This is a small retreat to let me fight another day.
I was being overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to do, most especially the backstage work for the shops and promotions and having to literally ASK people for help. The responses are erratic -- a giddying burst of outpour of generosity, and then long uneasy silences. Bottom line, I do not have enough yet to cover next month's bills although this month. at least, yielded enough for groceries and allowed me to pay overdues from the previous months.
Society6 and Patreon are great venues but that is all they are --- venues. They provide the stage but I have to draw the crowd and do the performances. As an introvert this has presented a most difficult challenge, for I have kept very small social circles, and I have not established a strong enough rapport with the majority of my acquaintances to move their hearts to either purchase from my shops or become a patron.
I have planned to use this week-long break to come up with strategies for Asking. Given my nature, I may have to go one-on-one and personal. That will take some planning and preparation, and a bit of money for courier services.
I have picked up a reading pace again. Last night I progressed through three books : May Sarton's Journal of A Solitude, Richard Bode's First You Have To Row A Little Boat, and Darrin McMahon's Divine Fury: A History of Genius. Today I started on In The Dojo by Dave Lowry.
I am on the lookout for clarity and clues on how to move forward, and how to fine-tune the directions I need to take. The jury is still out on whether I will even be offered that agency job that could solve my financial difficulties with a few months' sacrifice. But even I have not come to any firm answer if I would accept it if it were offered. Nor could I bring myself to commit for any long-term period should I decide to accept it. What flits through my mind instead is to try to force the possibility of a part-time arrangement, or a specialty service arrangement. A plunge into full-time dayjob corporate work feels like a suicide in many ways, and the first to go will be my artist life.
When I got up this morning my first act was to cut my hair. I trimmed off three inches so now I can keep my hair loose if I wanted without looking like an old hag. I tried to imagine that I was cutting off something else -- the time and distance between now and where I want to be, the number of obstacles I have to overcome.
Yesterday I wrote a letter to my mom apologising for the difficulties that the household has to endure because of my stubbornness to pursue this creative path. I felt bad for a lot of things, including not being able to take out the family for lunch or dinner to celebrate Father's Day, and not being able to help out with the household chores more frequently because the studio and shop tasks have been eating up so many of my daily hours. The guilt is sharp with my knowing that I could easily slip back into my old "successful" life. All I have to do is give up what I have now, maybe even tell myself that it will not be for very long, only for a while, that afterwards I could pick up where I left off...
This morning, a family friend passed away. A long-term illness finally seized her and took her within the space of two days. This year I lost my grandmother, and a grand-aunt.
Last night I dreamed of a dear old friend and he kept telling me I should not put my hair up, which was probably why I had the urge to cut it when I woke up. When I woke up I also realised that my dear old friend is gone, passed away almost two years ago. I remembered weeping when I found out I would no longer see him again. But last night I saw him again, his old cheerful playful self. And I remembered how he loved me back in his own way despite our definitions of ourselves.
There is a small errand I need to do but I have to gather the strength and patience for it. I would need to walk a thirty to forty-minute distance, which I would not have minded if the weather was agreeable. I could take a taxi but that would mean spending precious cash, and I was thinking I would rather use it for the trip home when I am already carrying the objects of that errand.
It is lunch time and I shall end this post. I am off Facebook for the whole week so I will likely be here more often than usual for the duration of my break.