I need to write and take photos for my own wellbeing, that is clear. And I need an audience. But I realise, after writing for more than three decades, that I will write whether that audience is large or tiny.
So as the job I would like to do in the future does not allow for considerable audiences (if at all), I have decided to make the two blogs that have co-existed on lifeworklab.uk private in a couple of days’ time.
If you’d like to continue reading what I write when it does go private, do send me a new “follow” request, and I’ll add your access to one or other – or both – of the blogs in question.
No worries if it all feels too engorroso for you (as the Spanish might say). The truth of the matter is that it would’ve been nice to make a living as a writer and digital artist, but it’s clear that after almost a year of trying with fairly local institutions – one in particular in Liverpool – the result has not been at all satisfactory, and in the meantime I have been living off the hard-won earnings of my wife.
The alternative role and use of my skillset is noble, necessary and even wonderful. But whilst all these things are real alternatives, they are also really not compatible with a public persona of the sort I have tried to fashion.
For my own mental wellbeing it is true: I do need to create my art on a daily basis. But I have tested and found possible that an audience as small as ten or twenty “likes” a day is enough to keep me motivated to carry on.
The lack of motivation, almost depression, that has sometimes assailed me is only because I don’t have the wherewithal to pay my way – as well as the way of those I still feel financially responsible for – in order that I might make the future I am now looking to make for myself.
This doesn’t mean I want to reject the existence of everything that went before, nor pretend none of it happened, nor never see again the people who have formed part of my life: it does, however, mean I want – I choose – to make an existence of my own.
So the art that I do will continue to be done. But in the absence of sufficient success or institutional interest which might allow me to both live off my skillset and make my way ambitiously in the world to the extent I now want, I do have to accept the reality of my life: I am not good enough to be a paid artist, even as I am interesting enough to be read and viewed.
As I say: if you don’t want to register when the blogs go private but do have a favourite poem or two, or short story or three, take the opportunity over the next couple of days to copy them – for personal use only, please! – as a record of something which may have brought pleasure to you over these past seven months.
For those of you who might be prepared to go through the palaver of registration, you’ll know when it’s necessary the day the blogs go private.
Money, not family, in the end trumps all.
And even if the role I so strongly desire now is not the one I end up doing, in that end I will end up doing something or other which gives me the opportunity to finally pay the bills. But I am pretty sure, either way, that being a public writer of love poetry and a taker of weird photography is not the way forward towards the pension pot I have to aim for.
It’s the only hope I have for me to find the partner of my life (for whether from my past or firmly from that future I now yearn to achieve, the choice is not mine but depends heavily – as it should – on what others will want of me): and once encountered and beloved and treasured and desired, I surely will then be able to spend the rest of that life together in the joy and contentment and love and sex and happiness I have never properly, nor fairly, experienced.