Long Service Leave for Artists…

Long Service Leave for Artists…


Free Your Mind, and the Rest Will Follow…

For the next few months I'm pushing back from my office chair, deserting my desktop computer and hitting the open road. I'm on a quest to free my creative spirit and I can not get going fast enough!

My musician husband and I have been working in creative industries for thirty-plus years, and running our own businesses from home for at least twenty of them. Along the way we've spent a lot of time and effort building works we can be proud of. I've written and self-published eighteen books (all while writing countless newspaper and magazine articles, editing thousands of words for others, and teaching hundreds of students all of the above). In turn, my hubby has recorded countless albums in his home studio—both for himself and his many extraordinary clients, from award-winning jazz trios to rock bands to filmmakers.

It's been a truly lovely, rewarding life. But now it's time to lay down our pen/microphone and head off for a much needed break.

You could call it Long Service Leave…

While COVID-19 has given many full-time, salaried employees a sense of what it's like to work from home—freedom from the daily commute and the glaring boss and those endless pesky meetings VERSUS the stress of concentrating with screaming kids and never getting a chance to truly get away or unwind—they can not really know the fear that comes with the "freedom" of being a full-time freelancer, which is what my husband and I are.

Freelancers never really switch off.

Being a freelancer means never knowing if your current project/client/job will be your last, so you're constantly on the look-out for more projects/clients/jobs, constantly spruiking yourself and your services, regularly terrified you will not have enough cash flow to pay for next month's groceries. Even when we're "relaxing", I'm quietly thinking of new ideas for articles/books/courses while my husband is mentally developing songs/mixes/bands/gigs. It's a lovely way to pass the time, but it's not switching off. Not even close.

And here's another thing about working for yourself: after fifteen years (let alone thirty), no one pats you on the back and says, "You've worked long and hard. Here's a swag of money, go enjoy some well-earned long service leave." Just doesn't happen.

Unless you do it for yourself, of course!

And that's why the hubby and I are heading off. We've handed the keys to our home/studio to a full-time caretaker and are jumping in the car with little more than a bag of clothes, a two-man tent, some blank journals and our beloved Bluey. And, apart from a brief stint in the Big Smoke with our beautiful sons, who have now flown the coop, we're winging it. All bets are off. And that is SO unlike me as I am always thinking ahead.

It's terrifying and liberating all at once!

Even better, we're not putting any demands on ourselves. We have no plans or expectations. We're not spruiking for work or trying to conjure up the next Great Novel or Album, although if those happen to pop into our heads as we wander an empty beach or climb a misty mountain, then we won't look a gift horse in the mouth (hence the empty journals!)

We are switching off and just being…

That means, I'll be quiet for a little while so please bear with me, but also know that when I return, I'll be refreshed and reinspired, and eager to fling myself back into my lovely privileged life. Because, yes! I do know our jobs—our life vocations—are a privilege, even when the coffers are low. I get that. But that doesn't mean we don't deserve to exhale from time to time. Because here's what I know for sure—through exhaling we get to breathe new life into the work we love and cherish, the work that pays our bills and that you, dear reader, get to enjoy.

So thank YOU for your patience, don't forget the eighteen books I have written, should you long for a little R&R yourself, and I'll see you on the other side!


CL on Baldrock
CP dive bombing
CP in tent