Thursday, March 11, 2010

Design Time. How do we manage it?

This blog post isn't so much full of recommendations as it is full of angst and woe and a bit of frustration. About time. Or rather, lack of it. Or maybe about laziness. Or motivation. Or something.

A lot of people doing Zazzle seem to be able to manage their time very well. They are putting up tons of new designs all the time, churning them out. I am, well, not doing that. I don't see how anybody does. So I'm looking for ideas.

I'm a freelancer, so I don't go to a bricks and mortar location each day to work. I step in front of my computer. But being a freelancer comes with its own set of huge pressures, especially since I am a SINGLE freelancer. If I don't work, I don't eat and the dogs don't get their kibble. I can afford to lose a few more pounds, the dogs not so much. I do not have a husband working full time to take the pressure off.

And at the moment, freelancing pays much better than Zazzle. The frustration is that if I did more Zazzle, it would eventually bring enough income on a steady basis that I could be a lot more comfortable instead of looking around each month and wondering if my fairy godmother was going to bonk me on the head with a million bucks. And the reality is that when a client has a job for me, the Zazzle work has to come second (or fourth, or unfortunately too often last).

In addition to the freelance work, I also teach dog training classes, show dogs, go to the gym every day, am President of my local dog club, help run my local dog training center. Oh and I'm prepping for a 5k race. And yeah, some evenings when I don't have to teach, I just veg out and indulge another of my passionate hobbies, reading fun and trashy genre fiction; urban fantasy, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, even mystery.

And when I am designing for Zazzle, I spend a lot of time on my designs. I do not want to put schlock out there. I want a beautiful design people will be proud to wear. A design **I** would be proud to wear.

So blog readers (if any of you haven't fallen asleep by now) how do you do it? How do you keep up with everyday life and also put so many designs onto Zazzle? Do you compromise quality? Have a hubby/wife that supports you financially? What? I'm sure open for ideas...


  1. Robin,

    I am a freelancer as well and a recent college graduate still living at home with my family. I do not have a husband or a significant other that supports me; I essentially support myself.

    I do not know how other Zazzlers do it. Frankly, I do not have the propensity and stamina to churn out one design after another (I wish I did). I am very slow at creating and publishing designs for products; the designs are not great, but they are cute and sometimes witty.

    This path is something different, an alternative career-style that not everyone takes. How do I do it? For me, I just motivate myself every chance I get to do something I love doing, which is designing cute stuff while everyone else is out working the same job day in and day out.

    Sometimes I do get a bit lazy and lax during the creative process, but I still motivate myself with "I can do it!" phrases verbally and mentally. If I cannot do the self-motivation technique, I ask my sister to snap me out of any distractions or slumps I am in.

    I hope this gives you some insight or help.

  2. I think this blog was a very nice, diplomatic way of expressing the frustration with the hoards of people on zazzle who publish complete garbage designs. They put no time into it and it shows, they are trying to make a fast buck and are ruining the system. Zazzle is getting flooded with crummy designs that are just making it harder for buyers to find the good ones.