The Juggling Act.

Oh, how I wished this post had a punchline. An answer. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. I’m still scratching my head.

My daily problem: having so much business to attend to, finding time to make music feels almost impossible. That’s nothing unusual. My friend and fellow Disabled musician Clare Johnston nailed it in a recent chat: there’s a full time job doing all the stuff *around* the music, before you make any music. Admin, Social Media, Bookkeeping, Funding applications; I’m always busy doing… stuff.

Being disabled adds another variable to juggle; energy. Being when you’re disabled is hard enough. The effort it takes just to exist is exhausting. And there’s all the stuff. Before I’ve made any music. If I’ve got any energy left to make music…

But, it is what it is. I’ll remain proactive as long as I can. I know loads of artists and technologist who work for themselves and have to juggle all this stuff. So is there a better way? Must we all be spread so thin?

I have a few clues which I’ll get into in more detail in future posts. I’m a fan of Getting Things Done, and I use OmniFocus to balance my task lists. I also feel confident that my interest in Mindfulness Practice is buying me more time by keeping my head clearer. I’ll get into how I use these tools soon.

What about you? Do you have a portfolio career? How do you fit it in? Are you winning? Or are treading water? The future of the portfolio career path in part depends on us being open and honest about what it takes, I believe. That Pinterest-Successful, Hashtag-Career-Goals mindset won’t cut it for long. I hope we can turn the gig economy into a fruitful, inspiring space, but I wonder if the bubble is fit to burst…

Access, Blogging & Fitting It All In.

I read a great article recently about five common blogging faux pas. I can happily say that I have never committed four of them, however I was guilty of the last one all the fucking time.

And that is… Not blogging for ages and then making your next blog post an apology for not blogging for ages. Yawn.

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(My) Access Barriers To Blogging.

I hadn’t originally intended to do it but throughout January I blogged every day. That was really just to set up the scene of what’s going on with this project. There was no big ambition to blog every day, however it seems to be proving to be quite interesting to people and it is certainly a healthy thing to do for me. That is, in theory. In practice, I hit an access barrier that wasn’t there the last time I blogged day (which is a good few years ago at least).

Typing. It fucking kills nowadays.

Cerebral palsy keeps me guessing. The hard medical line is that CP is a non-progressive condition. I think that’s a little bit misleading. I understand that the neurological damage doesn’t get worse, but the wear and tear that that imposes on the human body through the course of a lifetime simply has to. I can’t move my limbs accurately and comfortably. My joints are my muscles get yanked in around in ways that they were never “designed” to do.

One of many results; my hands are shakier and less reliable nowadays. That is of course old news in some contexts; the impact on my guitar playing and glove use is well documented. Struggling with fairly menial tasks such as typing is the new thing for me. That makes daily blogging painful and less accessible. Boo hiss indeed.

But, as is often the way, technology brings hope. Apple’s own Siri voice recognition technology is laughably inept in my opinion, so I didn’t hold out much hope of being able to do speech to text blogging. A recommendation via a colleague at Drake music led me to software called Dragon Dictate. It’s not perfect, but my distrust in voice recognition technology was unfair it seems. Dragon is actually working really well for me, so hopefully that brings me some relief in effect.

My work at Drake music often means lengthy evaluation processes, which involve a lot of typing. When it comes to medical forms but I have to fill in by hand with a pen… Well, forget about it. Having the freedom to not only work hands-free not only spares me discomfort, but it seems to be quicker too.

So, I’m hoping to get back on track with regular blogging this week. And in case you’re wondering, yes; this is indeed the first blog post I have written entirely hands-free with this new technology. Living in the future FTW.