Goals and ambitions (should) provide a sense of direction and purpose.
They don’t have to be writ in stone and uncompromising, but a clear idea of where to go is something I couldn’t live without.
My immediate money / art / life goals:
- Finish the first draft of my novel (and eventually publish)
- Save enough money for a down-payment for a home
- Network enough to be able to find contracts for 9-10 months of the year reliably
My First Novel
I’ve chronologically pieced together my book – I have all the bits I need that make it a complete book, but it reads like crap. The story arc is in place, the narrative is working, key plot points and characterizations are slapped in there, but it’s disjointed and lacks any sort of polish or style. Which is okay! I think the process of writing a book mimics an actual story arc (as does the narrative of your finances!) – so far I’ve got the exposition laid down, and now I need to start the steady climb of rising action.
The saving money part is going decently too. Because of the economic situation in Canada, and the tight purse strings of theatre companies, my income with various contracts has been mediocre at best. My last job net’d me a meagre $21.98, and let me tell you, I’m not a wild cat when I’m out of town. But it’s the last one I’ll have where they’ll be allowed to pay me way below the professional going rate (as an apprentice, this is one of the unfortunate ‘perks’ I have to deal with – but I have to begrudgingly admit, it makes for some amazing opportunities).
I live below my means (mostly because yes, I willingly live with my parents, and I’m a proponent of the raggedly rich lifestyle, though there are ways I am trying to get better about my expenses), and I loathe going out to restaurants and fast food joints to eat in general. Pizza and sushi are the two exceptions to this rule, but I’m going to start exploring homemade/frozen pizza’s to see if there isn’t a delectable (thrifty) alternative out there…
This one I almost feel like I’m cheating on, mostly because I’ve been fortunate enough to get the contract for a 7-month gig in the 2017-18 season. I’ve reached the end of my ‘intern’ requirements union-wise, and have put in a lot of under-paid time and effort to solidify the connections that got me my upcoming contract. I’m beyond fortunate that the shows I’d worked on happened to be the ones that I did, and that I was in a position in my career, and financially, to be flexible enough to take those jobs. I have no doubt that if I didn’t have the foundation that I do, I wouldn’t have been able to work those out-of-town, minimum-wage contracts, and make the connections that brought me this work.
I’ve also finally started hearing back from hometown companies that I’ve been emailing for the past two and a half years (I’m nothing if not persistent, determined, and patient!), though the dates never seem to line up.
I’m fairly confident that for the 2018-19 season, I’ll be able to find a solid 8-9 months of contracts. And hopefully by that point I’ll have some freelancing under my belt, and my novel to focus on. I have some summer arts-related work lined up as well, and a very part-time joe-job I love because of the people that work there. Plus, I’m more productively creative when I have other commitments going on, so I’m happy with pursuing my more lofty ambitions while maintaining something of a safety net.
A Note on Relationships
As much as I’d like to have a relationship, I don’t think setting it as a ‘goal’ is appropriate for me. I’ve had a few serious relationships, and have date-dabbled a fair bit, but the depressing truth of it is: I have yet to find someone who shares the same values in life that I do. And I realize that the person you end up with will never be perfect, but through trial and error I’ve come to understand that I at minimum need:
- Someone who’s confident in, and likes, themselves
- Someone who has a good sense of hygiene
- Someone who shares my money-sense (to a degree)
- Someone who has some kind of ambition in life
- Someone who wants/has a family
I’m 100% willing to wait until the right person comes along. I don’t necessarily need someone to share my life with, because I have a very close family, and a tight-knit group of friends, but I do really want someone to share my life with.
These goals give me something to work towards and look forward to in the future. I’ve always been much more motivated and productive when I’ve had a vision for the outcome, and I hope that in five years I’ll be able to look back at this and feel like I’ve accomplished and learned something.