This blog was written a long time ago and never got posted (hence the references to Olympics and hot summer weather). But the general tone it expresses still hold true. Another fact to note is that there is no such thing as sick days when you are self employed. Note the thermometer on my desk. When you are sick you just don’t get up at your usual 5 a.m. and instead only work as much as possible instead of your usual super long day.
So just what is a typical day like for a guy who makes his living as a designer/woodworker/photographer? Short answer, there isn’t a typical day. The longer answer would be that some days are a lot alike and some are totally different. When you are self employed you wear a lot of hats. Bookkeeper, marketing department, accounts payable, and a host of other things fill your time and you never really thought about them when you were working in a cubicle farm.
Maybe I should give you a list of the last 24 hours:
- Worked last evening on the preliminary layout of a periodical that I design. I wanted to watch the Olympics more than I did, but copy will be coming soon and I need to be poised when it comes as the deadline is often short.
- Posted a new photo image in my Etsy store
- Finished gluing up rough blanks for 17 cutting boards for an upcoming art show.
- Replaced my tablesaw fence and finished the finicky job of aligning the blade to the fence. My tablesaw, by the way, is probably at least 80 years old. I cannot even find out it’s age, but based on the label, I am guessing it was made in the 1930’s. I have owned it for 25 years and have grown fond of it. It is old and I like it that way. No digital readouts. No fancy gimmicks. Just a man, a saw, a block of wood, the smell of sawdust, and the results I want.
- Answered some email and worked on some copy for my new website. I like technology and new stuff also and it is time for an update. I have a smart and talented web designer working with me, because even though I would like to be such a renaissance man that I could do everything, time and intelligence sometimes present barriers.
- Mowed the lawn super early (yes, my neighbors probably hate me) because a heat advisory is in place and I have the flexibility to change my schedule for these kinds of situations.
- Cooled off from mowing by planing the cutting board blanks on my at-least-50- year-old Sears power planer that was built by Foley Belsaw. Like the tablesaw, it has it’s issues, but it is built like a tank and I just kind of hate to put it out to pasture. Did I mention I like old tools?
- Fielded an email about possible work for a gift shop in Washington D.C
- Received a happy email from an Etsy customer who received a custom wood job and was very pleased. She is an interior designer in Philadelphia and needed to hide an old doorbell, so I worked with her to get something that worked and looked good.
In short, every day is different. I wouldn’t want it any other way! I hope you love your work as much as I do.