A little lost, advice requested

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dreamscaper, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Sparrow - lets respect the beliefs of others shall we. You've said your part now lets move on :)

    Out of interest how did you price up the commission?
     
  2. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    The smaller ones I did, a squad here and there, was $3 a model, which was where I think I fit into the bracket from the other commission painters on dakka. The big army was actually a trade for some Ravenwing bikes and a Rhino. You can see the army here if you'd like: http://www.dakkadakka.com/gallery/images-11558-19425_High Elves.html
     
  3. Anrisa Ryn

    Anrisa Ryn Author, artist, gamer

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    If you write any, I'd be happy to read it! :)
    I love helping new authors (as I am one myself).
     
  4. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Thanks, draft 1 is down in the scribes section now.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Dreamscaper - I'm no painting expert but those look like well painted models indeed!


    As for prices, remember there is a big difference between someone who paints for a bit of pocket money and someone who works it as a business. For the latter you've first got to work out how long it takes you to paint a model - then you've got to work out how many hours per day, how many days per week and how many weeks you want to be "working".
    Then you've got to number crunch to work out your costs - how much it costs you to feed, clothe, pay the bills, pay for your car etc.... along with profit, insurance money, postage and also tax.

    From there you can work out a value for your time and from there you can determine how much you can charge per model. You will end up costing more than those doing it just as a side bit of work because you'll be charging for more than just a bit of pocket money - but on teh flipside you should be able to market more strongly and take on more work itself.
     
  6. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Thank you :)

    I feel it is a marketing and burn out issue. $3 a model for just getting the colors on there is decent I think, I can get 3 to 4 done an hour if I do it as an assembly line so making $9-$12/hr is the highest rate I've ever been paid. I burned out entirely the last time and didn't touch another model for about 3 months, which surprised me since I had been painting for about half a year on a regular basis without any burnout at all.

    Thank you once again for all the help and advice :)
     
  7. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Burnout is totally normal - and also possibly a side effect of working alone. Whilst working alone can have its up sides it can also put a lot of pressure on one pair of shoulders, plus sometimes even if you're not communicating working with someone at the same time can be far more easing than working on your own.
     
  8. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  9. olivia_the_lamb

    olivia_the_lamb Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to let you know, I didn't read anything anyone else posted in this thread (save for a few comments), but the advice you're asking for is a problem I've struggled with for a long time. And that might not seem like too long since I am only turning 24 in a couple of months, but my short life has been full of things people much, much older than me have never had to go through, or only go through during mid-life crises and things of that manner (or if they're lucky, never at all).

    People always say, "Find what makes you happy, and do that." "Don't worry about making money, if you're happy." etc. That's a very idealist approach to things. That type of advice was never helpful to me because I either wanted to everything or nothing at all. By the time I was thirteen I had wanted to be an actress, a gypsy, a pirate, a singer/songwriter, an artist, and an author. But at thirteen I started to think that I wanted to be a teacher. Being in the 8th grade at the time, I wanted to be an 8th grade English teacher, seeing as English was my favourite subject at the time.

    When I was in high school I mainly wanted to be a teacher still, but I wanted to teach French. And I wanted to teach in my hometown where there were so many bad teachers that I wanted to do my best to try and make up for it, and be like the good teachers at my school. The ones who weren't necessarily the best at teaching their subject, but the best at helping students and never letting them down... things like that. At sixteen, I wanted to be a philosopher and sit around all day thinking... which I quickly learned that was no longer a profession lol. Then when I was seventeen, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and in therapy for about two years, I wanted to be a therapist for pretty much the same reason I wanted to be a teacher. Anyone who has been to a therapist knows the horrors of having an awful therapist.

    My first attempt in college didn't go well at all. I hated all the subjects I took, and had a serious mental breakdown do to lack of willpower, lack of inner strength, and having serious bipolar episodes. At 19, I gave up on school and decided that I didn't need it. Who needs a higher education? I'll just do what I want and I'll be happy with that. But there was absolutely nothing that I wanted to. So I tried to go back to school again. I thought, hey, maybe I will that whole actress thing? Well my theatre class pissed me off so I dropped out for the second time, still 19 years old. At 20, I lost my job. Then I decided, after getting another job in a car dealership in my home town, I didn't want to be stuck working in the same place until I was 50 years old, hating my life. So I went back to school at 21, but this time 3 hours away in the Chicago area.

    This time I thought I'd be a French teacher, but my school didn't have a major in French. So I just took all the French classes I could and figured I would transfer. But then I wanted to be a biology major after taking a 101 biology course. At the end of my third semester, I was 23 and I had to take a medical withdrawal from the semester due to bipolar episodes, thus wasting thousands of dollars and ending up a very discouraged young lady.

    During the spring semester and what I eventually decided was my final year at that school, I took a basic philosophy course called The Life Examined. It was required for every student to take. I ended up getting very close with my professor and the head of the philosophy department, and to the dismay of the biology department (they loved me because I wasn't trying to be a doctor or a nurse, just a gen bio major), I changed my major to philosophy.

    During the whole course of my decisions as to what I wanted to be, I realized that all I wanted to do, really, was help people. I had wanted to be a teacher to help students who struggled with family, friends, and life the way I had get through high school the way some of my teachers had. I wanted to be a therapist to help people with mental problems like me get through life without killing themselves. When I came to philosophy, it just felt right. But I didn't know how I could ever help anyone with a degree in philosophy, which most people, even some current philosophers, regard as useless. Then I got to researching. I found out, with the help of the head of the philosophy department, that I could in fact be a therapist. People with PhD's in philosophy can obtain a certificate to become a therapist. And that's when my current dream sprang to life; I'll get my degrees in philosophy, become a professor, get my therapist thingy, and open up my own free clinic right here in my home town (where everyone could definitely use some therapy).

    If you're wondering why I told you all of that, it's because I want you to see that it's a journey to find what you want to be. Some of us know as soon as we are born, or get into high school, or after getting into college. But I'm almost 24 and I have no college degree, not enough credits to get an associates (but enough random credits to be considered a junior), and I'm getting ready to start my millionth part-time job that has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life. But I have hope. Now that I finally know what I want to do, I have hope that some damn day I will finally achieve that. I still have many more battles to get to that point (money to go back to school, and then actually going to school for at least 8 more years, probably more than that), and life in general.

    You might not know what you want to do because the time isn't right. I don't know anything at all about you or your religious beliefs or anything like that. I'm no longer an atheist, but I will say that when I found what I wanted to do, I was an atheist. I didn't exactly find my way on my own though, it sort of found me, which even to this day I do not understand... and who knows, maybe in a couple of years I'll find something else I want to do, though I doubt it. I'm sure you understand the fleeting feeling you get when you think you've found your passion or what you want to do with your life .... and then the feeling of "I knew it" when those passions fade and you're left feeling hopeless again.

    I don't think you can have too many hobbies. I definitely wouldn't consider making a hobby into a profession, that might be where you're having an issue. My mother has always had the hobby of writing, and she's not bad at it. She's published three books so far, and finally the last two are starting to get some attention, but not enough for her to make a living off of. Her problem was that she quit her job to become a writer, and fell on her ass doing so. I was left with no one to support me but my grandparents, who eventually had to cut me off from my $50 a month (which was not enough even though I had three jobs; going to school full time and paying all of my own bills etc practically killed me) to help my mom. I kept telling her to keep her writing as a hobby and hope she makes it big instead of putting all of her stock into a dream. Dreams do nothing when you don't accept the reality that is around you. Now she is working full time again and writing books, so she is a lot happier now that she isn't a 48 year old living off of ramen noodles, cheap coffee, and her parents' aid.

    I have a billion hobbies. I read, write, make art, learn languages, listen to music, make music... basically anything artistic you can think of (not to mention video games and card games like Magic The Gathering and watching movies). I will admit that one of my dreams is to become an author. I've always loved writing and I'm really not that bad at it, but I'd never even think of putting that ahead of making some money to support myself. Ever since I was a little girl I've been working. Until I was 16 I babysat, and from 16 on I was always either working in an office or a restaurant or a lab, or all three at once. Until you can afford to make a hobby into a profession, I wouldn't take that risk, unless you're willing to face the consequences.

    Get a job. Part time or full time. It doesn't really matter. If you're like me, you might not be completely happy in any job you have until you're doing what you love. And since you don't know what that is, all you can do is find a job that is tolerable and do you best to love it. I've loved most of my jobs until things with my coworkers and/or superiors go down hill, usually they do. I am very innovative and in every job I've ever had I've done everything I can to help make things run more efficiently. While I'm good at that, my managers don't tend to appreciate it when the boss likes my work and they aren't in the spotlight anymore. But seriously, I don't care what I'm doing these days, as long as I am making enough money to support myself and support my hobbies.

    I partake in my hobbies every single day. I'm always reading a book, watching a movie, playing a video game, writing, drawing, etc, etc. If I'm not doing one at any given moment, I'm usually doing the other. Either that or I spend time with my boyfriend, his family, or their family. I enjoy talking a lot too (if you can't tell). Usually no matter what I'm doing, I feel like it's a hobby. I have friends that like to scrap-book and craft and they are usually doing those things whenever they aren't working or spending time with friends as well.

    Happiness is not something that you can find or obtain. It is something that you become. You become happiness the more that you become your true self. It's a very long journey. Ever since I delved into the vast world of philosophy, I started becoming happier. I mean, really happy. And that's something serious for me to say since I've been plagued by bipolar disorder my entire life. I've always appeared as an outwardly happy person, but happiness to me was always just as fleeting as the feelings of finding what I thought I could do with my life. Once I let go of the world around me and set out to hopefully find the truth (whatever that may be for me, it is most likely completely different for you and anyone else reading this), I started to become happy. Acceptance of your life and your self helps with that. I've had a hard time with those things. Then I had realize what was important to me, what friends I would keep around... slowly everything started coming together and now I've got a life I'd never give up, not for any goal or dream or anything at all. You just have to find what works for you... and that, for many people, is a very long and arduous journey. Look inward. Once you become happy/happiness, turn that positiveness outward and your world will change.

    I know this was a lot to read, but I hope it helped in some way, shape, or form. I know I'm a little weird and I have a lot of strange ideas, but that comes from my life being the way it has, the philosophies I've read and developed, and well, it's just me.

    All that being said, feel free to get a hold of me if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm good at listening and sometimes even good at making people feel better (I think that's why my friends keep me around :))


    Also, sorry for the novel >_>
     
  10. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I want to say that I loved Olivia's post :)

    I try hard not give advice because it often backfires. What worked for me will not work for everyone and besides what the heck do I know anyway?

    I will however reinforce what others like Olivia and Overread have said from personal experience. Hobbies are great and they have intrinsic value to the people who enjoy them. You can't always rely on them for making a living though and that is very true of writing. VERY few authors can support themselves solely on selling their writing. Not only is it a very competitive marketplace to sell books (especially with all the self-publishing out there now), but it is extremely time-consuming to write, edit and market your stuff. There are no guarantees on getting any returns on that investment of time so you have to LOVE LOVE LOVE it to stick with it. The people who stick with it are more likely to turn that hobby into a financially viable means of supporting themselves. In the meantime, you absolutely need another job to support yourself financially. We all live in the real world and have to be responsible after all. I'm sure this is also true of painting and other hobbies.
    Having said that, I wouldn't give up hope of a hobby becoming financially viable if you can fit it into your life responsibly. If you burn out quickly and lose interest in it along the way, perhaps you might try another one instead. In my experience, creative people often have multiple outlets or talents they use to express their creativity. Maybe you just haven't found the one that suits you best yet?
    Food for thought (which is actually a little different than advice ;)): Life is a journey. Live responsibly; but in doing so, ask to find what makes you happy along the way. Keep it when you find it. There's no point in endlessly seeking happiness because if you do that, you're likely to miss it when it's standing right in front of you.
    I hope that something in this post helps in some small way.
     
  11. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    The story sounds rather familiar, I jumped from art to music to political science, to history then to theology with enough random credits to be a junior but not in the right order for an associates, though I am getting that next semester one way or another. I would say I've been called towards something, but not by my choice, and currently its a two day a week gig that I don't get any pay for. Though i do get experience I guess. Cooking has never been a passion but I've got a job as a beginner prep chef, one way or another... Still trying to find what clicks and find some motivation to go forward. With writing I was more thinking doing it part time and really focusing myself on it and then one day getting it all cleaned up and see if I can't get a publisher's attention somehow. At the same time it feels like doing it half way has never got me anywhere and to really do anything I need to be doing it full throttle, risks and all.

    I may have to take you up on that... I fall apart a lot. Every few months I have the first post all over again, regardless as to what I figured out the last time I did it.

    So what I really need to do then is give it a shot, a few hours a day after work and school and see if I can stick with it? I've been doing alright since I first decided on writing back in April, though I did get sidetracked with trying to balance things in the setting which turned into building a rpg before abandoning it in favor of a system that was already built but was exactly what I had been working towards, so that's good. I do tend to fall off the bandwagon a lot though. My metaphorical self is fairly clumsy and falls off of things often. I've had talks with people, it would seem the only way to gain any sort of acceptance in this area I would have to successfully publish... which really feels like I'm standing at the bottom of Everest without gear and looking up.

    So don't search the entire house for the keys that are in my pocket, gotcha :).
     
  12. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    If you're serious about writing, you have to stick with it. It takes years of writing to get good enough to publish anything and you have to continually be improving your skills through workshops, classes and networking with other writers can help too. There's lots of opportunities available free... like joining a local writers group for example. When you feel you're ready to publish your stuff: welcome to Mount Everest with the rest of us lol! (Here's where the "I love to write" motivation needs to come in: because you're going to write anyway whether you successfully climb Everest or not.)You then have two choices: submit your stuff to agents, hope one takes you on and then let them submit to the big-name publishers for you OR self publish/ go with a small, independent publisher. If you want to go the self-publishing route I'd start with publishing stuff online for free at a site like Wattpad to gain a following of fans. Traditional publishers are now scouring sites like that for people with a nice fan following and offering some of them contracts and you can always publish whatever you want to sell yourself at the same time. Through all of this you have to work to support yourself (this is also where the "I love to write" motivation comes in - going to your computer to write after a full day of work.) Commercial success in writing IS a daunting task so I wouldn't put too much pressure on yourself to succeed at it. If you find that you burn out and don't want to do it anymore, don't worry about it. Lots of people go from one thing to another their whole lives and that doesn't mean they are failures. Life is a journey and you learn something from each experience. As long as you enjoy those experiences along the way, you've kept yourself happy and gained something of value from them. That's what I meant about not searching the house for the keys that are in your pocket.
    Darn it... this is starting to sound an awful lot like advice isn't it? :p
     
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  13. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    I see, I'll have to find a local writer's group. I've joined a bunch on DeviantArt but rarely get any feedback at all on there. I know there is a local NaNoWriMo group, but they didn't do anything for the first Camp NaNo so far as I could find.

    I guess one of the things I would really like to do is to prove to certain individuals that I'm capable of doing something my own way and not mimicking everything they did. I really enjoyed getting painting commissions for this reason. Self-publishing sounds nice and all, but I kinda feel that a publisher would be a better option.

    Wattpad, got it. I'll go check it out. Nothing I have is nearly polished enough to even consider sticking something on there yet, but I'm thinking about reopening the 16k word story and editing all the fanfic parts of it out and making it into something on its own, or maybe just edit it so heavily that there is little of what there was left and adding in the ah...'sequel' stories to it and make a novel out of it? Idk, just throwing around ideas. I would very much like to be a successful writer the more I think about it. I think it would be awesome to do it full time, but I probably shouldn't think about it too much. I mean, I'm currently being trained to be a prep chef at work and its rather fun learning all the new stuff to cut and slice and whatnot so its not like I plan on quitting anytime soon and would kinda like to run with that and see where it winds me up as well. It sounds like doing both is probably my best option.

    I just do get stressed because its so much and sometimes I feel like I'm running at full steam but not going anywhere. I've got like 6-8 more years of college at a minimum to learn what I'd like to on top of a full time work, on top of trying to keep up writing and painting on top of my duties at church.

    What about your experience S.J? Aren't you a full time writer? What is it like?
     
  14. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    If by "full time" you mean that I rely on writing for income to pay my bills, think again! In ADDITION to writing, I work part-time in my other career (in which I can fortunately make enough to pay my bills), look after my kids, meet my responsibilities to my community, dabble in my other hobbies, take a dance class for fun and exercise, indulge my TFF addiction (God help me!), and do most of the housework at home. That's what I meant when I said you have to love it to stick with it. Life is busy!
    Very few people make enough as a writer to completely replace the need to also do something else for a living. Those people most likely struggled for years to get to where they ended up too. So many people seem to think that if they publish a book (even with a traditional publishing contract) that they'll end up like JK Rowling or Stephanie Myers. The reality is that something like that happening is pretty unlikely. Remember: any idiot can publish a book these days (obviously, 'cause I did! :D).
    If you go into writing expecting it to support you, I'd argue that you're more likely to burn out and feel like a failure. If you do it on the side because you can afford to and because you love it then you can't fail. Financial success is very much a secondary consideration. If it happens, that's great; if it doesn't, that's OK too because you're already supporting yourself in a responsible manner. There is value in telling the stories that matter to you, even if they don't matter to anyone else. Success doesn't have to be defined as making money from something. Anyone who has held their own book in their hands (or painted an amazing army of models) for the first time would know that. ;)
     
  15. Anrisa Ryn

    Anrisa Ryn Author, artist, gamer

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    If you stick with writing, you always have me and SJ and all the others at the scribes house to help out!
     
  16. olivia_the_lamb

    olivia_the_lamb Moderator Staff Member

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    Fame is a fluke, if you ask me. It's just by chance that a good book (or a bad one) catches the eye of the public and becomes a flame. As we all know, there are plenty of bad authors out there who have become famous. It's all about the story-telling aspect... and chance :p

    I'll probably never get published, but I've written hundreds of poems and I write a lot of stories (that I never finish). I consider myself a writer though. Either way, the first time I finish a story, whether or not it gets published, I'll be feeling pretty accomplished.

    That's another thing... make sure that your accomplishments measure up to only your standards, not those of other people. As far as other people go, I'm pretty unaccomplished, but as far as I am concerned, I've survived my rough life and that's enough for me :)
     
  17. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Ah. I suppose it might be a little easier on my end since I really have noone to support but myself. Picking up a trade sounds like one of the better options at this point though to support myself full time while I do other things part time. I understand the busy part, full time work, part time duties at church, part time student, and a healthy amount of sleep don't leave a lot of time for a whole lot else. What to pick really brings me back to square one i suppose... Maybe I can do a semester of just exploring other majors and whatnot... or I can keep at my current job and try to move up to line chef or something.

    Thanks Anrisa, that's a comforting note.

    I suppose so, but not constantly getting flack by people for not 'doing anything' is annoying and I'd like to shut them up. Fame I can live without, really I just want to get by and not be so stressed as everyone around me seems to be. Of course, obsession with money will do that, no matter how much one actually makes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  18. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    For my part... absolutely :)

    Amen to everything Liv said too.
     
  19. azuren82

    azuren82 Berserk got banned...

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    Well, maybe you should ask yourself this: Do you have somebody else to fall back on? If you're soldiering on solo, you will burn out or even break down somewhere down the road. Human beings are social beings just like wolves or lions. If you can find such a person you can really trust, then my suggestion is to divide up the work load upon consensual grounds. If not, then you'll need to make a decision on the nearest available help. Read: It's a 50-50 call.

    At the end of the day, I agree with Olivia on the writers end. I've known a couple or so of good writers and they're still plying their trade on the online amateur site. My advice on this end is very simple: You can dream big. Everyone has the right to do so. But do not lost touch with reality. Read: Prepare yourself for the worst. That's how I live my life until now.
     
  20. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    That might be my issue with burn out. I tend to be very solitary as I find relationships come and go far too easily and they often take my stuff with them when they go...

    My life motto is pretty similar... Aim for the stars, but be prepared to land face first in a cow patty at the bottom of a ravine.