Here is the latest in a series of articles I have been writing for Thriving & Striving Magazine, an online periodical for all alook of folks looking to imptheir and richer their lives through travel, food and entertainment:
There is a very prominent discussion amongst today’s young professionals, that of wanting to make careers of their artforms. I have personally challenged myself to intellectual games of badminton on this topic, since I have an unquenchable tendency towards various artforms, but the practical side of my conscience quails at the thought of a post-apocalyptic world overrun with artists who may be very happy and self-aware, but are clueless as to how to start a fire or build a cabinet or make a meal for more than ten people. But this is the same voice that applauds friends who quit their cubicles to pursue an Etsy account, or a bicycle trip across America, or even just grass-cutting.
I have gotten the defense argument that if you vocationalize your artform you are dooming yourself to a burnt-out, bored, artform-loathing and impoverished-anyway decade or two before you go back to a “real job.” Some say that you must be careful to separate what you love from what pays the bills. I see sense in that.
Sometimes I am ashamed that I am putting my primary energies toward an artform. But most days, these days, I am just totally pumped.
I feel very accomplished when I spend a day making calls, writing emails and expanding my social network – it’s almost as grueling and satisfying as drywalling – and then if I can top it off by playing for three hours in a bar for utility money, I feel like I have done my job. I go home and I get a good rest. But there is also a megaton of sense in what my financial advisor said to me: “If you do good work one day, you can’t not work the next day.” Now for a long time I took that to mean I gotta have a bill-paying job, do the music work as often as possible on the side, and hope for the best. Folks, I don’t know about you, but when I get home from an eight-hour day that hasn’t much to do with music … I’m just plain exhausted. I want food, I want sleep; I do Not want to follow up on eighteen phone calls to various pubs who can’t remember that I’ve called three times in the past week. It wasn’t until recently that I accepted the fact that if I want to capital-m-Make something of one of my many interests, I have to commit. Again, I speak only for myself – I know there are those out there who can pull 14-hour, double- or triple-job days and be perfectly functional …. Not this girl. Nope, the good work comes from doing it wholeheartedly. And doing it again tomorrow even if I had a rotten time of it today – AND even if I had a hugely successful time of it today.
I still know how to build a fire, fix a cabinet and make a meal for ten people, but I feel less and less embarrassed about being a musician. How are you?