Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wednesday Whine

You've perhaps heard about the Thursday Thirteen, or the Friday Five on other blogs. Well, I am borrowing the alliteration for the title today....a Wednesday Whine.

Mostly I love what I do. But after spending most of the last few days focused on the tasks I don't like so much, I am going to whine. Feel free to add your ..."I hate that I have to"..whatever .....in the comments. It is not all fun and creativity in the life of an artrepreneur. And today, I am going to whine and complain a bit. Sometimes I just have to get it out of my system!

I hate paperwork! I hate that I have to keep track of receipts, and create and file invoices, and that I have to file sales tax in every state that I do a show in, and they all have different filing schedules....not just different tax rates. I hate the time that it takes, and the sheer drudgery of it. But I am too cheap and too broke to pay someone else to do it. And every few months, the pile gets too big to ignore, and I spend several hours catching up.


I hate packaging and shipping an order. It seems like it should be no big deal. But it always takes way more time than I want to spend on it. Usually there is one or two items that I am missing when I want to send out the order, and so I have to go back to the studio and make those. Then I need to cross check again and make sure I have everything. Find a box. Package everything up so that it is not damaged in transit. Then I need to create an invoice. And make sure I have the information to charge the order to a credit card, or that I have checked their credit references. If not, I have to make one or more phone calls. I also need to include some support material if it is a first order. Find an address label for the box. All these tasks are at different places in the house, meaning trips up and down the stairs, or back and forth from my dining room (shipping room) and the studio (production department), and the office (accounting and billing). Finally, close up the box, and bring it to the post office. Whew. Can you see how such a simple little task becomes a black hole of time?

I hate doing all those tiny little jobs at the end of a project. The things that make a difference to everyone else but me. :-) I warned you I was ready to whine! Stringing cranes so that they can hang. Boxing cranes. Putting earrings on cards, ..... Things that make a piece more presentable and functional.....but my heart is never in them. They are work. Last night I must have strung and boxed about 40 cranes. I would rather just keep making them then do this last little step.....which is no longer a little step when there are this many to do.


I hate that no matter how careful I try to be, it is impossible to put shred in boxes without it ending up all over the floor and the table.

I hate pricing. Not just calculating the price....but actually attaching a price tag to an item so that people know how much it costs. Invariably I am putting price tags on pieces the night before and the morning of a show.

I hate that everytime I need to print out labels for a mailing. It seems like I am having to learn all over again how to do it, every time. It seems like I should have it down by now.

Okay, I feel a little better now that I got that out of my system. So, what are the tasks that drive you up a wall? What do you avoid, till you can avoid it no longer? Whining is for all those little things we are supposed to just do without complaint. But on this Wednesday, the Whining Window is open. Feel free to add your whine to the comment list. I am sure I left a few things off my list.....

13 comments:

Trina said...

Actually, you've said it all.
I keep a to do list at my computer (where I spend too much time) and the top item is always Accounting. The saying 'this year I'm going to be better about keeping up' is into it's sixth year! But there is one bright spot. I am getting to know the girls at my Hallmark postal station.

harriett said...

I soo understand! I once read where artists spend 20% of their time creating, and the rest doing the stuff you just described. At least you know you are not alone!

Polka Dot Creations said...

I'm with you on packing and shipping - I would so much rather be doing something creative! I try to beat the packing blahs by listening to an artistic podcast or two while I work. If I'm not engaging in creative activities myself, I can at least listen to artists talk about their own creativity.

Judy said...

Trina & Harriet, :-) We are not alone, are we? Sometimes it helps to share the frustration a bit so that we know that it is true.
And Polka Dot, I love the podcast idea. I will have to track down my iPod so that I can implement that. It is getting into heavy shipping time.

SILASTONES said...

I hate putting price and price tag on my jewelry. Just give me the money, whatever you have. LOL

Chai said...

i amso glad to read your whine...those are the very things that overwhelmed me to the point of giving up on my art business...i just couldn't handle all of those munite but oh-so-important details that make or break you...thank you for letting me see that a real professional grapples with the same things....

Judy said...

Silastones (Ponsawan) I agree!! I love that sentiment..."just give me the money"...! Too funny!

Judy said...

Chai, Thank you so much for your comment. It really means so much to mean to hear that sentiment. It is why I write something like this. It is "hard work" to do this as a business. lolol! And if we pretend that it is all about the studio or the publicity, or the shows, that is missing much of what it means to be in business. I want to try and give that full picture when I can.

tammy vitale said...

oh, yeah, all of the above. Especially paperwork tracking clients (SO important) and keeping inventories. And packing and shipping. And for me, glazing. Not myfavorite part of clay/ceramic work.

Love your work!

catherien said...

Mostly I hate my Quickbooks. I mean, it's just making good sense to use it, but sheesh. It seems like once a month comes faster than once a month.

Judy said...

Hi Tammy. Thank you for the comment. I love your blog...and your work. :-)

Judy said...

Hi Cat! I admire you for even persevering with Quickbooks. I tried for several months to get the hang of it, and finally gave up and went back to Quicken and Excel. They may not be integrated, but it does everything I need with so much less aggrevation.

Geraldine said...

i hate taxes. i think i make the whole thing way more complicated than it has to be. i use quicken and excel. there has to be an easier way to keep track of expenditures, sales, mileage, class fees....blah.