Nothing is New

Ramping up my video / audio production means facing some fears. Like, there’s already Andrew W.K., the beacon of motivation and party vibes. Who am I in comparison?

Gary Vee pushes and prods, surely I don’t have anything to add.

Seth Godin, who I’ve been following devoutly since the early 2000s, has a blog, and multiple books filled with ideas, inspiration, and hard truths.

Why should I even bother?

But in the music world, do we need anything beyond Radiohead? Pearl Jam? Dillinger Escape Plan? Converge? Don’t we have all the music we need?

Not by a long shot.

If we stop, completely content with what’s avaibale, we don’t grow. We need to push, and pull, and remix. Copies of copies. Over and over again, we do this, and the world is a better place for it.

So don’t worry that you’re work isn’t breaking new ground. Your work is coming from your perspective, and that’s what makes it fresh, because you’re unique, and that’s more that enough.

To note: this video was done in one take. No edits. This blog post was done in one take. No time to bake. No edits (except for spelling and such). No second guessing. This is my continuing exercise in producing rather than procrastinating.  Done, versus perfect.

Reply to People First

How do you “increase engagement” on social media? Reply.

If the first thing you’re doing when getting on social media is tooting your own horn, consider this; start your day by replying to three people.

Be a part of the conversation that already exists, instead of always trying to announce and lead. If you want to grow in a community, build a fanbase, or just meet cool people, listen and be a part of the dialogue.

I talked about this on episode #78 of the Dumb and Dumbest podcast right here (it’s time stamped, so you don’t have to listen to the full episode).

Call Yourself an Artist

Yes, yes, a million times yes.

You can be a writer and not have a published book. You can be a song writer and not have an album.

There’s no requirement to beat end-level bosses and clear chronological checkpoints to be anything.

Sure, having published by-lines and music on Bandcamp helps you get to other levels down the road, but again, they are not required check boxes on your creative journey.

Facing Loss

With the recent news of Alex Trebek being diagnosed with cancer, I saw a lot of people sharing their love for the amazing Jeopardy host.

It reminded me of losing Carrie Fisher (December 27, 2016), which really rattled me. I’m a child of the 80s, so that one hit home. I remember where I was – my favorite hometown coffee shop, sitting at the window.

The last time I cried over a “celebrity” was when I heard Kurt Cobain died, on April 5, 1994. I was sitting in my Mercury Zephyr when my girl friend at the time told me. I was heart broken.

Now in the age of social media we pour our hearts nearly everyday for people that are important in our lives, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Dying is a part of life, after all. It doesn’t wait for anyone.

I lost my mom in the summer of 2017. She as diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but it was the COPD that took her life way too early.

Each day I remember her when I talk to her. When I see a gorgeous sunset, which was one of the few joys she got in the last few years of her life. I think that’s how we honor those we lose. We carry on their attitude, their spirit, their mission. That’s what I try to do each day.

Dealing with Writers Block

Reading a handful of books by Steven Pressfield sort of kicked my ass in this department, the main point being this; sit down and work.

Don’t wait for inspiration to show up, that’s for amateurs. Turn pro (the title of another one of his books), and get to work. Work on your craft by working on your craft, not reading more tips on Medium or scrolling for inspiration on Instagram (or watching my videos).

My best work comes at an almost unconscious level. I sit down, usually completely uninspired to do anything, and start, let’s say, recording a dumb bass riff.

Before I know it, I’ve layered a few lines, maybe added in some keys, and now I’m dancing in front of my computer. There was no plan, no agenda, it just happened.

By showing up, being available, these energies can flow. Again, not by looking up more hints and tips on using a particular program, or downloading another book on the Kindle, or watching more YouTube videos – no – just putting in the work to get somewhere.