A Dilemma

I seem to have a dilemma.  A huge conflict of different interests. It’s common for a lot of us to have multiple things we’d like to do in our lives.  There’s so much to do out there!  For me this conflict is mostly creative in nature.  I want to explore my creativity in so many different fields, that if I tried to do them all at once, I’d actually achieve very little and be totally overwhelmed.  My main interests lie in the following fields –

  1. Music 
  2. Art
  3. Writing
  4. Video
  5. Photography
  6. Education

I’ll go into some detail about this conflict of different interests now, and there are conflicts in each of these umbrella interests.  Music is my first port of call.

Music

I love music above all other things (except my partner of course!) and  I have multiple interests in music. 

  • writing songs
  • singing and playing my songs
  • recording and producing my music
  • playing guitar
  • playing piano
  • playing harmonica
  • tinkering with other instruments
  • composing experimental soundscape music
  • recording experimental soundscape music
  • playing my music live
  • learning new techniques

All my time could be spent just doing these things. There’s a vast amount of work involved in doing each of them, and there’s much more to doing all these as well. Like changing strings, sorting out technical things, amps, effects pedals, and other equipment.  Listening to my work and fine-tuning and developing ideas.  It all takes hours upon hours. 

I’d love to compose pieces for orchestras, bands of all sizes, and arrangements for a wide range of different instruments. Experiment with sounds and ways of producing them. Learn to play every instrument under the sum. Train my ears to be able to name a note on hearing it. Learn to play many different styles of music The list is endless. In just one field, there is a massive conflict of different interests. If I just concentrated on music and nothing else, I’d still not get all I want to do done!

Art

Art is one of my passions. I’ve been doing it since I was in my early 20’s, back in the 1980’s.  I have different ways of making art too –

  • painting
  • monoprints
  • linoprints
  • collage
  • drawing
  • digital art
  • graphic design

In my spare time, of which there is very little, I like to set up and produce paintings, prints, and collages.  These are messy things and require a good few hours (3 or more) to set up the space for being messy, and concentrating on producing the art itself, and then clearing up after myself.  If I had a dedicated studio space, it would make it much easier, but I can dream about that for now… 

Digital art can be done at the computer and doesn’t take much setting up time, but it’s still a time sucker!  The same’s true of graphic design too. Now, these are just techniques and different forms of art. 

There is also the subject matter and themes and projects I want to work on.  I’ve got loads of ideas floating around in my noggin, and in various notebooks and sketchbooks.  Again, this could be a full-time occupation for me – and, no, I’d still not get it all done! So here as well, there is a conflict of different interests, pulling me this way and that.

If you want to see a few examples of my art – follow here for monoprints, or here for collages

Writing

Writing is the other thing (one of the big 3) that I love to do.  I can break this down into the following –

  • poetry
  • songs
  • short stories
  • blog posts/ articles
  • journaling

I sit down and write something every single day.  This could be a blog post (like now!), a poem, a song, a story, writing in my journal (thoughts and ideas, feelings about things, keeping track of what I’ve been up to etc.), or brainstorming ideas for stories, articles, themes, novels, videos, movies….. you get the idea!  I love to have a pen in my hand and a notebook in front of me, it’s like a home comfort. 

Then things move to the computer and that’s when the serious editing and fine tuning and crafting takes place.  I’ve increasingly been using a portable keyboard and writing on my phone, in recent months. It’s handy when away from the office, and I can use Evernote to share my work across devices – I can work from anywhere! 

There are examples of my poetry in a previous post. You can read a couple of my poems here

Writing takes a long time and though most of my current projects are small in size, I’d love to have the time to spend on bigger projects – like writing novels, screenplays, e-books, autobiography, or longer articles etc. Again a conflict of different interests.

Video

I like making videos.  They can take quite a long time to do.  Some can be shorter, if they’re done live.  I’ve only done a few videos so far, but it’s a medium I’d like to do more of.  It’s important for a musician to have videos.  Let’s face it, videos  can be on any subject under the sun….or even beyond, in the outer world of the imagination!   Movies are just like long-form videos.  These are the areas where my interests lie in this medium –

  • music videos
  • live videos
  • arty films
  • poetry and soundscape 
  • movies
  • documentary
  • presentations

With video, since it is a multi-media thing in itself, I can use all my interests together in the one medium.  I can write scripts/ screenplays,  create set designs (art), paint and design stills, make music/ soundtracks,   perform in them, and work on the production and editing on computer.  It’s all encompassing for me as a broadly creative artist. Video is something I want to develop further.

Photography

Photography is great.  I like to take photos of things.  And now it’s much easier to take and edit photos, without bulky equipment.  They’re useful in my other work too.  It’s good to document myself at work on various things, use in artwork, make photo art for its own sake, use in videos and set design, post on social media and the web. Also having holidays and memories snapped as life moves along, a visual journal.  I don’t use photography much as a serious photographic artist – although I’d like to.  But I do use photography in many aspects of my other forms of art.

Education: Learn new things

I love to learn new things all the time.  My eyes are constantly fixed on reading books, blog posts, e-books, to learn all sorts of things.  Online courses are good for me too, eg. Udemy, Coursera, and others.  I’m always hungry to learn something new, and I never stand still, even when I’m waiting for a bus.  It’s no good just doing the reading though, or the course, because you have to actually do the exercises and work at whatever skill you’re trying to develop.  This all takes a lot of time too, and now we come to the crunch…

The Crunch: There’s only so much time

The thing is, there’s only so much time!  We all have the same amount of time – 24 hours a day.  Everyone has to sleep and take care of housework and domestic things.  We need to take time off for our partners, or spouses, kids, and our friends.  Leisure time, holidays and days out are important too.  If we don’t do all this stuff, we’d quickly burn out – big time.  Some people have to work at their jobs too, a big time-sucker!  Even with all of this, there is little time, or headspace, to achieve much else.

Drawing of a man with many arms and legs, trying to do too many things.  A conflict of different interests.
Conflict of different interests; not enough time

So how can I fit in all I want to do into my life?  The answer is – I can’t!  True, I don’t have a day job, or kids of my own, so I have more time than the majority of people.  But still, given all the things I’ve listed above, I still can’t do it all.  Not all at once anyway.  Basically I have loads of ideas floating around in my head about things I’d like to do.  That’s where a  notebook comes in handy.  I just write down my ideas and get them off my chest.  Then put them away on the back burner. Anything important I’ll keep in front of me.

Priorities

Yes, I have to set priorities.  I can’t get it all done, and if I tried, I’d achieve very little.  Nothing would be finished.  There would be dozens of projects lying around never seeing completion.  So I’ve decided at the moment to work on my singer-songwriter, performer, and recording artist career path.  This entails that I write songs and certain other things, like social media and other web content.  I get to make a few videos.  Also, it means I do some art for social media, posters, album sleeves, graphic design, and some photography. I get to play, perform and record my music, and do production work.  And education grows by reading books and taking online courses about music, production, business, and marketing, etc.  This is all in service to my music career. If you’d like to listen to some of my music, follow this link here.

Now, I do have dreams of doing some other big things, like writing a novel, or making a movie, pursuing an art career, creating a multimedia art installation, making art films – all sorts of things. Smaller things like painting, printmaking and poetry,  I can do occasionally when I’m taking time off (not too much time!) But if I digress too much, I’ll spread myself thinly over a wide area and not stand out in any one field.  So I focus on the one main thing, music. 

And in my pursuit of excellence in my music, hopefully, someone will hear my voice above the background noise of all that’s out there, and say “that speaks to me.”