Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb - A plan for 09/10
With my life in education coming to an end, you would think that I would be in a panic. A state even. You would think that I have lost all appetite; an inability to sleep; a permanent knot in my stomach; constantly be on the verge of tears; developed a drinking habit; erratic behavior; indulged in some form of 'end of youth' crisis. Yes. You are perfectly right to think that. I would be thinking that if I was you. But weirdly I am not. I am not freaking out at all. I get little twinges from time to time but have not yet lost it. Which is strange because this is the first time I have felt an acceptance and that people actually get it. There are a lot of things and people that I will miss. Yet no anxiety attacks, no sickness, no loss of appetite. Give it a few weeks though. Wait for the degree show. There is still time.
To avoid the null in my life that is inevitable, there will be a null, there will be no avoiding it, rephrase: to minimise the null in my life I am bound to feel when I leave, I have the foundations of a plan. The beauty of this plan is it's flexibility. Here is a in depth break down...
Get whatever crappy job.
I will need money no matter what happens. This is an important task. To seek a job with benefits. So it could be waterstones/borders it could be restaurant work (tips and people) it will not be clothing retail, it will not be mc donalds. I will preferably work in Manchester, travel in, that way I will be leaving Warrington on a regular basis. When I have a job I will be on good footing to move back to Manchester. When I move to manchester I may consider two jobs.
Keep on Working.
There is a trrick I'm sure. Something that stops you from falling into a trap. Getting hooked to the money and saying stuff it, 'relegate our dreams to hobbies'. I guess firstly it will be a lack of responsibilty. So next year there will be no babies, no mortgage, no debts, no weddings, nothing like that. No, no. I will need to be free. I will also need to keep a drive/motivation. That will be easy if I am in Warrington as I will do anything to get out of there and am low most of the time I am there anyway. There is nothing better for a potent rush of emotion, earthed by a pen and some paper. Then I will need my Mac/adobe creative suite/a camera and a solid set of friends. I am considering purchasing a small book press to keep my skills fresh and regular trips to ratchfords. This is a secret but I will share it. I have three ideas for, lets call them extended short stories (novel... cringe). They should keep me occupied or at least one of them. Along with discipline. Some rules. A two - three hours a day minimum. It's possible that I will need a new muse/set of muses as most current ones will have disappeared from my life by august. (Please don't though. Must keep in touch.)
The beauty of having such a crappy job is that I will not have any urge to remain loyal to it. I am young, if there is something better to do, I should be doing it. Travel is an option. Helen in Paris. Maybe beg Shakspere and Co for a bed to complete a masterpiece. So if the oportunity comes to travel, take it. I will look to get some work experience too. Publishers probably. That is what I should be doing now. Not this. My sister lives just outside London. She will look after me for a few weeks.
Other self developments include:
Learning Tai Chi
Learning to drive (but not buying a car)
Increasing my social circle by joining some form of book club/writing group... although my chances of finding that in warrington...
I will need CV's and a portfolio.
I am going to do an MA. I have desided. I have been ordering prospectus' (prospecti?) today. This is my key to moving south. Clinton (tutor) reckons I am a good candidate for funding. Mac (tutor) has named a few places to look at and is beyond encouraging. This is looking positive. This is also in very early stages. All I know is I havn't had enough time to develop what I am currently doing. I feel a good part time MA (2years) will, not only keep me away from the big scary terrifying real world for another 2-3years but also give me enough time to develop and experiment with what I am currently doing. I appologise to both Mac and Clinton, I may be harrassing you both for another year.
There is nothing like a good old bit of self promotion. I have already a series of books that I can turn into issues and paper backs. This is the scary bit of the plan as it involves leg work. Provided I can get places like Cornerhouse, Magma, FACT and any other art book shop I can get in contact with in the north west (first, south if it is feasable. I talk about the south like it is this completely different planet. In many ways it is.) I have seen flimsy, basic zines in Cornerhouse at least, hideous layout, appauling typography (I don't just mean that in an elitist sort of way, I mean the font choice is bad even from a none designer pov) being sold for £3 a go. I don't care too much about profit at this moment. I will ask them to sell for me, proably break even, or if they won't sell them screw the costs (black and white zine, I will of course need to think realistically but as long as I can afford to live), if it gets my stuff out there I may consider distributing for free in bars and record shops, anywhere. If that works out, I will make more, bring on board one or two friends to illustrate/contribute. I am not planning on setting up a business here. I am thinking motivation, a goal, and just generally being noticed. Then I will have links to my site (which I haven't yet made!) and point out the fact that they can buy lovely full colour, hardbacked versions of the books, handmade, made to order. Again I am not doing this for money I am doing this to keep going. It is very possible if I stop I will lose it.
This is a plan. I have said it, if you see me from august onwards and I am not pushing this plan (not a pram) then feel free to throw things at me until I do. I will need people to encourage me. Not my mum though. She will shout at me a lot. Make it worse like an itch.
If you have suggestions on how it can be improved, any useful contacts, useful links, useful college names, or any general useful usefulness tell me. Add a comment below. Nothing nasty please. I am too fragile.