Both sides of the coin.

Well again it’s been too long since I’ve posted, but I can promise that from now I’ll be blogging much more regularly because…


That’s right, I’m giving up regular income and easy work to become essentially a wandering minstrel.

I have three shifts left – I actually cried when I handed my notice in, but I know it’s for the best.  Saturday is my last one, it’s going to be weird.  Long Tall Sally has taken up so much of the last 6 months it’ll be very strange having time to do other things.

The fact is, it is too hard to fit my musical life into 3 days a week.  I’ve tried, and I can’t do it.  Yes I can do my Saturday gigs but I never have time to practice (I actually miss practice – what’s happened to me?!)  My flat is always a mess because I never have time nor energy to clean and tidy, my repertoire is dwindling as I don’t have time to learn new pieces and I’m way behind on general life admin (sorry to my parents who still have my deceased car on the driveway seven months after I get a new one!)

Yes, the income was OK, the girls I work with are lovely and I feel very lucky in that respect.  But, I didn’t study for four years for a music degree and undertake years of practice and hard work just to spend my days manning a shop floor for minimum wage.  

So here’s the plan: 

1. Summer is pretty booked up with gigs so income should be ok for a while.

2. Hire a lever harp and try busking to see if it’s a realistic source of extra income.  If it does turn out to be good money, try lots of different cities/save up to purchase the harp.  Maybe even drive to France and do some busking on the continent?!

3. Keep any spending to a MINIMUM – essentials only – bye bye gym membership, clothes from Primark and food from Aldi – get a cheaper sim-only contract when my current contract runs out AND my car insurance should be a lot cheaper when I renew.

4. Write to all the cruise companies I can google and try to drum up some work.

5. Chop up credit card (I actually already did this)

So I named this post ‘both sides of the coin’.  Before I got my job at LTS, I needed income – desperately.  When I got the job, I realised I’d actually given up the freedom that comes with being freelance – and the price I had put on my freedom was a little over £6 an hour.  I can now see that having the ability to work for myself and to rely only upon myself is worth so much more than that.  Yes it’s risky and scary, but I remember at RNCM in one harp class with our teacher – Eira – we discussed the poem by William Arthur Ward ‘To Risk’ and in particular the line the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.  I simply have to be free to sort my own schedule, to come and go as I please and not have to ask anyone’s permission before taking on work that is good for my career.

But, I honestly think, having seen and experienced a ‘normal job’ for the past six months, I am more motivated than ever to take my music career as far as I possibly can.  This has been a real wake up call and shown me that it is my passion – and the only thing I can really see myself being happy spending my life doing.

To Risk by William Arthur Ward

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To live is to risk dying,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,

But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.


One thought on “Both sides of the coin.

  1. You go girl! There are times when you just have to suck it up and be a wage slave, but I am glad you discovered how valuable your TIME is to you in your musician life. I hope that the cruise ship job, with all the adventure and travel perks, opens up for you.

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