Yes you can!

On the long drive home from my summer hiatus I started to think about some of the goals I have for the fall and winter months. Since this is the 4th year in a row I've gone away for some weeks to sit in the woods and commune with nature... I am familiar with what happens when I get home. I always seem to do three things:

1) reneg on the commitment I made to myself about looking after myself when I get back to regular life;

2) hit the ground running, staying up too late to work on multiple projects while feeling frustrated I'm not getting enough done;

3) go back to struggling with my demons and sometimes losing the battle.

It occured to me that one way I could keep my motivation centered on the goal is to become my own cheering section. I can post notes to myself in various places, with messages like "Yes, you can!" "Don't Give Up" and stuff.

Another issue I can see coming up already is trying to be all things to all people. I simply have to turn down projects & collaborations and focus on completing the projects I feel I will be the most successful at. I have to have time to play & be creative and I can't burn the candle at both ends.

I can use the rest of the summer to go through the house and get rid of all the stuff I don't use. I'll package up everything that belongs to someone else and give it back. I'll give away the things I don't need, and throw away the stuff that isn't any good. I also want to call a junk remover co and get them to come and take away the old couch on my porch. I can also sort out my receipts for the year and get that sorted out & entered into my Excel sheets so it's not hanging over my head. I've been inspired to do this by a blog of Christine Kane's about getting rid of stuff we don't want. I know exactly what she's talking about - my Mom is always bringing over nicknacks and stuff she gets for free from folks who are tidying up their apartments in her complex. So I become the repository for the stuff they're trying to get rid of. And I seem to collect paper, magazines, print-outs, even newspapers I intend to clip articles out of but never do. And paperwork that needs to be filed effectively so I can find it!! Anyway, the blog is at --

In terms of looking after myself - routine is the key. Set a routine and do it everyday. I fall into that easily enough during the summer holiday... up by 7ish, coffee... morning walk, breakfast... out painting in the yard by 9 or so. Regular meals and good sleeps. It's somewhat easier because 2 other people are helping buy groceries, cook meals and clean-up. At home I have to do it all myself and I confess I get very tired of those chores (boring). So getting my mom to come over a couple of times a month to help me tidy up would help. I also found a local woman who will run errands, including picking up groceries, for a reasonable hourly rate. I feel guilty getting this help - like I should be superwoman, what's wrong with me - but you know, in business, they say -- delegate. In fact, just a while ago on a teleclass I participated in, it was suggested that indie musicians have to include their domestic responsibilities when considering how best to use their time & in getting together a team to support them in their work.

In terms of projects, I have to concentrate on writing & producing new works for film & tv, or remixing existing works. I plan to head to LA in November with a CD with several broadcast quality pieces to pitch.

I will be working with a local opera singer on improving my vocal health this fall... I'd also love to take some lessons for mandolin or fiddle but at this point I'm not sure how I could fit that into my schedule. I can certainly continue with my on-line guitar lessons. I also invested in another 3 months membership with SongU ( to continue growing in my knowledge of songwriting. I need to schedule time to complete classes.

I can feel myself rebelling against scheduling my time, but really, if I don't do that, how will I achieve anything? There's something about looking at my month's worth of appointments and seeing all the time blocks that are designated for something that makes the inner kid in me wail for recess. Yet I love doing all those things, so why the resentment?

I think the resentment is part of the self-defeating behaviour that can keep me stuck in the spot I'm in. It's easier to rebel & resent, and feel frustrated & guilty than use that energy to move forward. It's endlessly facinating to me how we human beings get so walled in by 'how it's always been' that we, in very creative and subtle ways, actually work against ourselves. Again, I read a blog on this subject this morning - great reading --

Look, the rain has stopped & the sun is trying to come out. Time to write a song or two -- I'm very far behind in the '50 songs in 90 days' personal challenge! Talk soon, eh?

1 comment:

Judy said...

I love your comments and the referral to Christine Kane's comment - "getting discovered, getting discouraged, getting real" was wonderful.
Thanks for this blog, and your comments on forums. Hope I run into you in November at that conference....

Judy - aka grannyflats