by Erin Bishop
The boy scouts have the motto of always being prepared, but how does one prepare for life? Simple answer: You don’t. You do the best you can and hope for the best. How does one focus when life becomes overwhelming? You can hunker down and try your best, wait for a better time, or fall back on already prepared materials.
“Life happens when you least expect it.” - Jane Harvey Barrick
Back in October of 2016, my twelve year old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Labrador Retriever starting feeling ill and shortly after had to be put to sleep. Thankfully, Leather Works by Willow’s Facebook page didn’t need my attention because I had planned out what posts were coming out and when. I was able to fall back on my planning and I could wait for a better time to compose more cheery posts. Other than the emotional turmoil, the hardest part was focusing on two upcoming panels for comic cons.
I had to hunker down and focus on what I felt like I couldn’t. Looking back, I know that I could have done a better job, but I did the best that I could at the time. I was used to working on a project for two-three hours then taking the dog outside to pee, but with all that was going on I could only focus for ten to forty-five minutes. My long focus became short and erratic which I sure showed in my work, but I had obligations that I had to attend to.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” - Benjamin Franklin
My girlfriend had a harder time, he was hers from four weeks until his dying breath. She was responsible for writing blogs, she would sit down and start writing a blog one or two days before we released each blog. When he’s sickness and subsequent death came upon us she had to wait for a better time, she was unable to hunker down and she hadn’t planned ahead.
I also had to put some of the more outgoing social media efforts aside as I dealt with his death. I eventually feel behind when we got a puppy, because puppies need a lot of attention. They pee everywhere until, you understand, that they are telling you, that they need to go out. Not to mention the constant checking on them, because you hear a riping noise coming from the bedroom, and you know that they brought their toy squirrel in there, but you’re not quite sure that they don’t know, not rip up your bed. A few months later, I am back to scheduling my life so that I may have a life.
Plan for a Life
I already briefly covered planning for the future, but this is where the real life saver comes into play. When you plan more and further out, you’ll be able to handle more of life’s little unexpected journeys. I sit down at the end of the month with Willow, and we plan out what we are posting, tweeting, writing on the blog, copywriting for Etsy, for the next month. We discuss which items, posts, tweets, and blogs that we want to promote. We also talk about any events, promotions, sales, or contest that we want to be apart of the following month. We make a to do list that helps shape what we are doing today, so that tomorrow will be easier.
I recommend planning your 140 character tweets for a month out of planned content. I recommend writing as many blogs as you can, but a good minimum is two out. If you have to write product descriptions, I would have about 3-5 depending on the frequency of the release. I have planned what I am going to work on and on what day from now until OCTOBER, and I use the to-do list as a road map when figuring out how far out I need to plan, and what I need to do now. Then when that’s all done it’s time to relax watch some TV, go swimming at the lake, or party with your friends, because you already did what you needed to do.
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I started crafting out of leather in 2011, and now I am making it my life's work. I am writing this blog to help myself remember some of the small steps in past projects, sharing my triumphs and failures, as well as my love of leather.