Finally! I have been wanting to start this for several months. It may be tough to back-track and capture the many ideas, feelings, emotions of the last several months, but I will try. The phrase, ‘better late than never’ applies here.
So, what’s the point?
Many of us have thought about shifting focus in our lives in order to pursue a passion full time. This is what I did 8 months ago. I left a stable and well-paying job in Information Technology to pursue music full-time. The point of this blog is to simply write about that experience.
Any life experience—whether traumatic or ecstatic—that diversifies our repertoire of experiences and pushes us outside of habitual thought patterns can lead to enhanced cognitive flexibility and creativity. – Scott Barry Kauffman, Wired To Create
Many times I have thought about this experience as an experiment. For example, what would it be like to not have the obligation of a full time job? Would I enjoy it? Would I be more focused, less stressed or happier? Could I generate more artistic ideas and be able to develop them? I feel it is perfectly understandable to want to answer these questions as a middle-aged adult rather than a senior citizen in traditional retirement.
Some of the topics I am writing about are ones that I don’t have a ton of experience with. I think is interesting sometimes to get the perspective of a beginner.
The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step. – Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
Why does anyone care what I am saying? It’s really not about that. I am writing here for the enjoyment of writing and the therapeutic nature of writing as is the case with journaling.
I do think it is possible that someone could find this essay inspiring as an account of someone who took a risk and broke with convention. Hopefully it could introduce an alternative mindset on certain things. Or, it could simply be informative on various topics that I am covering.
This is an important point about writing or creating art. I am of the belief that it is done for the love of the process. It is not done for gratitude or notoriety. This doesn’t mean we don’t want people to enjoy our work. It doesn’t mean we are not grateful for anyone who is supporting us. It is merely a statement on the core motivation of creating art.
I also like the idea of my experience in the last 8 months being a research project and these blog posts being the final report.
In 2007-2008 I volunteered in Ghana with VSO and blogged about that experience. I view this as a similar journey. Also in that case, it was the idea of being a beginner and writing about a new experience with a fresh perspective.
I have recently read Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way. For those familiar with that book, this blog became my Morning Pages. Cameron stresses the importance of Morning Page’s which she describes as “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.” This is one of the key elements to what she calls “creative recovery”. I will probably mention this book again throughout this writing.
A lot of this will just describe what I have learned. I really enjoy reading, experimenting and then synthesizing stuff together into an essay like this.
A big part of the therapeutic nature of this writing is to cover the challenges, which have been many! And, to also take a deep dive into what it means to spend one’s days being creative. I think there is a gap between the mindset of people pursuing creativity versus people working a more conventional jobs. This is definitely not an argument for one or the other. It is not preachy. It is not judgmental. It is simply observations from someone who has now seen both sides and is interested in analyzing them.
These posts will lead up to the release of my debut solo album which I wrote and recorded over this time period. I am expecting to reach that milestone in 2 to 3 weeks. The final steps in the process have required more time than I would have anticipated. I will cover that in more detail later.
Thanks for reading this introduction. Stay tuned for more!