Jan. 18th, 2017

artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Well, I was supposed to be doing some composing today. Instead I saw that someone I sortof know who has 150k Twitter followers and writes for a national magazine has set up a Patreon account and in less than 24 hours attracted over 200 pledges, to the tune of $1700/month. And I felt bad, and inadequate, and a bit jealous, if I'm honest, especially since she gets paid for a lot of her writing work already. There is a lot of advice out there for people starting out on Patreon, much more than there was when I started nearly 3 years ago, but a lot of it simply isn't suitable for what I'm doing; it assumes an end product more engaging than a piece of sheet music. And the quickest way to get a sustainable income there is to already have fans.

So I spent some time reminding myself to keep my eyes on my own work, and reminding myself that just because my work is much more niche and not as instantly relateable and not so popular does not mean that it is worth less or is in any way less important.

My work is important. My music has broader value to society. If I didn't believe these things I wouldn't do it.

But keeping my eyes on my own work only goes so far; just because I'm not famous-on-the-internet and I don't have 150k followers anywhere and what I create is rather niche, doesn't mean there is nothing I can do.

Things I can do:

  • load up Hootsuite with a bunch of auto-tweets/FB posts again so that people actually know about my Patreon and my music, and keep doing it

  • collaborate with others more -- poets, other musicians, artists

  • get my website in slightly better order (this is a work in progress)

  • get my business cards finished and printed, and always carry some, and don't be afraid to give them out when I meet people in person

  • put more of my work on Lulu so that if people do want to buy printed copies, they can

  • make more recordings/get more recordings made so that people hear my work more (and look into ways of doing this other than giving all my money to Choral Tracks, though I intend to keep using that for some work)

  • take more pictures -- seriously, it's worth a try, partly because Instagram is apparently v good if you post regularly, partly because people relate better to pictures, partly because it helps tell a story of my work


I actually have plans to do most of this stuff, so it's not as if I'm sitting around in a cave, writing music and then wondering why nobody has ever heard of me. The thing is, actually doing all of this takes time and energy, and finding a balance where it doesn't take time and energy away from composing is the trick of it. It's winter, and last year was tough for me in many ways and I'm still recovering from that, which combined mean I could spend the entirety of my time on the admin and still be flailing. And maybe the important thing about the PhD work, for now, is that it gives me an obvious focus for the composing itself, a reason to do that before falling down the rabbit-hole of trying to fine-tune socmed or whatever to maximise my income.

And now I have to go to LGQ rehearsal, so that's the afternoon gone, and I've not composed a single naked note OR done any academic reading/listening and I haven't made it to Evensong. Tomorrow is a stay-at-home-and-do-admin day, but I think in the circumstances I can use some of it for composing too.

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artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
artsyhonker

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