Tag Archives: pain

Need a Hand?

I do. Like most, I rely on my hands to make a living. So, not only do I need a hand, I need a hand that works. Unfortunately, due to shorter than normal Ulnar nerves that can easily get aggravated, I can become incapacitated like I was yesterday. I was happy and proud to have a highly productive day on Wednesday, getting most of my to-do list done. But somewhere along the way I overdid it and yesterday I paid the price.

The most effective way of recovery for me is rest. Stay off the computer, off the piano, no yard work or any other activity which involves gripping and holding onto something–a rake, a paint brush, a bicycle handlebar, etc.

Beyond that, there are various therapies. One important one I discovered when trying acupuncture (which in itself does not help me) is a Chinese herbal patch. The acupuncturist turned me on to these, and every few months or so, I buy some more from her. It is a naturopathic anti-inflammatory hot/cold treatment and it helps open up the nerve path. When I have a flare up, I cut a patch in half, put on half over the Ulnar nerve path on my wrist (see picture) and the other at the top off my shoulder.

These are distributed by a place called Qualiherb.

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Why My Head Hurts – Music Success in Nine Weeks, Midpoint Check-in

Have you ever driven down the road in your car and all of a sudden you notice a certain smell? I know what you’re thinking: Perhaps you are driving through farm country, notice that unmistakable manure aroma, and then blame the smell on your loved one riding shotgun, as in “oh, honey!”?

No, as hilarious as that sounds, (and I am guffawing all over myself right now), that is NOT what I meant. What I mean is something that smells electrical. You all know what I’m talking about: Something electrical is burning and that usually is not good. Just like when you notice things sparking and smoking out of a wall socket. Not good. Not good at all.

This of course is all metaphor. Surprise, surprise. Would you expect anything else from me? (Assuming you have been following along.) Just to make it really clear, I titled this post “Why My Head Hurts”. Subtle, don’t you think?

You may ask me, “Hey, Kelly. Why does your head hurt? Have you not had enough coffee?” And this is a valid question, given my prediliction for caffeine overkill. No, believe you me, I have tried coffee. My head hurts because I am trying to cram in a large amount of information in a small amount of time. This Music Success in Nine Weeks stuff is a crash course.

I am right in the middle of Week 5 learning about all the benefits of being a blogging maniac. I can now add blogs, blog readers, aggregators, and all of its other related web thingies onto the pile of all the other wonderful Web 2.0 gizmos and thingamajiggets.

I decided that at the mid-point of this frenetic pace, it might help if I diagrammed all of the interweb doohickies and fumbuzzles that represent my current web empire. I did this on a nice little whiteboard and then captured it on my smartphone. Is not technology simply amazing? As you muse upon my diagram, perhaps you will get an idea of why my head hurts. Look at all the stuff I have to keep track of!

Don’t get me wrong. I am SO not complaining. Now that the synapsies are starting to get all hooked together, I have a few salient points to make:

  • Salient point number one: It is no longer just enough to be an artist. You have to learn the business.
  • Salient point number two: You will need to spend more of your time marketing and promoting and making yourself VISIBLE than working on your art. We’re talking tough love now baby!
  • Salient point number three: To be VISIBLE in WebbyWorld you have to be UBIQUITOUS. That means bloggies, tweetsies, statuses (or is it “stati”?), face this, space that, podcasts, playlists, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
  • Salient point number four: Salient point under construction… please stand by… Oh yeah: You’re going to have to do ALL of this community building stuff on a daily basis to keep in the game. There be no idling, maties.
  • Salient point number five: It is extremely helpful–crucial even–to have a road map. This Music Success in Nine Weeks is just such a road map. Thank you, thank you.

Enough salient points for now. (What does “salient” mean, anyway? I think it sounds cool and articulate.)

So, now that I have at least made a diagram of all the fiefs in my kingdom, I understand why I’m smelling something electrical burning. But, strangely enough, my head hurts less now that I can visualize it better. I’m getting a clearer picture of all the things I need to do and keep track of in order to build my business. Just gotta do it. Get ‘er done.

In a desire to help others on the journey, I have made a partial list of what sorts of things need to be set up. This is review material for those going through the book, but it might be good to look at it all in one place:

  • Your main website, be this on Bandzoogle, HostBaby, or custom
  • A social media professional presence: Facebook band/musician page (different than your profile page), Myspace music page, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Frequent status updates via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc
  • Playlists of your songs, managed by Reverbnation, Bandcamp, Myspace Music, HostBaby, Bandzoogle, etc.
  • Fan and mailing list management, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, etc.
  • A store to release and sell your stuff and a means to receive payment, meaning PayPal set up for micropayments, and stores such as Reverbnation, Bandzoogle, Bandcamp, CDBaby, Tunecore.
  • Blogging activity, such as keeping your own blog, subscribing to other’s blogs (GoogleReader), commenting on others posts
  • Photojournalism, via your smartphone, then uploading to Flickr via Twitter or some other service
  • Videojournalism, video blogging, posting on YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.
  • Inserting links to all of this activity into Facebook, MySpace, your website, etc.

This is a lot to do, each service requiring its own account setup, and I haven’t even mentioned making time for making music. So, the journey continues. Even with the occasional electrical and farm animal smells…

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Interrupted

Here I was planning to write a blog post every day. I figured it would be good to just get into the habit, get the process going, the juices flowing, the light bulbs glowing, the cattle lowing…you get the picture, but…

But I have been interrupted. Interrupted by something that has been interrupting me for the past eight months. I have developed a condition called Ulnar Neuritis. It is chronic aggravation of the Ulnar nerve. The Ulnar nerve passes along the outside of your arm through a groove in your elbow and down into your hand controlling the ring and little fingers. When the nerve gets aggravated, all sorts of symptoms appear. Usually, there is a little numbness and tingling in the fingers, sometimes aching, sometimes more severe pain. There can also be pain and tenderness at the wrist and elbow.

So, although I was planning to write a post every day, it was bothering my hand way too much. Typing on a computer for any length of time makes my hand feel worse. Resting helps me to recover. This situation is a drag because I make a living with my hands.

To make my life a little easier, I’m trying out speech recognition software. I am currently trying out the speech recognition program that is included in Windows 7. I am trying it now. Supposedly, this is supposed to be faster than typing. In reality, I could have typed this in about a minute. But, it has taken me about 20 minutes to dictate this post. Apparently, the program is supposed to get better at interpreting what I say over time. But for now, I am having to use a lot of correction commands. I am not sure that this is making my life easier, at least not today.

So here I am typing again. I really need to get on with my day. I will write more about being interrupted in future posts because it is a major theme of this blog.

Until then…

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