Sunday, October 4, 2009
I would like to share my financial adventures that I have been having this year with you readers. Keep in mind that most of this was self inflicted, and if there is anything you can come away with from reading this, I would hope it would be some sort of example of a lesson in what not to do. Here it goes:
As some of you people know, I made a big deal about quitting my last held longstanding job. I waxed on and on about following thy dream, and it was rather amusing and dramatic when I look back at it. Certainly, good things happened afterwards. A Melvins tour to go on, one that was fun and extremely profitable for me. Some early on freelancing endeavors that made me think that I could continuously pull rabbits out of my hat at the last moment. A year ago, the world seemed like it was my oyster, and I was rich in pearls.
This year was different. It was almost as if I was testing the limitations of both being broke and possible mental illness. I never had any money and was barely scrapping by. I posted begging bulletins and messages almost pleading with people to buy my comic books and stuff. Not only that, but no one had any money anyways…damn economy. Rolling Stone magazine wasn’t calling me up to hire me as a cartoonist, and neither was the New Yorker. The timing of my freelance career and the extension of it was pretty neat. I just bought a house and now had a mortgage to think about, so there was no better time than now to “go for it, dude”. I put the freeze on three credit cards during the summer and now they take out minimal payments each month. I have had a couple of collection agencies hound me to the ends of my cell phone on a daily basis, and even got to exchange in a wonderful “good cop/bad cop” scenario over the phone with some swell folks from one of them. I am afraid to find out what my credit is like at this moment. Let me tell you, it has been a thrill. And it has done wonders for my brain.
So I got a good job now and it is almost worse! No, not the job. I am grateful to have one and it will pay off big time in the long run, but now the feeling I have is when you have probably stopped fighting some massive battle. The war is over and you are at the bottom of a hill of fallen soldiers who are all now corpses, and you can finally see how far up you got to climb over them to get back on top where you were. That is where I am at now. I will probably be climbing for the rest of the year to get back to some sense of normalcy. After that comes some serious budgeting plans, and a way to live as cheaply as possible for the next five thousand years, with no money to spend extra on pleasurable things, except envelopes, stamps, paper, pens and smokes, which I can no longer afford or justify right now.
The extra cool bonus of my publisher’s distro company going bankrupt earlier in the year (attention: LUMBERJACK/MORDAM!) and the vanishing act of thousands of dollars that was mine to spend will not be forgotten anytime soon, but at least accepted. Let’s just say that between my own stubborn idiocy and the idea of putting my financial eggs into one big broken basket, I think I learned a big lesson BIG TIME. And it is a lesson that will take quite awhile to turn around. At least it is nice to know that one day shy of my forty fourth birthday I am learning important lessons and building more character.
Don’t get me wrong; on the bright side, I learned how to put myself out there in many different ways, and did things to make money that I would never have thought of even two years ago. I drew at Shakori Hills and endured as well as listened to drum circles at night. I sent out hundreds of e-mails to anybody that I thought could give me work. I make these “e-mail sweeps” (as I like to call them) twice a week. Some of my more successful events were drawing and holding court at punk rock festivals. Drawing Pig Champion sure came in handy on those days. I learned how to hustle and will no doubt utilize that in the future when the opportunity strikes. People do drop a line more often now then any time before to hire me for freelance work, maybe not enough to not have a real job but still..extra income. So you know…that is pretty cool. Who knows what will happen a year from now?
But for right now, I feel like one of those fathers who just took his rock and roll musician bound son who is going to “make it” aside and told him that he needed something to fall back on. All I need now is a tie and a pipe to thoughtfully wave in the air as I talk, speaking from wise and knowing experience. So what I am ending this with is the following:
If you need any freelance work, let me know..but don’t quit your day job unless Charles Schultz comes back from the grave and offers you a cut.
Posted by brian walsby at 2:27 PM