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Intro/Why I'm Writing This

Updated: Aug 30, 2019


PC: https://www.aaronwintersphotography.com/

Hello. My name is Alex, and I am a freelance musician.


See that happy guy with the guitar? That's me.


Except until recently, that wasn't what I usually looked like. I was tired, cranky, and probably rude. There may have been a few factors that played into this, but the primary one was that I hated my job.


In 2011 I graduated high school and started studying music education. Fast-forward to 2017...at which time I had graduated college, earned my certification, and landed a job as a high school orchestra director. Nice!


Except...I hated it. That thing I had spent six years and tens of thousands of dollars working towards? I didn't want it anymore.


Musicians, really all creative types, are highly susceptible to a thought process that goes something like this: "I'm good at music, I want a career in music, but I need a traditional career path. So...I'll teach music!" Or insert whatever misguided job you land on.


To clarify, I'm not saying don't be a music teacher. If you love teaching, teach. Teaching is incredible work, but teaching is not creating. Teaching is teaching.


I started to face this reality last school year. I asked myself some tough questions, and I contemplated a lot of possible outcomes. Maybe I needed a new job. Maybe I needed a new field. Maybe I needed to stay put and "think positive." I explored all of these options and even went on a few job interviews. My lack of enthusiasm must have been apparent, because I did not get any second interviews.


After bouncing back from some serious self-doubt...I entered the summer with a new conclusion. Maybe I was no good at being an employee. At the very least, I didn't seem to enjoy it. The more I thought about it, the more it resonated. I wanted to be independent. I wanted to create.


Fast-forward again to August 2019, just a couple weeks ago. I quit my job. I quit hunting for new jobs. I signed up for music and audio recording classes at Finger Lakes Community College, which I will begin this week, as a low-cost way to develop some new skills. As far as income goes...I will be playing gigs, teaching private lessons (which I still enjoy), recording other artists (soon), and taking the occasional substitute teaching job.


And just like that, the happy guy from the picture started coming around again!


***


That concludes part one (intro). Now on to part two...why I'm writing this.


This blog marks the unofficial beginning of my new phase of being a freelancer, and I want to do everything I can to hold myself accountable. I'm hoping that by doing that, someone else might glean some value from my experience (and/or lack thereof). I want to document my successes, but more importantly, my failures. Everything from music, to business, to my ability to budget my personal finances.


I'm on a "don't care what anyone thinks of me" kick right now, and I'm going to do my best to capitalize on that.


Talk to you soon. :)

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Rochester, NY, USA

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