Well now that January has come to an end, and I finally got my piece submitted to the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, I am able to reflect on how the month has gone. How awesome is it to be able to be your own boss and compose all the time???!!! Although, truth be told, I did go into a slight bit of library withdrawal early in the month when both of the books I was really looking forward to arrived and I wasn't there to pick them up! The agony!!! What do you mean I have to make a special trip to get my books?! Ach! I digress...
As was expected, it is taking me some time to get used to working full-time with a single focus. I love that I have all my time to focus on composition, but there are so many other things that happen beyond composing that it takes a lot of time and organization to figure out how to balance everything. I originally thought that by being my own boss, I would have these perfectly balanced segments of time where I worked on composition, guitar practice and office work in equal measure. ~~Cue a laugh of haughty derision at past self. Obviously, that was not going to happen. With my looming SSO deadline for the song that would not write itself, most of my time was poured into composition, so my guitar practice got put to the back burner (sorry, Willow! *Willow is my classical guitar!).
I also discovered that I will hyperfocus and tangent like a madwoman when it comes to office work. This discovery did not come until the end of the month, so I now have a plan in place that puts both composition and guitar practice before my time in the office. That way neither of those will be sacrficied in the name of calculating simple interest on multiple scenarios of savings amounts (seriously, it's really fun!). But to that effect, I am also allowing myself to take a page out of my library book (ha! library book.) - often I would get scheduled for 15 minutes of desk time before heading out to the front; so if I have an office item that is pressing, I'll give myself that 15 minutes before composing to address it. Seriously, it helps so much! So thanks SPL for the scheduling tip!
But the one thing that I most proud of is that I have finally learned to respect my limits in terms of my mental health and anxiety. I actually stopped working when I started to feel tired in order to avoid fatigue, and I was able to push myself when I needed to work just that little bit more without over doing it. So for the first time in five or six years, once my huge project was complete, I did not fall into a week-long slump where I needed to recover. Hooray!!! (cue the Peanuts song and dance like you're a Charles M. Schulz character)
So to sum up, learning how to do even the most amazing of dreams takes lots of time and flexibility.
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About the Blog
What's life like as a full-time freelance composer? I'm not quite sure - but I know over the next year I'm going to find out!