455. The Album Maker

Written on 20 March this post is indicative of … problems. At least with regard to keeping up blogging, and blogging about something that is … good. Meaning valuable. Meaning something I can believe is good and valuable for others.

With regard to catching up on both The Blog and my life, so to speak, things are messy right now and I don’t really know where to begin. I have a few days with some sparetime before Easter because I have decided not to take new customers in until after Easter. I may have Wednesday and Thursday, depending on … things.

Then Friday (23 March) is coaching all day of a customer, and then we have Jay for the duration until the end of Easter, because the daycare is closed. Char is going to her mum’s place Easter Thursday, though, and then I will follow Sunday. So I have Thursday-parts and then Fri- and Saturday next week, too, which should be completely free of obligations, unless the proverbial lightning hits.

Char and I have decided, by the way, to end my official period on paternity leave come April, which means that in theory I can take 40 hours of work per week and she fetches Jay from daycare (which is only 25 hours/week until we feel he is better settled in).

I look forward to that. For a variety of reasons:

1) It’s going to be good getting more out of the house and get to work again – even if I still love and miss Jay to bits

2) It’s going to be good to earn (more) money again. I earned about 4K USD Jan-Mar without really trying (just returning customers, basically), but that’s much, much too low, obviously. I need at least 3K/month and preferably 4.

3) Speaking of money, it’s going to be necessary to earn money again.

I haven’t asked Char how much she has left of her inheritance. I suspect it’s about 40-50K USD, give or take, but since she is out of a job and will only have her insurance next month and onwards and expenses with Jay and other things are either stable or going up, well, … you can see where this is going.

Furthermore I only have about 9K USD left on my credit account (private) and about 5K USD in business account.

And I owe Char about 16K USD and I owe the bank about 9K USD (what has been spent on the private cred account) and I owe about 20K USD to others, for example the ever-remaining remains of my student loan.

So I need to work hard for the remaining 9 months and earn at least 3K USD/month and preferably 4, as said, in order to be able to cover interest on the various non-private loans and contribute meaningfully to food, rent, Jay and other things here at home.

I’m … not that worried about that, anymore, though. I think I wrote it in a post some weeks or months ago – that my obsession from last year about earning “enough” money seems to largely have vanished. Sure, I’m concerned but I’m not that worried.

I’m frustrated that I’m starting from such a relative low-point – again, yes. But I’m accepting of it.

In short, I have faith that if all other things are relatively stable then I will be able to haul in that kind of money, what is needed in my situation, with my living standards and needs and given the expense level in this Northern European country of ours …

So far so good.

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There is a larger issue here, though, besides how much of my free days before starting up full time business again I should use on catching up with The Blog.

It is in part about how much of my 40 hour-ish or so work time per week after Easter that I should use for my creative endeavors. As I believe I wrote recently, I have had to decide to make public (at least in some fashion) that I have about 5 or 6 major creative projects that I really long to do, aside from Hammer & Magic. Both in art and writing and in some combo thereof.

Give my really poor track record, for many years, in completing creative projects and starting and re-starting such beasts, I wonder what I can do with say 5 hours per week out of the work hours that are available (no, I’m not even going to plan to have time in the apartment when I am home – not for anything else but family).

Obviously, I can’t try to do everything. And yet, now that I have admitted that I want to do more than just find that “single project” that can somehow encompass all my creative aspirations (because it is what I believed until a short time ago I had to do, because I did not have time for anything else), well … what now?

I think it will be difficult for me if I really can carve out 5 hours per week on average to finish up a single project this year, like the first Hammer & Magic story.

It’s odd, isn’t it? Why did I think about admitting and even deciding that I want to do these other projects, when blatantly I am not even up to doing a single project and haven’t been for years? The last creative projects I have finished that I was not paid for more or less up front (my live talks, for example) was an amateur Star Wars comic book done back in 1994!

And then, of course, my novellas and a few other things – mostly illustration jobs for books (voluntary).

So it seems like I will have to try to reconcile opposites here.

The rational thing would be to say: You only have time for one song – choose which one to sing. Finish it. Then do the next.

The thing I want to do is to play with songs for the whole album, so to speak (and keeping up with the analogy- which is only an analogy – for I am not really able to do music at all!).

I want the whole album. Or rather: I want to work at it. In those 5-ish hours.

Some weeks more time, some weeks less. That’s life. But on average I think it is a realistic amount of time. And especially if I don’t try to fight reality and do something at home.

(Oh sure, there may be some evenings when I have the energy and Jay and Char are asleep early, but I have tried this and generally … it is not workable for me. I need to be out of the house to work, and create, effectively. Especially since our house is not even a house, but a two-roomer and I have a desk in a corner of one room that also has a lot of other stuff in it. Not … good for motivation.)

Anyway … how to reconcile?

Maybe it is not possible.

Maybe I have to admit that that is how I feel and then proceed and dabble with all the songs on the album (and a few on the next), so to speak. That means draw a little here. Do a video there. Write something elsewhere. On Hammer and Magic. On The Joan of Arc Journey. On that Dimension Travel story. And what not.

And then accept that the result of that decision is that none of these projects, individually, will be finished in the foreseeable future – for many years probably.

And therefore I should only do them for my own sake and not for any other sake (just saying). Not fame or money, in particular. (Fortunately, I do feel – as chronicled in other posts – that those motivations are gone by now, but still … good to remember this!)

So … just do it this way which I feel for and then accept that finishing lines are a long way away and that that also means I will have to work for many years with websites and webshops and try to earn money only from that and spend a lot of time to make that source of finance work.

Is that it?

Right now it feels like it is.

And another important reasons is that I have tried this all-or-nothing investment before: Like, working very little and earning very little (not a good option right now, by the way) and then investing a lot in a single project, like my failed attempts at novel-writing.

That made it stressful because I only had one project creatively and I had to earn money from it and I couldn’t fail. I mean … talk about setting yourself up for failure!

And perhaps, yes, that is why I failed – particularly with novel-writing. There was many a time this financial stress – a self-imposed condition: ‘Do it all in this time, and earn that much in that time – or else!’

It’s so silly looking back … that I could make myself do this.

And it had results: I failed again and again. Especially with my novel-attempts.

So, like I mused about back in December (IIRC) … if I only have a very limited time I should try to do something in that time that gives mere energy here and now. Results be damned.

Process and the path is all it is about. And if that path leads nowhere then so be it.

But if that way of walking the path actually makes me go the distance then perhaps it will indeed lead somewhere. Finally, and after many, many failed attempts and interpretations about what was good for me creatively.

So it is worth trying.

I go with the whole album.

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