Recovering From NJA Loss, Still No Finished Plan

Good morning everyone, er, rather, Good Afternoon!  I’m running a bit behind and I apologize to the 2 readers (out of 9) who check my news page first thing Saturday morning.

It’s been a full week, after my devastating defeat in the National Jazz Awards last Saturday I pawned my clarinet and got a job painting docks, on Sunday I embarked on a downward spiral of drugs and alcoholism, showed up late to my dock painting job on Monday and was consequently fired, on Tuesday my woman left me for being a “jobless good for nothing”, on Wednesday my dog left me for similar reasons and so I sank further into my pit of NJA loss induced self loathing, I found God on Thursday morning, lost Him Thursday night, checked into Betty Ford on Friday, got my horn back from the pawn shop this morning et voila, I’m back baby!

So, some of you may be wondering how things stand with my artistic plan: I wish I could say “quite good”.  I wish I could say “I did it.  I’ve finally got a plan everyone, and it’s a thing of beauty!”

But alas, I cannot.  Not yet.  Because, somehow, for all my talk of “the importance of planning” my days just kind of fill up with other things that need to be done; things like practicing, emailing, working, socializing, etc.  Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and before you know it you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a website so that you can blog about planning, … and still not actually have a fucking plan to show for it!

I feel like there must be a term for this, this, … whatever it is.  I don’t know, is it a condition?  Because, it’s plenty common, I’ll tell you that much.  Since starting my blogs about artistic planning I’ve spoken to quite a few artists and most of them will say “(Sigh) Yeah, I gotta get on that.” and I can see the anxious weight on their shoulders.  Like me, they’re concerned about their artistic/career direction (or lack thereof) but not having a clear direction makes their days more chaotic due to running around willy nilly just trying to get something done.  And then we end up with the whole days –> weeks –> months –> years –> anxious blogger thing I mentioned.

So to all those people, my people, I just want to say:  You are not alone.  You are not a screw-up, well,… not a complete screw-up.  I believe this is just how it goes.

BUT, … something has to be done about it.  And when that something fails, you have to do something else, something drastic if necessary, I don’t know, go on a planning retreat maybe, or form an artistic planning group, or turn off your cell phone and lock yourself in a room with nothing but a white-board and a weeks worth of food.  Whatever!

Just remember this:  those 3-5 pages outlining what you really want and the steps you’ll take to get there is your career.  That’s it!  Those 3-5 pages, neatly presented in a nice little folder, … that is your career.  Without this plan, you don’t really have a career, you just have a series of gigs, and jobs, which may get you somewhere, and may not.  And yes, years from now you’ll likely have something to show for it but likely not the something you dreamt of.

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