Friday, January 09, 2009

What Remains

Acrylic on 8.5" x 11" watercolor paper
Available at

Things are really getting into a daily groove here. I've started keeping a private dairy online at It's not the greatest site, but it gets the job done. If anyone can recommend a better online (free) diary/journal/daily log site, let me know!

I'm pretty much just documenting what I do through the day - boring notes mostly - but it will help when I look back at figuring out how many hours I put in, what promotions I'm doing, etc. I also started (just last night) to write daily challenges for myself for the next day. Small goals - big enough to feel accomplishment without being overwhelmed. This is what I've needed for so long. Much better than random lists and journal entries that get lost in between sketches in sketch books, or emails to myself with lists of things to do only to get read the next day and forgotten about.

If you are self employed, or are a part time artist/crafter, how do you keep track of your time or do you?


Jennifer Hayes Hugon said...

Funny, I lose sooo many lists in the pages of sketchbooks and journals too. I am a serial list-maker, almost to the point of OCD. Lol, I should track the time I spend making lists!

Actually, I've found that keeping a time sheet in spreadsheet format is a great way to see the big picture. Color coding different tasks so I can see at a glance how much time I'm spending on various activities.

Love this piece, by the way!

Maria-Thérèse ~ said...

I really need to catch up with all your latest work!!! Like this one a lot.

I'm just about to start working as a full-time, self-employed writer, artist, photographer, proofreader and have just realised I may need to plan my days somehow. Make a schedule. Not for EVERY day, perhaps, but a few days ago I made a list of things to do the next day and actually managed to cross them off even though something really sad happened. It made me focus; it was concrete.

At the same time - I think I'm the kind of person who has to work according to my inspiration whenever possible because that's when I achieve the most. Lately I haven't felt like writing (fiction + poetry) and that annoys me and makes me doubt my entire future, BUT I get impulses to do new things such as my altered photographs which I think are turning out good. So I guess I'm a combination. Go with the flow AND make plans.

Can you paint during set hours?

Unknown said...

Jennifer - yes isn't it great to look through old journals and sketchbooks and see some of the same things on your list today written years ago? haha Spreadsheet is a great idea. I like the color coded suggestion too. Thanks for commenting!

afiori first of all, congratulations on embarking on your self employed status! I can completely relate to where you are coming from - particularly this sentence.

"At the same time - I think I'm the kind of person who has to work according to my inspiration whenever possible because that's when I achieve the most."

Yes! I have finally stopped fighting that and I've learned to work with it. I used to write to-do lists that would plan out my whole following day "paint from 9-12, eat lunch, check emails..." and inevitably the day would never work out that way and I'd end up feeling bad about myself because I hadn't accomplished my goals. So now, with this ediary daily log it's almost like I'm writing reverse to-do lists - they are more like "did" lists! I don't always feel in the right mood for painting, so I do something else. I find a new site to promote my work on or I do something that needs to be taken care of around the house. Regardless of what I do, my goal is to stay productive during the day. The times when I haven't had productive days where days when I felt depressed because I wasn't doing enough - so I did nothing. I don't want anymore days like that. If I do have an off day - feeling depressed or whatever - I'll take a sick day and not feel guilty about it, just take care of myself. Guilt and being overwhelmed with what you haven't accomplished is absolutely pointless.

I'm talking about this stuff like this is how I've always handled things - I haven't! And that's why I am so excited about this because I'm actually changing some very old patterns and it feels great! A simple shift from writing what I WANT to do to writing what I have already done has changed my perception 100% for the better. It makes me want to do more to add to the list instead of feeling guilt, pressure and therefore resistance to completing a list of pre-determined tasks. This is working with a trait that I've had for as long as I can remember - I want to accomplish a lot and make my parents proud (and now myself, my husband, my kids, etc, etc) but I want to do it on my terms! Even when I'M the one who wrote the list, it's still a feeling of conformity, following rules when I want to approach things my differently, intuitively in the moment.

So verry looong story short, to answer your question can you paint during set hours - no when I feel like I have to, yes when I feel like I'm making a choice to do it but no pressure if I don't.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Jessica,

I really love this painting a is so playful.

I journal a lot, but it is more insights and thoughts rather than notes to myself. I can't help you with online venues.

Keeping track of time...Mmmm, I am not very good at doing that. I have found it closes me down a lot. Often I get a general idea or a feeling and go with that. When I did interior design work it was critical to keep very specific records so you knew how to charge clients or other departments. Sometimes, though, during certain phases of a project other designers would keep track for me so I wouldn't loose my groove!

Cool post, Jessica...I am eager to see the results of your record keeping.

Have a Great Weekend!

Anonymous said...

Great list of info I didn't know about you!! I have always wanted to take a tap dancing class...maybe I should look for one.

I kept a hand written journal for a year about 2 years ago and I need to get back to that. It's so cathartic and it really helped me focus on what I was doing.