In my real life, I made my living (mostly) in the academic world as a writer and a magician of sorts for contract after contract. I am a creative, conscientious and organized person, which is why I was good at the work that I did. Still, I found that once each of my jobs was done, that I often felt less than comfortable with the outcome; further, I always felt that I had sold my creative side for nothing and that I was only ever really being paid and recognized for the organized side. Sadly, my creative self’s stuff was always being claimed by the people who I worked for; their idea, their process, their stuff. Most creative people who work for others find this and I can tell you that this was not easy on me.
The consequence of all of this is that my creativity has a very difficult time letting itself out. I am not just a blocked creative, I am a stomped on, squashed up, used badly, and dried up creative.
I belong to a writing group in Hamilton, Ontario and I spoke to the group about how painful it is for me to write and three of them suggested that I try The Artist’s Way program. Sort of a 12 step – and 12 week program for blocked creatives.
I knew, before I built Tiny House Ontario that this was both an expression of creativity as well as a place for me to open up to creativity, both in myself and in others. I worked The Artist’s Way program all summer and found that I accomplished a big boost in my creativity. Still, I earned nothing at all, which is not so excellent! So, how do I live creatively and make money too? I learned this summer that eventually, Tiny House Ontario would allow me to live very inexpensively. The question is, I could live an off grid life there without depending on the economy, or any real 9-5 or even part time gig?
I suspect that once everything is bought and paid for, (I still have credit line debt on my land) I could live well at Tiny House Ontario for $5,000 a year, but realistically I think that $8,000 a year would allow me to have a little wiggle room, for art supplies, travel, vet bills, clothing and extravagancies.
My aim is to figure out exactly how to make this $8,000 without actually having a job. Paintings are difficult to sell. There is no guarantee that someone will actually publish my novels, or my Tiny House Ontario book; even if they do publish me, will my books sell?
I intend to start a small bee colony, but who knows if this will make any money or if it will simply be another fun little creative hobby for me?
I am a wicked good seamstress, but I actually hate to sew and with no electricity as well as very little space, a treadle, seems both huge and dreadful!
I plan to put in a few hundred asparagus roots, which is a good crop, but I am also not sure if this is feasible in the forest, or if I can actually produce enough crop to make this investment pay for itself, let alone pay for future living costs.
I have great administrative, computer and organizational skills, as I already mentioned, but this stuff typically means job, transportation, clothes, heels, make-up, being away from home. I don’t mind getting all gussied up but the idea of a job; simply put, I would really rather not.
So, here it sits! I am person with many talents and many skills. Still, I have not figured out if I can make $8,000 by either earnings or trade, and live without a job.
I strongly hope that time will tell me more!