My name is Catherine Joy. I am a composer for film and media, a score producer, the director of Joy Music House and the executive director of the Alliance for Women Film Composers. This time last year I was discovering my new normal. I was starting over: new home, new neighborhood, new way of life. I told myself all I had to do was survive. Just get through 2018. Funny thing is, it turned out to be a wonderful year. So many of the seeds I had sown in my career started bearing fruit. I worked on great projects, earned enough money to make it through and learned so very much. One of the best things that happened was I officially launched Joy Music House, the business I had been quietly developing for a while. It was a time of huge growth.
In this new year my goal is no longer surviving, but thriving. To thrive I believe you must curate your life to really fit you. This applies to all areas of life: personal, professional, financial and spiritual (whatever that means to you). I feel like in order to thrive I have a lot of missing pieces to fill in. On a practical and professional level I need to keep developing my career. No surprises there. Financially I need to figure out how I can be (for the first time in my life) financially stable. Prepare for retirement. All that good adult stuff. Then there’s smaller things. I am trying to stay find ways to stay in good health and find balance within the craziness of the freelance existence. I’m working on my piano skills, because when I play, it brings me happiness. I am learning a new language. Not only is it good for the brain but it helps me communicate better with people I love. Then I have the newly launched Joy Music House, a vehicle that could not only help me but many others as well. A lot of work to do there and in all these areas.
Finally there’s the reason for this blog: writing. Writing is actually my first love. As a kid I enjoyed performing music, but I wanted to be an author. Now I have a number of private writing projects, and I journal daily. I’ve blogged a bit in the past, written a few articles. I feel I have a lot to share but have been hesitant to publish my words. For some crazy reason it feels so much easier to put my music out there. But it is time to get over that fear.
So this year I will write a blog post a week, publishing on Sundays. I will be sharing with you the challenges I faced that week (as a composer, as the director of JMH, as a human), what I did to get through them (she says hopefully) and the resources I turned to. My goal is to document the realities of being a working freelance composer and the tools I discover to make that life more manageable. If you care to read, hopefully my journey will be of some use to you as you travel along your own, regardless of what field you are in. I would love to hear from you if anything I write strikes a chord. I’m excited to go through this with you.
So, as my favorite Doctor says: Allons-y!
To start off the year I have a list of a collection of books that have been an invaluable resource for me this last year (and in some cases for many years). They have benefited me greatly on my creative and professional journey. Hopefully they will help you too.
- The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
- The Artist Way – Julie Cameron (I am now reading for the first time another one of hers: The Sound of Paper)
- Art and Fear – David Bayles
- Deep Work – Cal Newport
- The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson (check out his fantastic blogs)
- Daily Rituals – Mason Currey
- Atomic Habits – James Clear (also check out all his blogs)