Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Missing Piece...

(Title with apologies to Shel Silverstein)

I'm lucky. I'm "retired." I do what I do because I love it, thankfully not because I must. I tell people that I make jewelry. Here is how I've spent this typical week, Monday through Thursday so far (Please hang in there with me. There really is a point to all this :) --

1) 30 hours -- computer work involving jewelry business ==> updating blog, changing & managing my Etsy site, changing & managing my Classic Beadwear site,
re-editing 15-20 pictures of jewelry for Etsy site, reading & contributing to Etsy forums & my team's Meet Up blog, fiddling around with new software gizmos to make my websites & blog more visually entertaining, researching the mysteries of pixels vs resolution vs picture size to get clear pictures (Does anyone really understand this!), browsing to find interesting blogs & websites.
2) 10 hours -- more computer "stuff" -- non-business related -- composing & replying to countless emails in 6 email accounts.
3) 10 hours -- activities with family & friends
3) 2 hours -- housework & cooking
4) 4 hours -- household business - paying bills, etc.
5) 15 hours -- sleeping
6) 4 hours -- walking for exercise
7) 6 hours -- personal needs -- showers, eating, etc.
8) 1 hour -- making jewelry!
9) 18 mystery hours -- Where did I squander this time?? I can't remember, but suspect that much of it was work related.

This analysis is an eye-opener to me ... disconcerting, like admitting I'm getting fat. I don't like the pattern & don't like what I see. I know I'm working hard at "the business of jewelry-making" ... 31 hours in 4 days, not counting a fair share of the 18 "mystery hours," no doubt.

My only question is -- Where is the Making part of jewelry-making? After all, that was & still is the passion that drove the creation of my micro-business! I've got so many design ideas in my head, but lately I've left no time to see their creation.

The reality is that to make a business successful, I've got to make it visible to others beyond friends & family. I've decided to tackle online visibility first, which explains the time spent at the computer. I hope all the effort pays off, as I certainly enjoy the Etsy community, which is international.

But today, I had the pleasure of reading a local Etsy artisan's blog that truly touched my heart. Sherrie most eloquently expressed what her craft meant to her life as a youngster, as a young mother, and now. It so grounded me to read her words that I've listed her Sweetest Peas blog in my favorites. I intend to read it whenever I have another week as skewed away from the Making process as this week as been. Hopefully between my zeal to succeed at the business & my passion for the art, I will find that fine line & learn to walk it.


Anonymous said...

About the yystery hours, I think I have average about 35 mystery hours a week. In other words I manage to waste "on I don't know what" 5 hours a day.


Seattle Bead Creations (aka Classic Beadwear) said...

lol... how much $ per hour are we worth during those times?

Anonymous said...

LA Girl, It's ok to have unaccounted-for hours as long as they don't get "out of hand", and don't ask for a definition of that. Right now you're in the early stages of your craft, and unfortunately, related activities such as taxes, trying to get found, photographing the jewelry, etc., will take a fair amount of time compared to actually making the jewelry. Compare jewelry related activities with each other. Don't bring in the other activities into the equation, they are deserving of time and attention, too--particularly SLEEP!!! Activities with family and friends are high on the list, too, but then I'm prejudiced. NW Girl