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We Made This!!
So, a few things have changed for us recently and I thought it might be good to update you on them.
1. The structure of our days/weeks
We posted ages ago in this post 'What do you do with all the time in the world?' about structuring our days to fit everything in. And it was mental. We had time slots for loads of different activities - very noble, very ambitious - and we also had no time off scheduled. At all. It took us a while to realise that this was silly.
We now work 4.5 days, Mon-Fri, then have 2.5 days off. We find somewhere to stay during the week where we can get ‘work’ done, then we can have weekends to ourselves, for chilling, for seeing places, for travelling. And it’s working really well! Who knew the establised ‘working week’ model could be so effective?? Note to self - down time is essential!!
2. Narrowing our focus
To begin with we thought we had to do everything all at once. We thought we had to have time for making music, promoting music, social media, contacting blogs and radio stations, learning languages, learning instruments - not to mention exercising, meditating, eating, cleaning, etc, etc! We have now realised that this is a bit crazy. And it was driving us crazy.
Right now we need to focus on music. Solely making music. The time for selling it and promoting it will come. But that is not right now. We need a substantial body of work in order to have something to sell and promote, you can’t take your cakes to market if you only have old cakes can you? So now we make music. And in a few months time we will formulate a release plan and sell the sh*t out of that music. Damn it feels good to say that!
The narrowing of our focus goes hand in hand with actually establishing what our priorities are. Our priorities right now are:
- Making music, making music, making music
- Living as cheaply as possible while we make that music
These main priorities mean that there are very specific secondary priorities;
- Staying in one place for the ‘working’ days of the week - and it has to be one place where there are facilities for re-filling, emptying, etc, because ‘wild’ camping and then trying to find places ad-hoc is just an extra headache we can do without;
- Making weekend journeys not too far so that we don’t overspend on fuel;
So these are our priorities right now but we realise that in a few months time they will look different. With that in mind we are planning to spend most of the winter near a city where there is a music scene we can get involved in. We are doing some research on this at the moment and trying to work out where will tick the boxes. We’ll update you all when we know more!
Something that it’s a bit more difficult to define, is that our mindset has changed recently too. Is it the seasons changing? Perhaps that has something to do with it. More likely I think it’s a result of everything that’s happened so far.
We started this journey with a great ambition; to work out how to make a living from our music. We also started this journey from a completely different vantage point from where we are now. We’d spent the majority of our working lives working for other people. We’d just had 3 of the most stressful years we’d ever had. And we were also used to working every waking hour; Monday to Friday, 9-5 in jobs, then working on our dreams and DIY after work and at weekends. So when we started life in the van it was a little fractious at times. We were used to this mental schedule. We hadn’t had time off in such a long time that we’d forgotten that it was necessary, or even what to do with it when you had it.
So our minds were very scattered. We had soooo many ideas. Soooo many things in our head that we knew we had to do to achieve success. But because we were used to having so many conflicting priorities, we mistakenly thought that was how we had to approach this as well. We thought of the business side of things only. And in a start-up business you have to do everything, all at once, no time to breathe. We forgot that this is primarily a creative endeavour. And that without that creativity and magic, we don’t have a business in the first place!
When we remembered that in the ‘normal’ music industry, bands and artists spend time making an album first of all, then afterwards spend a completely separate chunk of time promoting that album and touring that album, things finally started slotting into place in our heads. This is the time for our craft. This is the time for us. For creativity. For magic.
I think we needed to clear a lot of stuff from our heads to get to that realisation. And it was also a bit of a challenge to give ourselves that permission. We are used to monthly paychecks. And the fact that we have not had one in a while plays on our minds - of course it does, how can it not? But we know that if we really, really need to get money in, we can. It’s not hard to make money. It’s harder to give yourself permission to stop thinking about it for a while, to say, ‘No, now is not the time for thinking about how to make money; now is the time for creativity and magic’.
We now have one thing on our minds. Making awesome music. So that is what we shall do!
Lots of love
Heather & Bryn xxx