There’s a quote in one of my favorite TV shows, Halt and Catch Fire:
“Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.”Joe MacMillan (played by Lee Pace), Halt and Catch Fire
Music was the thing that got me to the thing: photography. I had a lot of hobbies and interests, but picked music to carry that weight because:
- I’m good at it.
- I’m fast.
- I don’t burn out on it easily.
- Selling it doesn’t bother me the way it does for other hobbies.
And that worked out…mostly. Even after all that, it finally took a lot of gifted money to finally get there. I was burned out, ready to give up. But you know what? Had I paced myself and paid attention to my physical and emotional state, it would feel less like a Pyrrhic victory. I got the camera, but now I can’t look at my music tools without wanting to curl up into a little ball.
I mainly got the MIDI keyboard for the Lite license. Once I seriously burned out, I just couldn’t touch it. Opening Live filled me with dread. Even going back to the roots to play with LMMS or Reaper with some cheesy free software synthesizers just made me sad.
The burnout will pass. I hope. I miss making music right up until I try. Right now I’m focused on learning to use this camera while using this blog to turn my experiences and perspective into something useful for others.
If you ever decide to follow my path and turn one of your easy to sell hobbies into money to get you somewhere else, be prepared for the possibility that it’ll take longer than you expected. I had to bust my butt at it for years releasing hundreds of hours of music just to have enough saved from it to even think about buying a camera. Now I’m absolutely fried emotionally on the subject of music.
Don’t do it the way I did it. Don’t get desperate. Don’t pump out 30 things a week for a month every few months hoping something clicks enough to make it all worth it. Pace yourself. You don’t want to be ruined for that hobby on the other side.