As I sat here trying to recollect what I had read over on my own blog last night, or what else I may have (or want) to write about, the entire concept of learning how to best become independent occurred to me.
Exploring that is essentially what the last five months have been about — if beadwork in itself is viable as a Business venture for an unmarried, single-income person. The answer to that, from what I’ve been able to bring myself to estimate today, is clearly, “no,” but I still haven’t entirely mentally shifted away from the beadwork and towards Library Science in my activities, yet.
The point is that I have to earn (net) an average (mean) of at least $176/day over a 5-day week, to support myself in this area. I don’t see that happening. The prospect is so disappointing that I don’t even know just how far shy I am of even being capable of producing this. I just know it isn’t a good option. The analyst in me wants to make sure, rather than letting a fear of disappointment keep me from working it all the way out…but net $176/day is…for one person doing handcrafts, it’s a ton of work, and it wouldn’t stop at 8 hours/day, or at 5 days/week.
There are fixed and variable costs to take care of, and the time and energy and knowledge it takes to run a business, on top of making everything myself, and having no time to develop new pathways. It’s just a no-go. I’m not even certain, at this point, how much energy I should be putting into my beadwork, as versus reading or study or working on the job search.
This is why I’m pivoting away from that particular incarnation of the Dream (of surviving off of my art), into more Information-oriented fields (which may touch on it). I mean, it would likely be more efficient, just to run a bead store. I wouldn’t be investing hours and hours into underpaid manual labor, doing that.
D now apparently agrees with M that I’m more of a, “collector,” of beads, than a, “maker,” of beadwork. I really don’t know how I feel about that…but it is apparent that I spend more time imagining with beads (designing) and organizing beads (including teaching myself Excel) and puzzling out color schemes, than making things with beads — at this point. It kind of hurt that this revelation came after two days of being forced not to bead, which I suppose is meant to strengthen the argument?
You’ll notice that there are no December 31st or January 1st blog entries here. A couple of health-related ailments combined to keep me away from the computer (and from beads) for that period. I have had some ongoing trouble with one of my shoulders (which I had to go to the Emergency Room for, last summer), likely related to my spine.
Over the night that would become New Year’s Eve, my shoulder started cramping for no obvious reason (obscure but valid reason: I had been leaning on it too much), and then my wrist of the same arm really started hurting, especially when I tried to stretch it out. (I essentially couldn’t use that arm that night.) There was no ER trip this time, but I was banned from the Internet and beadwork for a couple of days, to try and rest whatever I had been irritating. It looked like an RSI. I don’t know what it actually was, though right now, leaning my chin on my wrist with my elbow propped up on the desk, may in actuality point me to the reason it happened.
At least there is no blame placed on me by either of them for supposedly being, “a collector.” I suppose if I actually were a collector, this would be welcome information so that I can stop trying to use the beads…but I don’t think that’s the case.
The one thing I did do while offline, was read. I’m not certain how well-read a Librarian of my specialization needs to be…but I have realized that I have a lot to read (like The Elements of Style, 4th ed. by Strunk & White, which I only remembered earlier when I realized there was likely a rule about where to break italics in a sentence). If it’s not in there, it’s likely in more than one Style Guide (and it probably differs, between style guides).
Anyhow, there’s a lot I could read, and just haven’t, because either 1) I haven’t had time, or 2) I forget books exist when distracted by digital devices. eBooks are another thing!
I am going to try and read more…it’s just so easy to forget that there are good things in books, once you stop opening them. It’s not like they chase you down and blare at you. I can also study for a future in the organization of Information, which will, at least, help me refresh and build skill towards a viable career path.
It wouldn’t hurt to at least give my Spanish courses a try, as well. I’m realizing that introductory foreign language courses are often fraught with stereotypes…and that higher-level ones may be better in regard to enabling a person to actually be conversant in language and culture. That is, the study of Spanish ought to open doors far beyond what I learned in high school. I still would like to learn Japanese language, but I have the rest of my life to do that, and I’m much closer to functioning with Spanish, now…