Saturday, June 13, 2015

I'm Changing My Life. Or, I Am Officially Nuttier Than I Ever Realized.

I've done it.

I no longer have a normal day job.

Confession: I'm not doing this the way normal, smart people do it. I don't have 6 months salary stowed away in a savings account. I am very much not prepared. Like, not prepared one bit.

But I'm crazy. And it hit me that if I don't try, and if I don't start trying RIGHT NOW, my crazy will get Really Crazy, like Really Really Crazy with a Capital C, and that's just no good.

I turn 40 this month. (Oh, you thought I looked 28? Aren't you sweet. You're now my favorite person.) It's not that 40 is old, it's not. It's young. But it's just that in my life, I'm, oh, right about where I thought I'd be when I was 25.

That means I'm 15 years behind, people.

Don't get me wrong. My life has been one crazy interesting ride and it made me who I am now and I wouldn't change a thing.

But going forward, I need to get serious about being an artist. I NEED to somehow make a living from my art. I can't keep working 40 hours then coming home too tired to do anything except daydream about what I want to create.

Part of the reason I'm telling this to the Internet is because I'm hoping it will give me a sense of obligation, and therefore a sense of urgency that's just simply not there when I don't have a boss to answer to. I'm human.

Another reason I'm sharing this is because I know I'm not the only one out there who feels this way. And if only one person can learn or appreciate hearing about my mistakes, maybe even finding my story helpful, well, I'll feel like I'm giving back.

I'm lucky and blessed to have the artistic ability I do. I don't want to take it for granted any more. It has a purpose, and I don't feel like I've been fulfilling that purpose. As cheesy as this sounds, I feel like I have a responsibility to do things in particular with my gift that I just have not been doing. If nothing else, I'm determined to gain a great deal of momentum, so if I do go back to a normal job, at the very least I will have built the strong bones of where I need to be soon.

I've made mistakes in the past, taken on more than I should, under priced my work, and other not-so-smart things. So I've learned a lot already.

But now my gut is yelling at me that it's time to jump in the deep end. The longer I wait, the more dangerous it might be. I've got a house payment to worry about. I may end up having to go back to a real job. But if that's the case I'm still determined to make this precious time I have count. And darn it, it's going to count a LOT.

I'm running on instincts lately, and I can't help but feel this strong pull towards... well, towards something I can't see yet. I see glimpses. One thing I'm sure of is that I need to focus on multiple projects. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, as that saying goes. And I work better when I have multiple projects. Stumped with a little artist block on this project? No problem, I'll go work on this other project for a while instead.

You know what is especially valuable? Mistakes. I plan on sharing my mistakes along with my successes. I think it's important that artists share their knowledge with one another. I feel obligated to share my knowledge. I crave teaching what I know. Even if I only know a small amount.

So. Come along for the ride. I figure no matter what, it'll be an interesting one.

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