Don’t Let A Day Go By In Doubt

4 AM. It’s pretty early right now. It’s still night, really. I’m listening to Dream Theater through the headphones and thinking about a late submission to the Threadless Minecraft tee shirt design contest. My motives aren’t the purest. Money motivates me a little too much these days. I’d love to say it wasn’t the norm for my life, but it is. I used to be a servant of the Muses. These days, I can’t seem to motivate myself to create unless there is a potential monetary reward involved. I wonder when that happened.

I’m starting to resent how slow and aimless I’ve been over the last few months. Plodding, really. Summer was brutal. I finished recording the album, and then basically dicked around and slowly remixed. Not once actually rerecording tracks; merely bringing multiple takes to the fore to beef up the sound of the tracks. I meant to do a lot more with the album, but when it became obvious to me that I’d already invested too much time and effort into a project that wasn’t going to make its money back (they’re all really good songs, but I’m just not the greatest player. No getting around that without spending a few more years playing and rehearsing, which I have no intentions of doing without songs behind me. Hence, the albums, warts and all), I just bit the bullet and admitted to myself that I was going to have to suck it up and take the black eye of a less-than-perfect product to prevent losing momentum.

In truth, I may have waited too long anyway. I lost the summer. Played absolutely nowhere. Gary and I aren’t even ready to go out playing now (and let’s not even go into the situation with Derrick). Well, maybe Gary is, but I’m not. Haven’t had time or incentive to rehearse songs without him, which has to stop. I could still score some gigs if I get it together and get out there. That’s not really about trying to make money (gigging rarely makes more money than it loses), but money is a factor.

I’ve started recording bits and bobs for a project we’re currently calling ‘Surreyal’. It’s a side project with some American friends who want to record some classic Genesis-type music. Haven’t put as much time into it in the past few weeks as I’d like, but I am pretty intrigued by the whole subject. Writing lyrics and putting together 12-string guitar and mandolin parts, and thinking about bass and maybe even violin if I can get a grip on that instrument in time. I’m trying very hard not to write entire pieces, so as not to limit what Kristine and Jason. I’m really looking forward to what we make together, and at the same time, I’m concerned. I start voice therapy sessions soon. I’m only hoping that will make a difference in me getting some control over my voice again.

Meanwhile, writing has slowed to a crawl. I still write, but now it’s more like one day a week on average, instead of daily, which was a norm I have gotten into several times in the last few years, and wish I could get back to. I have so many stories on the way, it’s kind of giddy-making when I thin about it, but the work finishing up these volumes just seems to get bigger and bigger every time I look at the books yet to be completed.

And of course, there’s this push to get back to making art for a living. I have ideas a-plenty, but I’ve been procrastinating. Probably has something to do with needing more supplies, but the basic supplies are already here. Nothing stopping me from designing the paintings but me. One and one half paintings designed, twenty to go. I also have other concepts I’ve been aching to create, and of course, there’s the whole mural project, which has been attracting me like a moth to the flame for months. So much more drawing and painting to do, and no guarantee I’ll get the gig. None. I don’t expect any, but it’s a pretty big gamble, with no promise of reward for the time spent trying to get the gig. Most non-artists don’t appreciate that. Bidding for gigs might make perfect sense to non-artists, but that’s because they fail to appreciate how much work and time goes into preparing finished concept drawings. By the time you’re done, you’ve already put in about a thousand dollars worth of work, and then they get to choose from the banquet table, leaving your hard work to go to waste for nothing.

The worst part is, even though I know it’s wrong, I just don’t see a way it can be any different in this thoroughly anti-culture market. The effort to get something painted on those walls is motivated entirely by the urge to cut down on unattractive graffiti tagging. Put up something attractive that commands respect, and then apply an anti-graffiti coating and hope for the best. Makes me wonder why I’m so gung-ho, really.

Anyway, it just rolled past 4:30, so I should wrap this up. I may post more later today. We’ll see.

Thanks for reading.


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