January 31, 2010

Working from Home - Part 1

So here it is, the end of my first week as a full-time freelance artist.  It feels weird to say that!

How many of you reading this work out of your house?  If any of you do, I'm sure that you're familiar with everything I'm about to say.

For the past seven years, I have had a 40 hour/week job where I leave the house, put in my time and come home.  So this week was the first time since late 2002 where I've been at home (besides vacation) more than weekends.  And when I did work part time before, my other time consisted of watching a LOT of TV.

Not so anymore!  This week, needless to say, has been an eye-opener.  From actual studio time, to ordering business cards, opening business accounts at the bank, setting up my new-and-improved Etsy shop and ordering supplies - it's been a CRAZY week!  I knew there was going to be a lot to do but I completely underestimated all that opening a business, however small, entails.  Because Brian's been through all of this before, he has been a godsend as far as helping me out.  He has thought of things I would've completely overlooked.

The first thing that surprised me is how little time I spent in the studio.  Monday and Friday were great days, and I'm sure now that I have things set up and in place, there'll be more time this week to simply create.  I have an Etsy showcase coming up on Tuesday, so I want to be sure that I have enough pendants to sell for that.  I did have my first sale this week (see the photo on the left) - that was fantastically rewarding! 

I have already learned so much about the discipline that it takes to be your own boss.  In every job I've ever held, I was given tasks to do and I did them (most of the time) willingly and cheerfully.  It was, after all, what I was paid to do.  I enjoyed the "menial" tasks the most, because when filing, data entry and processing jobs are done, they're done and there was (for me anyway) a sense of accomplishment.  This new stage in my life is completely foreign to me.  The freedom to do what I want, when I want is a little overwhelming.  I sometimes feel like I'm getting away with something if I take 45 minutes for lunch rather than a half hour.  I actually talked on the phone a couple of times this week - and I felt guilty about it!  Now granted, I also worked about 9-10 hours a day as opposed to the normal 8, so it evened itself out.  I still make my ATCs at night, too - but that's my "fun" work (even though it's all so fun!).

I'm sure I'll be writing more later about this new adventure but in the meantime, I can't wait for the new week to start!  Art rules!  :D

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