This whole thing sometimes feels like a rather sisyphean undertaking. Establishing oneself as a creative professional or entrepreneur is difficult enough anywhere. Doing it in a foreign country potentially introduces a number of additional difficulties on top of what one would normally face. For me, the necessary effort is more than worth it, given the difference between various potential futures differentiated only by the effort that I put in now, but I won’t pretend it isn’t a massive pain in the ass. Last time I talked some about the practical problems of transitioning to working as a full time creative professional in Japan, but today I want to get into what is often a much more serious category of complication: the gumption trap.
This is part of the post I’ve been pecking away at during break time at work, occasionally on weekends, and during other down time. It is only part because I realized recently that it was better split up into at least two posts. It was to be an examination of the various difficulties currently facing me in my overall quest to start a business and get out of teaching English. The problem with that is that there are a couple major categories of difficulties, which together make for a single post of unwieldy length. First, there are the typical challenges and roadblocks: the practical difficulties inherent to any undertaking. The three biggest groups there are typically problems of time, money, and because I’m an immigrant here: permission. The other major category of difficulty are the gumption traps, which is a less familiar concept. These are the difficulties of those things that frustrate us, that sap our motivation and energy when we so much as think of them. While regular challenges make us tired in body, gumption traps make us tired in spirit. The former category is more straightforward and where I’ll begin today. Continue reading
I’ve been absent, and while I haven’t been posting here, I have been writing some things with this blog in mind. I am now home sick with the flu, though, and will get some things done here finally. Part of the problem is that I’ve been working on one monster of a post that really needs to be split up into two or three separate posts, which I’ve only realized today. This will make it much easier to get it out the door.
Post № 3 was originally going to be something about the specific challenges I face in trying to get out of full-time EFL and into deriving the bulk of my income in Japan from creative work. That will probably become № 4, as more pressing matters are at hand. Facing going into another year of this insane work schedule and having the life drained from me daily has been stressing me out as the end of 2017 approaches. A full year of the EFL grind is not something I’m going to do again. As such, I have decided to switch to part time at my day job starting January 18 (that’s just when I have the option to officially change my contract, no other reason for that date). This means that I will be required to work at Company X just two days a week. I may work more for extra cash if I desire, but my contractual obligations will be confined to two days per week. Continue reading