I'm at the brink of change. It's really exciting, but it's also really really scary, and surprisingly expensive.
For the past 6 months I've been working on putting a photography portfolio and solo project together to bring me closer to my dream of boing a financially independent creative type person. I've been buying gear, learning instruments, and new skills, and more recently I've been sending many emails and taking free gigs to practice and build portfolio's.
The foundations are built, and now all I have to do is send enough emails to enough people to get the gigs that I need. This is the scary part.
Cold emailing sucks. It's this game of "tell the person enough information that they'll be interested in having you, but don't bombard them". It's this weird game of cat and mouse where you're the mouse but you have to pretend to be a lion so the other person will think you're a cat like them.
During this whole experience I've been thinking about a conversation I had at the National Folk Festival in Canberra. A friend of mine was talking about a past band that he was in, and how they played all the festivals because their band leader sent out a ridiculous number of festival applications. "It's a numbers game".
And that's exactly what it is. A game of numbers. Numbers of followers, Numbers of gigs played, Numbers of emails sent, Numbers of tracks, and videos and releases and Numbers of the dates of the year, slowly ticking down until another year has gone by and you're 1% more successful than you were last year despite putting in 50% more time and energy and money.
I'm not going to pretend that what I do is glamorous, because it's not. It's hard, time consuming, tiring and incredibly frustrating. In saying that, I wouldn't change it for the world. I've met so many people who could have jumped fully into the creative world, but have played it safe. And sure, most of them have lived/are living happy stable lives, but their creative pursuit has had to take a back seat, downgraded to "hobby" status, meaning they don't get to put as much time as they used to into the project. I don't want that to be me. I'm sad enough at the best of times, but creating makes the sadness less.
All I have to remember is that it's a numbers game, and I simply haven't racked up quite enough of them.