I read a Facebook status by Rice Freeman-Zachery this morning that reminded me that I wanted to write a post about this subject. She wrote:
"People think working at home alone means you don't have a schedule and can do anything at any time. Working home alone means you HAVE to have a schedule. No big deal. Getting other people to understand that is The Big Deal."It's true that I do have some flexiblity in my schedule, but in order to get enough jewelry made I generally need to sit down in the studio by 9:00 in the morning, work through until lunch time, which is ususally between 1:00 and 2:00, and try to stop by 5:00. That's the plan in my head, anyway. It doesn't always work out like that.
There's always too many distractions. The phone rings. A lot. The laundry needs to be moved along, there's a housework chore to take care of, a neighbor stops by, the cat barfed on the carpet, oooh, look at that bird at the feeder and it needs to be filled... you get the picture. Because I not only work alone, I live alone. So all the stuff that other people have a spouse or partner or roommate to help out with, I do myself. Without a semi-firm schedule I'd bounce around and accomplish nothing.
I try to loosely schedule "studio time", "chore time", "paperwork and computer time" and "town time" each week so that I'm at least organized in that way. And four days a month working in the co-op galleries, too. (That's not really "town time", because it's hard to get out of the house early enough to run errands and at the end of the day I just want to get home.)
Then there's the problem of working all the time and never taking time off. There's certain parts of my work that are mindless tasks and get done in the evenings in front of the TV. Weekends, holidays... what are they? One day kind of runs into another and quite often I need to consult a calendar to know what day it is.
I think because my lifestyle is so different from most folks it's hard for them to understand that I really am working! I don't eat bon-bons and watch soaps all day. I have to do it ALL, and it annoys me when people say, in a derrogatory way, that I don't have a job. Or worse, tell me to get a REAL job! Is a the only "real" job one where I'd have to work away from home for someone else? Do they think what I do is just a hobby? Geez! Follow me around for a week and see what kind of job I have!
Perhaps if money was foremost in my mind, I might take on a second job, one away from home that pays well and has health benefits, but that's just not me. I've been there, done that, and found out I'm really not a good employee at all. I don't tow the line or follow rules very well. I question things. I think that's part of an artist's personality. Even though I don't make a lot of money, I love being independent and knowing that I'm the only one who will make decisions on how I live my life, even though that can be worrisome sometimes. And I've learned to live with what I have and not yearn for things that are unnecessary or are beyond my means.
So, rant over, I'll sign off now. Computer time is almost over and I haven't done my daily allotment of pinning on Pinterest yet. I'll be in the studio tomorrow morning!