“Don’t work too hard. And remember to take time off to enjoy yourself, because otherwise you will burn out” – A wise friend.
I took a break there.
You can probably guess that I don’t earn anything from keeping this music blog. Most of my time is spent renting out my pen and brain to companies that will pay for my writing. To me that’s what being a self-employed writer feels like. For the past few months I’ve been writing with one group, which is great. I enjoy the work I do for them, but it’s not enough. And it’s also a very precarious living when you have no contract, no terms of employment, and no guarantee that this work will be there in a months time or two weeks time. Being self-employed has its perks, but it also has some very heavy downsides – job security being something you sacrifice for having more control over what you do. Still, the job hunt was constant, always on my mind, and after several months became a huge source of irritation and frustration. Then I decided one morning, about a month ago, that I wasn’t going to get out of bed. I did this every morning, and I also decided that doing things was pointless. Talking to people was pointless, as was cooking, reading, going outdoors, and writing. My ceiling became far more interesting than research and investigation. Everything I ate came from either the freezer or a microwave. I lost weight and I’m quite certain that my will to be anything was as strong and healthy as an inside out umbrella.
A wise and wonderful friend gave me some advice recently at a gig: don’t work too hard. And remember to take time off to enjoy yourself, because otherwise you will burn out.
Spending every day thinking about work will eventually turn your mind into mush. And if you’re like me it will make you stare at the ceiling for hours on end. Now that I’m a bit more chilled out and no longer feeling like an inside out umbrella, I see the fact that I have multiple free flowing work commitments as a positive thing. I also started a new job recently, which is takes a lot of time away from writing about music, but I think that’s just life. The central piece of advice here: if you’re feeling inside out, stop thinking about it and go to a gig.
I’ll close this off with one last promise to myself and the netherworld: this blog is kept alive by the sheer love of music and writing (and the occasional bout of insomnia), and it will continue to be kept alive until I either wake up from this really intense and hilarious lucid dream, or I’m banned from the internet.