Reflections on a Month of Music

Photo by  Thomas Allison

Well, I knew this day would come. I think I kinda sorta failed at this month’s experiment.  However, an emerging lesson of my year so far has been that new intentions aren’t always enough to conquer old patterns, self-criticism, or general malaise. Not yet at least, but I’m learning.

I intended to use this experiment to take more time to sing and play music. I even created a cute little corner in my office to hole up and experiment, which I utilized exactly once this month (last night).  I’m trying not to feel bummed or guilty, or that I “wasted” the opportunity, but to view it as a growth exercise. Much like Thomas Edison simply found 1,000 ways that wouldn’t work, I’m learning every time I try an approach to creativity that doesn’t manage to inspire me. And while I may not have found the proper approach to devoting myself to my passion and craft yet, I did accomplish a lot on the social media/marketing side of the process. This usually manages to either feed or bruise my ego without being any fun creatively, but I recognize its importance.

In this realm, the personal practice I’ve been working on is to focus my attention on the positive feedback I receive rather than the criticisms or rejections. This has been an excellent practice in gratitude: be thankful for what it is rather than disappointed about what it is not. And as I’ve focused on positivity, I’ve started singing in the shower again. I’ve even started singing in the car during my commute to work.

And stepping back from my disappointment on the creative side, I can appreciate the things I was able to accomplish this month:

  • Was invited to play a live acoustic set on a local radio station in April

  • Released a new single, Losing Touch

  • Asked my friend and talented designer Caitlin Cook to design the album art for my upcoming album

  • Have submitted music to blogs like crazy (with limited success, but I’m trying)

  • Developed a nice thank you message to send to new Instagram followers. My day job is in development and I realized that I didn’t have a stewardship plan for new fans. Your support does not go unnoticed! I am grateful for each like, repost, share, and follow.

  • Bought a ticket for the DIY Musician Conference in August

  • Was invited to write a blog post about recording my album and filming my music video with dBs students in Berlin

  • Put my single, Upside Down, on all of the streaming platforms

I also spent several hours one day doing research (aka watching music videos and tiny desk concerts on Youtube) and discovered - and rediscovered - so many great songs and songwriters. I thought I would share the playlist with you all for your enjoyment.

It occurs to me that writing this blog post was what allowed me to see all of the things I had accomplished and not simply dwell on where I had fallen short. So thank you so much for reading it! I’m very excited for next month’s experiment: A Month of Philosophy.