Post #31 of ANNIE B.’s D.I.Y. MAGAZINE: Creating Your Creative Space
These last several weeks have been spent organizing & submitting papers, tax documents, and other documents regarding my father’s passing. I hired an organizing service a week or two ago; I was so overwhelmed with everything. I have had stuff & papers (& still have) in boxes since I left L.A. in 2006, and I am finally trying to empty ALL those boxes and find a place for everything. That’s been my problem since I left L.A. in a frenzied scurry-hurry in 2006… I didn’t even have time to finish packing everything… a friend of mine finished for me (Thanks, Roger!!), and when I returned to my boxes and threw them in the back of a pickup in 2007, I thought I’d unpack them all sometime before 2010!!!!! Living on the road and moving umpteen times in the last few years has prevented me from unpacking. It’s time now. And I’m a little scared of what I am about to face.
The organizing guy organized one big banker’s box of papers in about 2 hours, and it felt really good to just get through that one box. He helped me see that it’s just a matter of doing it. It’s really not all that complicated. It’s just a pain in the rear & VERY BORING. I have some of that “hoarder” tendency in my family, and I can see it with how I have kept so many things that I just will not be needing anytime ever. I still have a box full of papers, publications/magazines, & other contacts I collected from SXSW (THE BIGGEST music industry conference in the U.S.) in 2006. Will I ever need any of those contacts? Will any of that stuff be useful to me at anytime? I guess I will never know unless I bust open the box and start looking. Oh, and THROW AWAY (recycle, that is) the papers & stuff that does not apply to me anymore.
What I AM learning through this whole process is that I am feeling a LOT better about getting rid of some of the clutter, and I’m slowly but surely finding more time for the important things, like vocal practice at home, keyboard drills and exercises, and working on the MUSIC part of my career as a musician. Remember the blog I wrote not too long ago about honing your craft? Well, it’s very hard to hone your craft when your brain is bogged down with trying to figure out how to fit it all in to your busy day. There must be SPACE. Space in your home and in your HEAD. I picked up a recent issue Good Housekeeping (does that mean I’m old???) with Jamie Lee Curtis on the cover… the article was on her sharing her secrets on how she keeps her home tidy & organized, and how that allows her to do the things that are IMPORTANT.
Here’s another screwball way of functioning I used to practice: I used to think, “Ok, I can see I need to send this guy a CD in the mail, but I’ll do that later tonight; the daytime hours are for phone calls & e-mails.” And I HONESTLY thought that was the right way to go about things… make the best use of those 9-5 “business hours” contacting those 9-5 people (press people, radio people, talent buyers, etc), and the “other stuff” should be done later in the evening… because it wasn’t crucial that those things were done in the daytime hours. I used to make a list of the things I needed to do that evening. Like work on my MySpace page, address envelopes for CDs to mail, and print out press kits & posters. Tell me: Do you think that “evening” stuff ever got done? HELL NO! I would get so disorganized with my backwards & disorganized multi-tasking, that by the end of the day, the list of things to do would be lost, or WAY TOO LONG to actually begin to tackle. I could make you a list of things on my radar screen right now and you tell me… does this list look like anything you’d get within 20 miles of?
1. Answer Facebook friend requests (I now have over 250) – this ALONE would take HOURS.
2. Enter e-mail addresses from mailing list sign-up sheets from my last 10+ shows (I am serious… I have NO IDEA why I don’t enter these as soon as I get home after a gig… oh, wait… sometimes I am too tired from driving home 90 minutes after a 4-hour gig.) These have seriously piled up.
3. Review footage from Bay View Bash performance
4. Review footage from Lindenfest performance with UA (I don’t even know what I did with the DVD at this point!)
5. Get chords & lyrics printed for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” American Honey,” any song from Neil Young, any song from Lady Gaga, Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and practice “Give a Little Bit” from Supertramp.
6. Follow up with talent buyer from Potawatomi Casino.
7. Continue to research venues for CD Release Party in Milwaukee.
8. Figure out how to create playlists on my mp3 player.
9. Make a better sign for my CD sales at shows.
10. Burn promo CDs for The Kiwi Cafe
11. Create artwork for Kiwi Cafe Promo CDs
12. Review potential gigs/opportunities for submission via Sonicbids
13. Artbeat: Thank You letters for 2010 season. Start planning for 2011.
And the list goes on.
So it’s no wonder why I can’t seem to make the headway I’d like to make. I don’t have any SYSTEMS in place. So, I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in all the stuff that needs to get done, with out actually doing any of it. I have piles of notes here & there, and lots of them get lost, ignored, and certainly forgotten. There needs to be a FLOW to my work and my workSPACE. It starts with just tackling that first box, like the organizing guy did. I can’t beat myself up for not having all my tax documents ready for the tax lady, even though, I consider my taxes to be done as best as they can be. I’ll submit my papers and see what she says. That will have to do for now!
So, the organizing guy asked me if I ever used feng shui to organize my work space. I know about it, but have not utilized the principles. How can I utilize feng shui if I can’t get organized enough to find the space?
Like I said before, the thing to do is to just DO IT. Will things “fall into place” as the saying goes??? I hope so. Back to the act of doing the work. It’s all fine & dandy if I sit here blog about it, about the work that I must do, want to do, or actually do. DOING it is the most important thing, however. So I’ll finish up the day by cleaning up the dining room table that I have EVERY REASON TO CLEAN UP, now that my taxes are done. Wish me luck with the feng shui!!!!!!!!!