Diary of an Artist, Inspiration, The Artist's Way

Are you inventing things to avoid the important?

October 25, 2014
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I’ve spent the last week wanting desperately to get back to my blog and somehow spending the time instead doing a million seemingly urgent and banal administrative tasks to clear the way for the real work which is the making of the art itself.

I did manage the two-and-a-bit-hour-each-way trip to Brisbane twice to rehearse with my band for our upcoming sets at Island Vibe Festival which at least salvaged the week from being an epic fail on an art productivity level. I also entered the Dolphin Awards (3 hours of fighting with the DVD burning software on my Mac), reorganised my press contact database (1.5 days), did a bunch of marketing for the band including 2 radio interviews, and played a gig in a bar with fluoro lighting that I thought was going to kill me. My mate Flawless rocked up at the last minute while I was struggling through a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason to Stay Here” hoping to influence the patrons to go home so I could too. It worked.

So in summary I drove for about 10 hours, rehearsed for 8, gigged for 4, and did about 3 days or 20 hours of band management and admin work. That’s a 42 hour work week. And I made a total of $400 from the painful gig. And spent $100 on petrol. I also spent about $150 on entering the Dolphin awards and $50 on my weekly album repayment which brings my week’s earning’s down to $100, which means I worked for about $2.30 an hour, and that’s before even taking into account other weekly business expenses. Thank the gods for social security and my angelic boyfriend.

That said, this is not really acceptable behaviour. Or an enjoyable way to subsist on a regular basis. I know I’m worth so much more than my shitty artist income. I have wrestled with myself over this past week and gone through a fair amount of depression over it and implored the angels to help me find a new direction that will pull me out of this current slump. The rat race is not for cats like me but the hamster wheel ain’t much better.

On Saturday, a copy of Timothy Ferriss’s book “The 4 Hour Workweek” was placed in my hands by a magical forest nymph whose forest boudoir I was visiting. For a freedom junkie a title such as this is like way too good to be true, hence why I have avoided reading this book since it came out in 2007. It took me about four hours to scan read it and now I’d like to summarise what I took from this book for you to read in four minutes or less.

What I took from Timothy Ferriss’s “The 4 Hour Workweek”, in 4 minutes or less, by Freedom Junkie:

  1. I was right, the world is an ass. Whoever thought up the idea that everyone has to work a million hours a week, in an office, for the man, should never have got the job of deciding such things. Full-time work leads to unproductivity, useless meetings, paper-shuffling and obesity. It’s time to streamline, like a boss.
  2. I am also an ass. It’s up to me to be accountable for my time expenditure. If I can spend four hours a week doing high-impact income creating tasks, the rest of the week I can spend cruising around being an underpaid genius rockstar blogger. This requires a small shift in thinking and time rearrangement.

Sure, I’m a hard-working artist who is incessantly busy and fairly efficient in my work. But where is that getting me? It’s time to trade busy for productive and efficient for effective. According to my mate Tim, being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.

Tim Ferriss’s big question, which is to be stuck to the computer on a post-it and asked of oneself 3 times per day until one is cured of the freedom-slaying habit of delaying the most important productivity tasks that are being swept under the banal unimportant paperwork:

ARE YOU INVENTING THINGS TO AVOID THE IMPORTANT?

Well yes, yes I am, Tim. In fact, I am so highly creative that I’m really GOOD at inventing all kinds of things to avoid the glaringly important fact that I need to manifest some serious cash around here to support my art habit.

So the challenge is upon me. I now have the legacy of Timothy Ferriss breathing down my neck, calling upon me to stop being a victim of my artaholism. I know I’ve got the skills to pay the bills. Operation de-povetisation is moving into first gear.

My mission: to get my creativity coaching business off the ground after 3 years of intending to do it.

My fear: that I won’t have enough time to spend on my music and writing and it will take over. Or that I simply won’t be the best person at creativity coaching in the whole entire world. I should just get a JOB.

The answer to my fear: if it doesn’t work, I can just change direction. No-one will even notice.

The fluff: anything that is not making art or making money.

The new schedule: working on generating income in my business from 9-11 am every work day.

So, over to you. Write this one down peeps, it always helps.

Q1: What is your mission?

Q2: What are you afraid of that is causing you to avoid doing the things necessary to achieve your mission?

Q3: How hard would it be to recover or put things right if the thing you are most afraid of happening actually happened?

Q4: What unimportant fluff are YOU inventing to avoid the few really important but perhaps uncomfortable tasks that you need to do in order to reach your financial/career/relationship/artistic/personal goals?

Q5: How can you rearrange your day to put those few integral tasks FIRST and leave the fluff for after, or even better, just phase it out. Commit to that now.

Q6: Do you need a creativity coach to help you achieve your mission?  I’m opening up space for a limited number of coaching clients so if you think you might be one of them, let’s talk. Send me a message and I’ll line you up a free one-hour strategy session with me to tailor an affordable creativity coaching package to your needs.

Click here to organise your free one-hour strategy session for unlocking your creative powers in your work and your life.

The source of all life is calling on you to go on your mission. Listen.

Love and livin’ the dream,

CC xo

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sotto October 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Tim Ferriss has certainly impressed you CC and I know u r too au fait with half-wits trying to sell artists short so your session would have to be too good to pass up. We’ll communicate soon. Sotto

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