strong creative drive. Throughout my life, I’ve dabbled in just about every craft imaginable: cross-stitch, needlepoint, latch-hook, wall-stenciling, sewing, you name it. I’m something of a craft-butterfly, flitting from skill to skill, following a distractible muse.

I started writing fiction because I was losing my mind as a stay at home mom, desperate for a quiet creative outlet I could take up and pause at a moment’s notice. But lately, the Inspiration River (or is it Motivation Creek) has slowed to a trickle. I’ve got a few ideas percolating, but nothing’s quite ready to officially hit the page.

This “writer’s blah” has allowed a sense of guilt to rise within me. There are so many house projects I’ve delayed or ignored during the years-long writer-mania phase. Coupled with my innate fear of becoming a hoarder, the urge to purge and organize my closets and cabinets and shelves and sheds has now become overwhelming. Trunk-loads of outgrown clothes, marginally useful kitchen gadgets, outdated reference books: all of it donated or tossed with militaristic ruthlessness. We don’t need this any more…

And then, I came up against my fabric stash. Before I’d started writing, when my firstborn was still new, I’d bought a sewing machine. Over the years, I’ve sewn Halloween costumes, pajamas, gifts, even a quilt my husband and I still use on winter nights.

In the midst of sorting through yards of flannel, fleece, and cotton prints, I found myself fantasizing about things I’d dreamt of making, new ideas bubbling up. It seemed as though I’d reconnected with that drive to make something, still simmering inside me. A few hours spent at my Singer, constructing purses and tote bags from mildly suggestive prints, has ticked me with delight. I’ve re-discovered my creative joy.

These purses – filled with romance novels and swag! – are destined to be raffle prizes at Desert Dreams 2017, a local writers’ conference at which I’m presenting.

So for now, until the writing virus-load rises into a fever again (as I’m assuming it will), I’m going to indulge in my resuscitated love of sewing. And thanks to the compliments I’ve gotten on my hunky cowboy purse, I’m toying with opening an Etsy store to sell similar items.

Who knows where inspiration will strike next?

Shanyn Hosier adores reading and writing in the same way she loves breathing and eating, deriving a similar nourishment from each. Her latest two novels, An Experimental Phase and Theory Versus Practice, are available in ebook format on Amazon. For more information about current and upcoming releases, please visit her website, You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.