I know I’m supposed to be hopeful and filled with joy this holiday season, but I am really not feeling it.
It has been difficult for me to focus and the big projects just feel daunting. I’m thankful I have a solid routine to carry me through and I’m trusting that a new vaccine, and a new year, will provide just the reset to give me a boost.
I hope all of you are thriving, all things considered, and I hope this week’s newsletter gives you a bit of focus as we roll towards the holiday season. Thanks or reading.
Financial Stability Tip: Set A Budget You Can Maintain
One of the biggest challenges creators have is setting a monthly budget because it is difficult to know how much income they will bring in each month. In my twenties, I lived full-time as an artist but chose to ignore my budget all together. That decision got me into deep trouble from a financial stability perspective and I was well into my 30s before I set a budget that I knew I could stick with each month.
Tip: Setting a monthly budget is necessary to your long-term financial stability. Take the time to put a budget together now and don’t let it sit on a shelf and collect dust. Along with your budget creation, adopt a daily practice of managing the budget you have set. Here’s a post I wrote to get you started.
Work/Life Balance Tip: It’s Ok To Downshift
Work has been a real challenge over the past ten months. I had to repeatedly refocus myself on the tasks at hand and I regularly felt overwhelmed. It’s in those moments of feeling overwhelmed by, well, everything, that I had to remind myself that everyone was going through the pandemic at the same time and that all of us were struggling in one way or another.
Tip: I had to slow my workflow down and I give you permission to do the same! Seema Rao frames our current state perfectly in her latest blog post, “We are living through a terrible, horrible, no good year.” Accept that this is the case, take a breath, and know that the push towards creating something new will come soon enough, but it has no chance of happening if you are utterly burnt out in life and at work.
Tips On Finding Meaning: Volunteer
Some of the most profound work I’ve carried out in my career had nothing to do with my actual job, it came from my volunteer work. My work as a board member and advisor for several non-profit organizations has been a profoundly meaningful experience. The roles filled me with joy and were a nice departure from my day job.
Tip: If you are searching for meaningful work, I highly encourage you to volunteer for a non-profit organization. Before you dive in, understand the community you would like to serve and get to know the people doing the work in order to figure out if the organization is the right fit. Here are some additional thoughts about how to serve your community.
Field Notes: Build YOUR Community
One of the biggest challenges artists face in the pandemic is that their traditional pathways of engagement have been completely disrupted for months. Artists typically rely on gatekeepers in different parts of the country to open the doors to their community for a performance. This sets up a win-win scenario: The artist has a clear pathway to a deep relationship with a new community, while the community itself is introduced to the great artist. Without gatherings in public spaces, building community in this way has become incredibly difficult.
Tip: Start building your own community today. This will take time but, as artists, we’re used to this type of painstaking work! Start small with your close friends and family and grow from there.
The Way Things Work: Understand The Basics Of Marketing
I identify as an artist first, creator and maker second. As an artist, I admit that I am horrible at marketing my creations. In fact, in most of the circles in which I run, the idea of marketing is actually frowned upon. As artists the conventional wisdom is that if we create beautiful things, marketing and selling our art is unnecessary.
Tip: If you are going to build your own community, you have to learn how to market yourself. Last week, I stumbled upon this incredible article by the folks at Morning Brew that provides a great list of articles and resources about marketing. Check it out!
Things I Loved:
- This stunning video!
- I lost a day to this and I’m guessing you will, too.
- I might need to take music history all over again.
- Fall in line, people! #science
- I’m mesmerized!
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