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Thread: How can I make a living from doing something reasonably interesting?

  1. #31
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    It's all a load of shit whatever you do and never ever take advice from craner.

  2. #32
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    Don't start by thinking of something cool and interesting start from wanting to make a contribution to society. So no missiles, more CAB.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    If I was you, I would've designed missiles. And then written a Bellow-esque novel about the anxieties and sex life of an average ballistic missile engineer in a cool European city, an updated Scandinavian version of 'The Dean's December'.
    I had this sort of epiphany last year when I went to see Psychic TV play live, and it occurred to me that I can be the sort of person who designs missile guidance systems for a living, or the sort of person who goes to Psychic TV gigs, but I can't be both. And I know which I'd rather be.

    And I think I'd be flattering myself if I thought anyone wanted to read about either my anxieties or my sex life.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixed_biscuits View Post
    Become a data scientist w/machine learning freelancer, work six months a year and write in the other six.
    I'm attempting to teach myself Python, so this sort of thing could be an option.

    I'll admit that pride has a certain amount to do with my antipathy towards a straightforward career in IT, as I'm well aware that I'd have to pay to go on a course to learn how to do stuff my (younger) brother could toss out in his sleep when he was 17. That, and that fact that I'm fundamentally not very good at it.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  5. #35
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    It's a noble question, and do tell me when you find out the answer.

    I think mixedbiscuits' suggestion is a good one, when generalised to: prioritise finding something you can do on a freelance basis, and get paid pretty well for doing so. The people I know who have managed to make a freelance career are probably the happiest with their working lives (excluding those who actually like simultaneous boredom and suffering for 12 months a year). It likely (but not necessarily) means compromising and going for something you don't find fascinating, but it gives you time to do the things you do find fascinating, obv.

  6. #36
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    Thanks Hywel, some good stuff in there I think.

    I think a big part of it is that quite a lot of things, including many that are not necessarily immediately obvious as 'fun' or 'cool' or 'interesting', can become interesting if you stick at them long enough. I don't mean that anyone who studies inheritance tax law for long enough suddenly has this Zen-like epiphany of awesomeness, more that it can be fun to be good at something but to get to this stage, you have to do the drudgey stuff first. Like how it can be pleasurable to drive a car on a country road (assuming you have the good fortune to find a stretch with no other traffic on it, which is a rare thing in southern England in 2016, but anyway) but long before you get to that level of competence, you have to complete the usually not-terribly-fun stuff of learning how to navigate roundabouts and parallel-park and all that bollocks.

    I've had little glimpses of this in programming before so maybe there'll be a greater pay-off if I stick with the Python. Let's see.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixed_biscuits View Post
    Become a data scientist


    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  8. #38
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    hi mr tea

    well i must say craner has been very generous with his sound opinion

    your idea to learn python seems like a good plan.

    i have a pretty good idea for you too. i met a former engineer recently working in my business. he found engineering a bit boring - now he uses a software called *houdini*

    http://www.sidefx.com/

    (they have a free demo or educational license)

    it's a pretty complex procedural special effects software. because it is as forbidding and geeky as it is people like me (from arts backgrounds) kinda stumble when they come to it - but there is a reasonably strong demand in the vfx community for houdini programmers.

    if you taught yourself houdini i reckon you might be able to find yourself work in vfx. but don't ask me (perilous giving advice innit)- have a good look on google first.

    one other thought - this might seem a bit rude or odd (!) or even blatantly obvious - but i wouldn't be in a hurry to get married. once you're hitched it becomes a lot harder to carve yourself a niche - especially as it sounds like you need to be mobile...

  9. #39

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    I must say, when I was on the skids Matt offered me kind words and support, a good idea and even a contact for it. I appreciated that a lot and have never forgotten it.

  10. #40
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    Cheers Matt, you know that really is not something I'd ever have considered but it sounds pretty cool.

    I've just watched the promotional video on their website and frankly I was sold by the Chinese lady with the nice boobs.

    I'm not married but I've been with my girlfriend for about six years now and lived together for nearly three, so in effect I sort of am already.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  11. #41

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    "Nice boots", surely. Are you looking to be no-platformed, T? That's no way to get a job.

  12. #42

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    I'm not sure if Matt was being serious, but I was trying to be serious with my advice. My life, until the age of 35, was a series of catastrophic mistakes, but now I have a job I love, live by the sea, and own a house and a car. My love life is still a disaster, but that's always been the case. I was only trying to offer some pointers from what I've been through. Luke and I have diametrically opposed views as to what constitutes a successful or happy life, but we're still pals and agree on many other things. I just know I couldn't have continued to live in a London bedroom at the age of 40 writing prose poems nobody read and smashing cheap bottles of Bulgarian wine. I would have probably killed myself. There's no afterlife, you have to make something of and with what you have. Etc.

  13. #43

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    I thought about it at the age of 29, it sent me insane for a while, I made destructive choices that in the end proved creative, and came out OK. You have to think about the future, in lots of ways. One of my calculations, for example, and this was even before my father's young wife dropped dead unexpectedly, was, how will you take care of your elderly parents if you're on a crap wage and they need full time attention? Life gets more complex. What about if you fail to do yourself in with booze and fags? Do you want to be a destitute wreck with no income aged 70?

  14. #44

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    It's a deadly serious thing, life, if you take it seriously.

  15. #45
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