2013 – Bravery is a Choice

Recently I read a new article by Chris Brogan entitled Bravery is Choice. In this article Chris makes the statement that:

The opposite of bravery isn’t fear. The opposite of bravery is surrender.

I think this is an apposite statement on which to focus as I begin to plan for 2013. This year, I feel, it’s not so appropriate to do a list of creative goals like I usually do because most of that stuff will be driven by my degree. Instead, what I really REALLY need to do this year, is plan for the future.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to realise that for me, web development is my surrender in this statement. It’s the easy path to fall back on because I know I can generally get a well-paid job doing it for a while. But every time I do that, I kill off a little more of my composing brain and it makes it harder and harder to get back into it.

But once I’ve finished my Masters in September, I need to find some sort of work and start bringing in some money. Djelibeybi has been amazing, supporting me these past few years, and especially through the degree, and now it’s time I contributed something more than I have been financially so that he has a chance to explore some stuff he really wants to do too.

The plan looks something like this:



Performances and composing goals are going to be taken care of by the degree – Trinity Laban doesn’t consider a piece written until it’s performed, and what I write will to a certain extent be determined by what competitions come up, what performance opportunities, what people I meet as the year goes on.

Once the degree is done, I want to start work on another project, to try to keep up the level of work I’ve reached during the degree. This may be something to do with learning Max/MSP or PD. I also want to find myself a piano teacher and make a concerted effort to really get to grips with functional harmony so I can be an effective teacher later on, should the opportunity arise. The really critical thing though, is to KEEP GOING with the composing, not collapse into a black hole like I did after my BMus.



Renovation of the house just keeps plodding along. I personally am not currently looking much beyond getting the kitchen up and running. What needs to happen will happen in its own sweet time, as the whole bathroom nightmare has clearly demonstrated.

For travel, I can’t see much happening, really. Up until September I’ll have too much work for anything more than a weekend break, and my parents are coming in September then staying till early November. Maybe a Christmas holiday? Maybe (if money allows) a Christmas shopping trip to New York? That would be fun. Heh. EuroMillions gods? I’m ready for your call!



I’ve found it almost impossible to keep to my health goals in 2012, due to injuries, stress, lack of cooking facilities and time to exercise. However, I HAVE to get my weight under control and to do this I need to be brave and choose to exercise, make the effort to cook healthy food, and have healthy snacks around. This is non-negotiable, and I need to work out how to do this around everything else that’s going on – I can’t wait for a quiet patch because there’s never going to be one and my health is suffering because of the weight gain. Plus the added incentive of ‘I really don’t want to look like a blob when I get up to introduce my graduation concert!’ 🙂 so:

  • More water (I’ve bought a filter jug for my studio to help with this one)
  • More wholegrains/fibre
  • More fruit and veg
  • Less bread/only homemade once we have a kitchen
  • Less dairy
  • Less sugar
  • Actually do some exercise


I need to get back to my business development activities while studying. Not so much in the next couple of months while there are classes, but I think that I need to make self-promotion a part of my composing time after classes stop at Easter. Firstly because it’s necessary if I’m to raise my profile and start to earn any money at all from composing; Secondly because it’ll help keep me sane over this 5-month period of intense composition.

I need to come up with a plan to bring in regular income – can I think of any way to use my composing? could I teach… something? can I think of anyone I could approach for a part-time role using my web skills that would also allow me to keep up my musical activity? Grants? Residencies? Can I create any opportunities that would help in this respect?

I really enjoy working freelance and would love to make that my part-time living, but I know I have a tendency to get distracted and not move on with things as fast as I should – I need to focus some attention on being more organised.



New laptop: This was on last year’s list, but this year it’s become critical. This poor beastie – now 6 years old – is on the verge of giving up the ghost entirely. It’s limping along now – it won’t last me more than a couple of months, I’m guessing, so this has to happen as soon as we can find the money to make it happen.

Update: Someone retweeted an article from Forbes a few minutes ago, Ten Resolutions the Most Successful People Make and then Keep. It’s an interesting article, and not just applicable to business types. I think I may adopt no. 2 at least!

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