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SoundFix says

Well, long story short, I have now found out I’m not getting the funds (career development loan) to do my music production masters starting in a months time. I will still be living in my student house but now I need to earn enough to cover £250 a month rent + food (£160 ish) + bills (£40 ish). So really I need to earn around £450 ($700) a month.

I know AJ will at least cover my rent as long as I start uploading regularly now but I would like to try and get enough freelance work and join other stock music sites to earn the additional £200 ($310) a month.

Considering I have the next 2 months rent covered already, is it realistic for me to 100% pursue writing music full-time right now, or should I seriously consider getting a regular part-time job to supplement my income?

I would love to hear your thoughts :)

Stuck_in_the_Basement
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Stuck_in_the_Basement Envato team says

I’m always a big proponent of having some kind of security, so a part time job, no more than 20 hours/week, would leave you plenty of time to keep the music business going. Don’t you think?
There was a similar discussion last night. You should look for Joel’s input:
http://audiojungle.net/forums/thread/q-if-financially-stressed-go-110-percent-on-aj-or-backburner-it-for-other-possibilities/106060
Also, and that’s just me, but I don’t think I could go all freelance. I need some kind of stability. Plus I would definitely miss human interaction.
All in all, it can be done (see Harris, Matt) and you certainly have the potential, but having an extra steady income wouldn’t hurt. Good luck mate!

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UJ-pro says

Hey my friend,

the way you’re listing your payments it seems you haven’t a family to care of or other responsibilities like bank loans for example.

In this case and by listening to your stunning tracks I would put all your talent, freedom and creativity into doing what you really want.

As long as the part time job has something to do with making or producing music and it doesn’t suck, it should be OK. This can bring contacts as well.

You have 380 sales and 5 shiny stars after 1 year. I’m sure it won’t be 760 after 2 years. (381 :-) ) It will be much more than double!!!

You’re a very talented musician and producer. So keep on with it as much as you can and you’ll be one of the big ones one day.

All the best to you.

Cheers, Udo

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PhilLarson says

Do it!! You only live once. :bigsmile:

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GroovingGecko says

You have talent, you’re young – do it full-time. Sure, some people can pull off having a normal job and write music on the side, but it’s just not the same thing. If you truly love composing, it’s definitely worth giving it a try full-time. It will only get harder, when you get kids, more responsibilities etc.

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muscma01 says

I do music full time and my advice is to go all in, but I am kind of a “gambler.” Do what you love and the money will follow.

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kristopherfisheraudio says

Sam, I am in the same boat as you. I was fortunate enough to get funding to do my MPhil/PhD but I do not have a stipend so I need to earn enough to cover rent and bills etc plus a wedding!

I will be doing around 12 hours a week at uni teaching, another 12 a week working in a local shop and then some more time writing, I obviously have a postgrad to do so I cant work all the time.

I only pull in around $80 a month, but I am hoping to bring that up to $150 in the next year and reduce my hours.

I would go for it, make sure you keep up the work and don’t slack off, and just incase keep an eye on local part time jobs.

But unlike what others have said, I would say DONT get a job in the industry if you want to goo full-time writing, you will be tired, underpaid and will want to have time away from the creative sector.

I wish you all the best mate, give it a bash!

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garethcoker Envato team says

The only time I’d actually recommend going all-out freelance is when you have 1-2 years of finance to fall back on.

i.e. You can totally fail for a year and still be OK.

Obviously, the reality is that very few people have that kind of money saved up. So….

I would advise you to be cautious. This thing can go both ways for creative people. Some people love having the pressure of almost being broke and it can inspire them to do better work. Other people need the stability of regular income to be able to do their job well. Only you know how you are in this situation.

If you do go full-time, you have to be able to commit to it 100%. There is a staggering amount of money to be made in the industry – contrary to what most people think – you just have to go and find it. A lot of new composers in the industry are trying to do everything from behind their computer screens only, and it just doesn’t work. Your chances success increase exponentially when you go out there and meet the right people. Being a professional composer is not just about your music but also about being a salesman, and it’s easier to be a salesman when you’re doing that face to face.

That’s not to say it can’t be done (from your computer only), it can, but if you’re going to commit full-time, I don’t think you should consider it a commtiment to only full-time composing and writing tons of tracks every day, rather a commitment to the growth and development of your career. If you get that right, the writing generally takes care of itself.

You can have all the talent in the world, but if you can’t sell your work, it doesn’t mean anything. I know and have studied with a LOT of composers far more talented than I am, but have no social/business skills whatsoever, and didn’t spend enough time planning their careers and/or meeting the right people (or getting your music into the hands of people who can take it further, i.e. editors, directors, commercial companies, etc…). If you don’t do this part properly, in this day and age your music could be better than John Williams and people would never hear it.

Hans Zimmer is a great composer, but one of the real reasons he gets hired all the time is because he is incredible to work with. He also understands the industry – especially the Hollywood aspect – better than anyone else.

For what it’s worth, I spend about 80% of my time doing all the things that enable me to spend the remaining 20% of my time composing! This might seem inefficient, but it’s actually the reality. The writing part is the easiest when you spend all day in meetings with directors, generating invoices, writing letters, networking, studying, etc. etc… oh and then there is the actual having a life part too, an oft-overlooked aspect of having a healthy creative career.

So why am I writing all of this? Well, the point of it all is that if you’re going to do it, make sure you do it properly and you really know what you’re doing. It’s not just a case of writing more tracks, (I would love it if it was!). Try and plan ahead for the next 1 year, and make an even longer term plan for where you want to be in 5 years, and figure out all the stuff you need to do to try and make that happen. Not all of it will work, but at least if you think about it, you will be prepared and give yourself the best chance to succeed in what can be a very tough (but also extremely rewarding) business.

Sam, based on your circumstances, I’d recommend against doing music full-time for now, as you’ll be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. If you’re starting a music production course too, I am not sure how much time you’ll really have for music. In other words, will you really be doing music full-time? I’m not sure you could call it that, but only you know your schedule.

My advice, complete your course, and supplement it with a part-time job, i.e. something that is guaranteed – BUT, while on your course, plan the next phase of your career in great depth – as I recommend above. Towards the end of your course is a good time to start looking for work, you can seamlessly transition into working full-time. Also, remember that any music you create while on your course can be uploaded here. Half my own portfolio is stuff I did while studying at USC!

Finally, remember that there is no shame in taking a part-time job or even a full-time job to enable you to prepare for the rest of your career, after all, that’s what I did.

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fraserpurdie says

As some of the guys have mentioned, its a good move to find a bit of part time work, at the most 3 days a week, that should be enough to pay the bills and give you time to build on your (already great!) portfolio!

Believe in yourself and your music and I bet over time you can make it work!

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SoundFix says

I’m always a big proponent of having some kind of security, so a part time job, no more than 20 hours/week, would leave you plenty of time to keep the music business going. Don’t you think?
There was a similar discussion last night. You should look for Joel’s input:
http://audiojungle.net/forums/thread/q-if-financially-stressed-go-110-percent-on-aj-or-backburner-it-for-other-possibilities/106060
Also, and that’s just me, but I don’t think I could go all freelance. I need some kind of stability. Plus I would definitely miss human interaction.
All in all, it can be done (see Harris, Matt) and you certainly have the potential, but having an extra steady income wouldn’t hurt. Good luck mate!

Thanks for the advice mate and I will check that thread out :) Yeah I probably will have to get a secure part-time job, I just hate them haha, well the one’s I’ve had over the years anyway. But I guess if I could get a part-time job that actually interests me (possibly in a studio or venue) that would be cool.

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