taking stock

Money. Yeah. Well, they are having a marathon of this Canadian show called “Til Debt to Us Part.” Gail Vaz-Oxlade helps couples who are overspending and deep in debt to sort themselves out. I like this show a lot. I’ve watched it before and made budgets etc., but today something clicked and I realized… if I want to pay my debt off in 3 years, then I need to take the total I owe, and divide it by 36 months, and get “X”. Then, I need to make minimum payments on everything. Then, I need to take that “X” amount and use it to pay down something.

This is a huge realization to me. I have been trying to pay things down, but I put a little bit extra on everything every month. I try not to use credit but some business expenses have to go on the cards – and I need to pay those off right away.

She said something else on a show that resonated with me. She said, when you call to check the balance on your credit card, you likely aren’t calling to see how much you need to pay off. You’re calling to see how much money you can spend. Guilty as charged.

It’s funny how I’ve been thinking about this and I plan a budget every month but never really thought about simply dividing my debt by 36 months and then making that my extra payment. Things will be tight if I do that… but I know I will feel so much better when I can get this debt off my plate. It’s left over from the time I thought ‘oh, I’ll pay this later when I have more money.’ Well, guess what, you don’t have the money later cause you’ve already spent it. Duh.

As mentioned before in this blog, I’ve been working my way through Ariel Hyatt’s “Music Success in Nine Weeks.”

I’m still a little stuck on Chapter 8 (Creating a Continuing Program) though. Somewhat. As a composer, I have to think differently about marketing myself. I need a short, to-the-point bio. I asked composer friends to check out the text on my film/tv site and give me their feedback on how I’ve set it up. I took their suggestions and made some adjustments, I think it reads well now. This past week I contacted a music library to ask for permission to submit, but included my website address in my signature. They liked what they heard and offered me a deal. Whoop!

Over the past few days, several more people have signed up for my newsletter, and I continue to enjoy interaction with those who comment on my blog.

Branching out beyond blogging or a monthly newsletter? I try to think what I have to offer, how I can help. What I have that’s special, I think, is my experience as a mentor to aspiring singers, and what I’ve learned from my own journey as a shy person, and as a evolving artist. I want to write more about these things. I might try writing an ebook. I have the skills to do that. I worked for a life coach a while ago, and assisted her in designing an ebook.

Still, Ariel should be proud of me. She discusses ‘Traditional PR’ in Chapter 9. This weekend I wrote and submitted a press release to local newspaper regarding participating in FAWM (February is Album Writing Month/write 14 songs in 28 days). Beyond that, I thought the information about publicity in this chapter was very thorough. I liked her advice to be patient and persevere, and remember to follow-up! It says that in the Indie Bible too – don’t just send your CD to radio stations, but follow-up in a timely manner. At the same time, be gracious and understand that people on the other end are busy trying to do their jobs. I will return to this chapter again when I have an event to publicize – like the visual art show I’ll be part of at the end of August.

At the end of “Music Success in Nine Weeks,” Ariel lists 20 critical web sites for musicians. I’ve signed up for several. She also has included a ‘dictionary’ of terms for musicians, new words we need to know, like “blogosphere”. This blog is part of that universe.

Since you read my blog… I wonder, what information could I put in an ebook that would be fun or inspiring to read about? What obstacles do you face in pursuing your vision? (Do you have a vision?)

I continue to write tracks for FAWM [www.fawm.org]. With this latest deal, I have run out of unsigned tracks, so writing 14 songs (or more) songs in 28 days came at just the right time to boot me in the arse and get me going to create more!

What have you been up to?

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