Saturday 1 November 2014

NaBloPoMo & Youvember begin!

   NaBloPoMo has begun, and so has Youvember! So you can guarantee I'll be posting frequently about my own Youvember challenge as well as finally posting some new crafts, features, gift guides and more! But while my first NaBloPoMo post is usually just an introduction to say "hey, I'm doing it again this year!" and leaving it at that, I'm going to jump right in to my Youvember topic.
   The purpose of Youvember is to try to relieve the Christmas stress before it gets here, and while one great way to do that is to take up a new workout regime, I would be doing that anyway this month, and I didn't think it was right to just lump that in here and say 'done'.
   My family has always had small Christmasses. We get no visitors except for my sister; my dad's family is quite out of touch with us, and my mum alienated us from most people from her side because she didn't want them to watch her deteriorate. This is just a theory of mine, of course, but it makes the most sense to me since she knew full well what would happen to her when her Multiple Sclerosis started to get her. So, the only relatives we ever see are my grandparents and great grandmother on my mother's side, and they live nearby. So there's little to do in preparation for Christmas in my household.
   However, I get a lot of stress from my Etsy shop. I'm very grateful for the amazing sales I get through November and December, but last year I got so many I couldn't keep on top of it, I lost sleep and while I didn't receive a single complain and had only happy customers, I was haggard at the end of it. So this year, for my Youvember, I'm keeping on top of it, and I'm going to try to eat a little cleaner too.

   One of my suggestions for participants was to create a 6-week Christmas-preparation plan. Well, I'm going to be doing something similar, but a 4-week sales-preparation plan instead. I have a lot of work to do creating animals, photographing new products, writing listings, advertising them, preparing my most popular pieces for a flood of sales, stocking up on packaging and so on. And while a lot of people don't bother to pretty up their packaging or write a thank-you note, I do, and that can take a lot of time, so I have to do all of that in advance, too.

   So, over the next couple of days, while preparing my most recent orders, I'm going to write down everything I usually do so that I can get a focused idea of the things I need to do, then group them up into collections that make sense so that I can tackle them more efficiently. Such as writing 'thank you' notes and 'free gift' notes at the same time, or making lots of different animals together out of clay rather than making one type, painting it, making another, painting it and so on. Decorating my envelopes and arranging product packaging.
   I'm giving myself until Wednesday the 5th to finish the plan, including allocating time and dates to complete each task, and when I've done that I'm going to begin. And there's no such thing as making too many or buying too many supplies, because they'll all be sold or used up in the end, even if I make too much for Christmas specifically.

   The prizes for Youvember participants have been announced, and pictures of the four prize bundles will be shown in the next couple of days. I'm just waiting on the arrival of the last few things, and once that's done the bundles will be ready. I'm happy to accept donations of prizes, however, but they will need to be sent straight to me asap to be added to the bundles so I can ship each full bundle to each winner in its entirety.

   What will you be doing to tackle Christmas stress before it gets here? If you're participating in Youvember, at the end of the month you'll be entered into a draw to win one of the prize bundles. All you have to do is send me an email with either a link to a concluding Youvember post you've written about what you did and how it went, or email me a paragraph and/or a picture of what you've done/where you went/what you made. Include in that email which bundle you want to be entered to win, and at the beginning of December 4 winners will be chosen to win the bundles they desired! Read more on the Youvember page.

NaBloPoMo November 2014   Youvember 2014


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