I’m on day 4 of my writing/music career. It’s a silly thing to say, yes. What I mean is, last Friday was my last day of going to work. At a job. I decided to quit because I really wanted to give myself a chance to make things work in my creative career.
Let me give you a rundown on how quitting my job to focus on creative endeavors works:
- I’m living with my parents. Yes. I’m 24 years old, unemployed, and I like video games. I’m becoming a statistic. I know. Does it help me seem less pathetic to say that I pay rent?
- I’m very good at saving money. As in, I’ve never made more than $10,000 USD in a year. In the past 2 years I’ve travelled to China (3 months), Malaysia (1 month), New Zealand (1 month), England and Scotland (5 weeks total). If you’re interested, Nomadic Matt will get you started. Author’s note: I hope to make more than 10K in 2018.
- I worked. This summer I worked 60+ hours a week at two jobs just to fund my U.K. travels. I had leftover money when I returned home and one of my part-time jobs was waiting for me. So for the past 2 months I worked there and tried to pay off as much credit card debt/student loans as I could while saving for these next few months.
If my parents did not let me stay with them, I’d likely be working some low-wage job that drains most of my energy. I’d be coming home from work and flipping on the TV or plugging in the GameCube. And every month I’d be giving more than half my income to some apartment I don’t even like. So basically, my parents are awesome.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to talk about my plans for the coming months.
- Grants/Competitions. I’m researching grants and competitions for writers and musicians. If granted/awarded, these will help fund my projects.
- Artist Residency. There are plenty of artist residencies around the country. This will get me out of my hometown and allow me some freedom to work and be around other artists.
- Open mic. I’ll be performing poetry/music around the Twin Cities.
- Working. Duh! Most of what I’ll be doing is A) Working on my poetry book and B) Recording an album/writing more songs to go on that album.
- Reading! I can’t very well be a writer without reading, can I? No. My goal for this year was to read 40 books but I only read 21 so far 😦 oops.
If you have any recommendations for grants/competitions/artist residencies/etc. please let me know in the comments!
In the next few days, I’ll write about my goals for 2018. For now, back to work!
See you soon,
Last week I reached my 50,000 word goal for the month of November! To anyone else who participated in National Novel Writing Month, congratulations! This year, I wrote 50k words of poetry. On Monday, I started reading through and revising.
To be honest, most of it is garbage. But there’s a lot of stuff in there with potential. Such as:
Here’s what I learned in Art History:
A woman in a Renaissance painting has powdered white skin (no other color)
and never farts
or vomits after too much wine.
No one has to hold back her pompadour
while she pukes up her servant-made supper into a golden chamber pot.
She doesn’t do drugs or smoke.
Her somber expression pouts at the painters.
The world’s first selfies.
Now, I don’t agree with the last line even though I wrote it. The argument can be made that the world’s first selfies were actually cave paintings and little sculptures done long before Renaissance painting was a thing. Anyway, I’ve got LOTS of editing to do.
See you soon,
This one’s possibly two years old now. Since I’m writing so many new poems a day for NaNoWriMo (and my book), I thought I should share a few of my older poems.
What he said was good grammar
good tone, good smile
How much does an artichoke weigh
How much Truth Do You Want
How Hard do I Tap my Feet so he Hears I wanna be light
as a dancer on a drum
Do I sing or scream through my window
& how sweet do I make the sound?
The longer I stay the faster my forearms feel dumb
From him I inherit a thousand
tiny vases of jagged glass
in my gums and stutter
on the first word I think to say
and find there is nothing to express
-So I Leave
Of the many poems I wrote yesterday for NaNoWriMo, this one was my favorite.
I hit 30,000 words a few days ago. Hopefully on this long weekend I can catch up!
So moody. It looks like something a teenager would write on the inside cover of their wide ruled notebook.
This weekend I went to the Big Water Film Festival in Ashland, Wisconsin, as the film I worked on made it into the festival. Long story short, I forgot all about my money-making job (which doesn’t pay me what I’m worth and doesn’t allow me to utilize my strongest skills) and fell completely head over heels back into my creative brain. I breezed through conversations, initiated debates, made people laugh and included every person in our group into all of it. I experienced what it truly means to be in my element. I was among my people: creatives with ideas.
And now it’s Sunday night. I’m faced with the dread of returning to a job that kills my soul. For most of us, it’s a familiar feeling. Somehow by returning to work tomorrow, I feel that I’m letting myself down. What is my true potential? I should be questioning everything around me, making art in whatever medium I want. I should be playing.
This isn’t an idea that generates much sympathy. After all, in Corporate America, a balance of work and play is the formula for happiness. This idea has poisoned American workers for generations.
Work and play. How about work that feels like play? Play that is actually work? Something actually enjoyable that stimulates your mind and brings your inner strengths to the surface on a daily basis? That sounds like my type of job.
This isn’t an argumentative essay about the realities of “work”. Rest assured, it’s about me. Maybe you will find something useful in my anxious, panicked rant.
Work + Play = Balanced life.
Play + Time = Balanced life.
Here’s the thing.
I have so many ideas addressed to my attention
coming from a place of panic.
I don’t have to change the decade to feel I’m being bold.
2017, you see me at my parent’s house
forced to invent my own job.
I should record poems and put them on bandcamp,
quit the bosses and publish a book,
get on stage with my violin -> give everyone some music
whether they wanted it or not.
Where did the idea that work is not enjoyable
To be continued.
I’m eager to begin this year’s NaNoWriMo! This year, I’m working on a new volume of Sort of Super as well as continuing my book of random stories from my life.