The above track Balance brings a fitting theme to this post, I think. Finding balance in new ways.
As I approach the end of my four year degree and look for real person jobs, I grow concerned about having time for art. Sure, the time will be there, but having a job that doesn’t match my personality (the likely type acquirable for some time, even after college) is draining. If it’ll be any thing like my previous unfulfilling employment, it will encourage me to spend my free time just relaxing. Hopefully I’ll just succeed in forcing my self to adjust accordingly.
It does make me think more about money, though, and what my art means to me. Yes. I would like to be paid by fans of some of my releases. Would I still want that, if I was making more than enough money doing what ever else? Yes, because I’d rather be making money doing what I love than what I do not love, and making money doing what I love can reduce time spent making money doing what I do not love. If I had a magic money generating machine, I would not ask for money for my art. I am generally more concerned about exposure of my music than getting some thing in return for it, but in a world of magic money generating machines monetary value would cease to exist, and I don’t live in that world.
I have been fortunate enough to have a free and comforting place to live, but this is temporary. I have to think more about money. For this reason, over the past year I have put up a few Red Ankh and Shyft releases for sale on Bandcamp with a fixed lowest price, despite how Shyfted Minds had previously been an all free label. A few weeks ago I set up a deal with Label Worx, so that they may aggregate those same releases to digital distributors such as Beatport and iTunes. Select future releases by Shyft and Red Ankh will continue this trend, but short releases by Red Ankh and some releases by Shyft will be free of charge. Dustrict okayed the selling of his Satanism EP, and was kind enough to suggest that any royalties made on it be put back in to the label. The other core members of Shyfted Minds Records desire for their future releases to be free, and so this shall be. I wish to continue to provide free, high quality music to the world with this little organization, but I would like for it to make some money too, so that it can be more than just a hobby, and so that it is easier to justify spending the time on it that it deserves.
In an attempt to maintain a consistent release schedule, I aim to begin a trend of releasing short hard core EPs and may be even singles for a while, and put them up for sale. At the same time I would like to reconstruct old Shyft albums that had previously been discontinued and rerelease them for free. I am kicking around the idea of having the EPs be a series of experimental projects that push the boundaries of genre, so it would be difficult to classify many of them together as an album, any way. Hopefully I will learn a lot from the process.
So much to do, so little time. Having a job and a new car will be a big relief, but that will mean less time for art projects- and I still have a book to publish and more to write. When school is out, time spend on my studies will be freed up, but I should be working full time by then. Time taken back up, though probably not all of it. And my social circles do not seem complete. People to be added. Going to music events is really draining, on energy and money. Should I stop going? Go less, but how much less? How much social gain I receive from any given show is completely uncalculatable. Using Facebook is a little easier to determine, but face to face (ha!) interaction is so much more rewarding as a means of first impression… or isn’t it? Hmm.
TickTick is like a super powered note-taking application. It runs on smart phones and in a web browser, and even has a Chrome extension. I recommend it. It I use it every day, planning more details of my life than most people probably would. Scheduling in this way has saved my life. I found that much of my depression and anxiety came from feeling disorganized. No more!
Never before had I ever said to my self, even in jest, that I do not have time for a girl friend. It was a scary realization that I made a few months ago, as a previous serial monogamist. In order to get what I want accomplished, and in order to learn what I wish to learn through experiencing different kinds of people in different ways, I can no longer justify having a mutually exclusive, committed, romantic-love-focused relationship. Having one is a wonderful thing when it works, and one that really works is still some thing that I aspire to achieve, but not now. Now, that’s on the very bottom of my major priorities list, and that list is long enough to forget about it completely for the time being. I don’t even know exactly what I want from a connection like that, and I’d rather not temporarily fuck up an other girl’s life in a full-on attempt to discover it. Other methods are available in order to acquire appropriate perspective. Simply taking the time to know my self is one of them.
As winter comes to a close I emerge from a very low point in my life. There’s more to it than just that, though: for the first time ever I am beginning to be able to jump from one focus to an other without requiring long transition periods, where my mood adjusts to fit the mode. I have found my self transitioning immediately from socializing to doing school work, or school work to writing, or writing to music. I always needed buffer periods between different kinds of activities before. Things are looking up, things continue to improve, and my major problem at the moment is that of fine-tuning how I spend my time in order to maximize productivity while maintaining mental and physical health. Playing video games helps me relax and inspires my art, but it is easy to lose track of time while doing it, and can put me in a habit of sluggishness. Socializing improves my self-esteem and my social network, but in addition to also being a thing that can cause time to seem to just vanish, it can be very draining, and brings me to want to just relax. Can these two things be scheduled together in order to minimize time wasted? Can it be done practically? We shall see.