Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Here Begins The Week of Reflection

Longtime readers know that the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is my favorite: all the holiday busy-ness is over, but it's not quite business as usual yet. It feels like a little island of calm, when nothing is urgent and there is time to think. I use it for this purpose: the Week of Reflection.

Here at this blog I tend to use it for artistic and business reflections, but I do it on a personal level, also.

I got a jump on this year's Week of Reflection a few weeks ago when I went through a depressive spell - why waste the only thing depression is good for: ruminating? - and in that time I made an important decision: prices are going up. I won't rehash it here, but it was a tough corner to turn, and a very valuable one. Ever since, I have been spending whatever time it took to make each piece as good as it could be, and feeling free to recycle the stinkers - because of course there will be stinkers, there have to be. I feel as good about the work I have made in the past few weeks as any I've ever done.

It will mean, initially, fewer sales. I can live with this; I can squeak by on teaching classes if I am ridiculously frugal. (And I do mean ridiculously. We suspended our $7.99 Netflix subscription, for example.) It will pass, and it will pay off. The Week of Reflection, this year, will be focused on a sales and marketing plan, and a few steps I can take to make production less expensive. More efficient burners? Convert my glazes to Cone 6? Those are two possible steps.
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