Do what you love and the money will follow, well...
April 29, 2004 3:32pm
It's 11:30am on Thursday as I type these words. I'm here at my neighborhood Starbucks doing my usual computer-related daily activities: DC Flamenco updates, email, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. And it's about time I published another blog entry, but since I haven't been taking pics lately, I decided to dig one up from the archives.
If you've been following my tweets lately, you know I've been spending my days at Barnes & Noble and Starbucks—y'know, the places where freelancer people like me hang out and do their work. I've been meaning to do this for the longest time, but I wasn't able to before cuz I couldn't afford a laptop, on my struggling musician income, until now with the recent popularity of relatively low-priced netbooks.
But now you're probably asking yourself, "Wait a minute. Is Miguelito a musician or is he one of those generic laptop-toting, cappucino sipping, office-casual-jeans-wearing freelancers that typically inhabit Starbucks during the day?" :-)
Of course I'm a musician (duh) but the hours I spend in the front of the computer is mostly for online social networking for the purpose of promoting myself and the local flamenco scene.
Normally, I'd do this all from the comfort of my apartment, but for the next month or so there's some repair work being done (replacing the water pipes of my building) that involves drilling, hammering, lots of dust and occasional splashes of water which doesn't mix well with computers.
So here I am, yet again, spending the day working on my netbook. On top of that, I normally practice guitar at home, and if it was warm outside I'd just find a nice sunny spot in Georgetown (see photo above) and practice for hours to my heart's content. But, Mother Nature can't seem make up her mind whether to make it warm or cold out, grrr!
Well, ok, so my practice regimen is taking a serious hit right now. I'm hoping and praying that the weather will warm-up really soon. For now I'll have to squeeze in practicing guitar at night and resorting to warming-up my hands right before shows on the nights that I work. In the meantime, since I'm spending a lot of time in bookstores I might as well learn some new stuff.
Nowadays you can learn so much professional level web developer stuff from books at Barnes & Noble. So that's what I'm doing: playing catch-up, learning the stuff I need to know like PHP, MySQL, AJAX, Flash etc to bring my webdev skills up-to-date. Not that I want to make a career out of it, but I have been taking on a few web design clients here and there over the years to supplement my artist income. However, I still need to learn the latest developments in webdev to keep up with the competition. In the meantime, the money I make designing websites is not bad albeit it is kind of irregular, but hey, that's the freelance lifestyle.
Which brings me to my work as a flamenco guitarist. Am I doing what I love? Yes of course. Is the money following (see title of this blog)? Yes. "Do what you love and the money will follow" has been one of my mantras since I became a music major in college. I mean c'mon, what real musician goes into music for the sole purpose of making money? Ok so you do what you love and the love of doing it will carry you through the hard times as you hone your craft which hopefully will lead you to become good at what you love which means you'll get lots of work, right?
Perhaps that true to a certain extent. But then again, there are lots of extremely talented skilled artists out there who are either starving or have resorted to getting regular dayjobs to get by. I'm so close to going that route myself, but the occasional web design client, thank God, is keeping me in the freelance world.
Remember my office experience last year? Well I did it again this year and I stuck it out for the full length of the office gig this time. The idea of having a regular schedule with a regular income was actually very comforting. OK so the office job didn't have any real meaning to me personally other than to make money and hang out in an office environment with the friend who got me the job. ;-) But in the end, I got a decent size paycheck which helped me to afford this HP Mini 10000 netbook that I'm using right now. (Thank you Jojo!)
So what's the plan Miguelito? They say the economy sucks but I can't use that as a real excuse. While I do make significantly less money than most of the people I know, I can confidently say I have more fun at my job than most people. And I love my job cuz I'm doing what I love. It just doesn't pay that much money. It pays in other ways: fun!
And yeah, as for my other "job," I do love working with computers and the Internet and it is relevant to my career as a musician. All this time spent on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and writing these deeply fascinating thought-provoking occasionally non-flamenco related blogs do lead to actual-paying flamenco gigs for me, really! Not to mention the fact that I promote the DC flamenco community in general (pats himself on the back). But I digress.
The plan is to continue doing my flamenco thing but diversify my income stream with some web design gigs. Who knows what the future will bring? In the meantime I'm having a blast and hopefully I'm inspiring people like you to rediscover your passion and make the time to do what speaks to your heart and maybe make some money doing it, too. ;-)
April 29, 2004 4:41pm
Anywayz, my free WiFi access here at Starbucks tops out at 2 hours and I've got five minutes left. Ciao for now!