I’m taking the month of September as a sort of mini-sabbatical break. (A ‘sabbatical’ is a term used in the academic world for a break from daily work to pursue travel and/or learning, and then return re-energised and reinvigorated.)
In my case, I’ll be stepping away from the internet for the month. Taking a step back from my online life is something I need for both personal and creative reasons after a very demanding year.
My Sabbatical Plans
During part of the month, we’ll be fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams of visiting wild orangutans in Borneo! I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting this is for me. I’ve never been to Asia before, so it’s a little nerve-wracking too, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I can’t pass up, and I’m sure it’ll be an amazing experience.
For safety reasons, I’m not sure that sharing details of my trip in real-time would be wise. I’m minimising my online presence all month so it won’t be obvious exactly when I’m away, and I’ll fill you in with a Borneo wildlife report (here on my blog) when I’m back online in October.
For the weeks when I’m not travelling, I’ll be working: spending quality time on creative growth and technical skill development. There are several exciting new PlanetJune projects in progress that need quiet undisturbed concentration so I can figure out how best to make them a reality.
We’re only a couple of days into this sabbatical (I actually started early, last Friday), and I’ve already replaced almost all the zip files for new orders in my shop with PDFs – a feature that will please smartphone and tablet users especially! I’ll continue converting the rest of the shop, and all past orders (and I’ll give you more details on this project once it’s completed). You’ll be able to see the other fruits of my labours throughout the rest of the year – more good things are in the pipeline!
September is a poor choice for a break, business-wise: it’s the month when crochet sales start to pick up after the summer, and I usually try to capitalise on that with a strong new pattern release, but my new book should be keeping most people busy for a while, so I think PlanetJune will withstand a quiet September. I have a trustworthy reputation and a large back catalogue of quality patterns, so regular new releases are less important than making sure that everything I publish meets the high standards I’ve set for PlanetJune.
What does my Sabbatical mean for you?
- I will not be shipping any orders throughout September. You may still order crochet tools during this time, but I won’t ship them until the first week of October.
- Direct pattern sales through PlanetJune will be unaffected (instant digital downloads as always) but pattern orders through third-party venues (Etsy, ArtFire) may occasionally take longer than my usual 24-48 hours.
- I won’t be blogging, chatting in the PJ Ravelry group, or participating in social media on Twitter or Facebook, so don’t worry over my silence!
- I will be checking for personal messages in all those places every couple of days (even while I’m travelling), and monitoring my email, so I’ll still be able to offer help where required, but it may take longer than usual for you to receive a response, and I’ll try not to reply to anything except essential customer support requests until after my mini-sabbatical ends.
If you need any help, my recommendations are:
- For general PlanetJune assistance, check the PlanetJune FAQ – always a good starting point.
- For crochet help, check my master list of Crochet Tutorials.
- If your question isn’t answered by those, go and ask in the PJ Ravelry group – you’ll find plenty of friendly and knowledgeable assistance there.
- If you’re still having difficulty, or have a technical problem with ordering/downloading patterns (only I can help with that!), please email me, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, but please remember I may be in the Bornean jungle and unable to respond quickly!
My hopes for this break are:
- To rest, relax and recover while finding new inspiration in the nature of Borneo.
- To develop my technical skills so I can improve the PlanetJune shopping experience.
- To take quality time to make progress on innovative new designs.
That’s a lot to fit into a month, even with minimal online distractions, but I don’t think I can afford to take a 2- or 3-month sabbatical at the moment!
I hope you have a wonderful month. I’ll give your regards to the orangutans, and I’ll see you in October…