Well, after a morning of such optimism and enthusiasm, I’m struggling again this evening. I’ve been having trouble making time for anything else in my life but this project. Walk and photograph in the morning, write for an hour or more, edit photographs and upload them to go with the writing, and then try to switch gears and play guitar in the afternoon.
This afternoon, I played for an hour or more but I can’t really seem to make progress with so much of my time and attention elsewhere. I’m spinning my wheels at best. While I try to cram in some guitar playing, I’m letting everything else slide. I haven’t been paying my bills promptly. I haven’t cleaned the house. I haven’t done even the smallest household tasks that I am supposed to do. I got the snow off the driveway and the garbage out, but that’s about it.
When you spontaneously decide to do something like this you don’t realize that you are making a huge commitment and a big change in your day to day life. It’s disorienting and a little overwhelming. Wasn’t I here just a few days ago?
Letting go of playing the guitar seriously is the thing I’m struggling most with. For the last several months I’ve been working very intensively to improve my skills and move to a much higher level of playing. I’ve made a lot of progress, though perhaps never as much as I hope to. Now I’m treading water and maybe on my way to giving up altogether. I hate the idea of giving up.
I don’t want to do only one thing, only think about photography. It’s not meant to be my entire life. I want a more relaxing and well-rounded life. I’m retired after all. I was enjoying the life I was leading. Now I’m doing this and it’s added a big dimension to my life, re-awakening my creative life in a way I didn’t expect, but I didn’t mean for it to take over my life. I don’t think I would be happy just doing this.
So what gives? How do I keep all of the things I love in my life? Do I cut back on or eliminate the writing? It takes a lot of time. I’m not doing it for myself, but I have virtually no audience. A handful of people are reading at least some of what I write. I know a few people are reading a lot of it, but that’s not a lot. I am writing because I hope it will be entertaining, informative maybe. In truth, I hope it helps someone, but I don’t know that it will really. I don’t need to write so much for myself.
At several times in my life I’ve kept a journal for my own purposes. I liked using it to sort through my thoughts each day. I was dealing with trying to be an artist and I needed a lot of self-talk to wrap my head around the daily struggle of it. But I don’t need that now. I’m writing for an audience but I don’t have much of an audience and I don’t think I likely will.
I don’t need to count likes or followers to make myself feel good, but I do look to see if anyone is reading. Otherwise there’s no point.
I guess I’m just not sure what to do right now. I’m losing touch with the guitar while gaining contact with photography again. I come back to my one track mind comment from before. I’m not good at keeping more than one thing in my thoughts at a time.
I’m also not sure that playing guitar is that fruitful for me. I practice a lot. I learn some things that I like once in a while, but most of the time I am just practicing to gain skills. I do let myself just improvise over chord progressions sometimes. I really enjoy that, but I’m not sure that I’m really gaining much by playing. I love it. I love the guitars. I love the music sometimes, but it’s a lot of effort for little evident return.
I’ve been at this place before in my life. Once when I quit playing classical guitar. Way too much practice to learn music that I didn’t like all that much. I did it again a decade or more ago the last time I tried to learn jazz guitar. Too much practice for too little return. Am I getting back to the same place again? Maybe it doesn’t have to do with the photography, but I think it does. I was enjoying myself before I started this.
Oh well. Maybe this will just be a moment on the roller coaster. I’ll probably feel differently tomorrow. I don’t want to stop the photography certainly, and I’m not ready to stop writing either, at least for now. Leave a comment here for me if you want to encourage me to continue writing. It would be nice to know if anyone is reading this stuff.