Music Post 001

Music Post 001

I had always wanted to give myself a creative challenge that involved music. I had a big idea to learn a song a day. It’s bold, I know. My plan was to look up the cords (most likely from Ultimate Guitar), search the lyrics, and look up practice videos on YouTube. Then at the end of day I’d practice a little and then record. It was an awesome, bold idea. This process would allow me to could learn 356 songs in a year. The possibilities were endless. I could turn it into a YouTube show sensation. This crazy guy learning a song a day for a whole year. Are there even that many songs in existence? If you listen to the radio as your primary source of music, you would answer that question with an emphatic “NO!” But 365 songs would equal, like, the complete song catalogues of five famous bands. I didn’t want to do the research on this so you choose the bands.

Of course, I would give credit to the sources of the tabs, online videos and lyrics sheets. I began to have visions of gaining a following. And to keep the folIowing happy I would have to do this every day. I would have to commit. I would have to screw up and apologize for letting my life get in the way of learning songs for like a week. It was a big idea and commitment that I was dreaming up in my head. It was getting way too big. I wasn’t considering the reality at the time. I had two young kids, wife who worked long hours and a full time job. It was way too big of an idea. So, I talked myself out of it. Thought myself out of it.

Some time went by, and I another thought came to me. The idea didn’t want to die. The other thought was, I could learn a song a week. I would follow the same structure as above, look up tabs, video lessons and lyrics, and I could blog about my progress and record the song at the end of the week. Fifty-two songs a year. That was more doable. However, the part of my brain that shutdown the song-a-day idea reminded me, “Hey, remember? The kids, the wife, the full time job, the commitment. Those things still exist.” So, I talked myself out of it, again. Thought myself out of it, again.

That was four years ago. I’m four years older. And I still have not committed to this thing I know I want to do. Of course, now, my kids are older and able to fend for themselves a little more. My wife and I are separated. I’m living on my own and there are days and evenings I don’t have the kids. I have the time. I had the time before, but I wasn’t kind to myself to put that time aside. My job is more complex and it takes a mental toll on me. It can be emotionally draining. When I’m in a bad place inside my head, I will struggle to commit to doing self-care. I put all this other stuff first and fail to commit to myself. I have continued to talk myself out of the weekly song learning and blog writing.

I don’t want four more years to go by and not have done this. I know this is something I can do. I can achieve this. A one year commit. One week at a time. One song at a time. Fifty-two songs.

I know I can do this, because I have committed to other self-projects and completed them. I wrote two books and a script for a graphic novel. I haven’t properly edited them for public consumption, but I did complete them. One part was the commitment to that one thing. I focused on one project at a time and completed them. I, also, let other people know that I was writing. By letting friends and family know what I was doing, I knew they would ask how the writing was going which meant I would have to answer. And I didn’t want the answer to be “oh, I haven’t been writing” or “I haven’t started” or worse “I decided not to do it. I just don’t have the time.”

Thought excuses are my enemy. Being trapped in my head. Keeping the projects secret meant I could quit at any time and not be held accountable. So, I closed that loophole. I told people. I talked about what I was doing. I was able to avoid the excuses.

If I was able to escape excuses before and I know what I need to do to get my projects started and completed, why am I still able to fall into that mindtrap?

It is: Fear of rejection. But fear from who? Fear from the Unknowns. The unknown naysayers. The trolls of the internet. The made up people in my head. Those voices. I let those voices stop me.

I know those made up people in my head don’t matter. I know I can do this. I know what other things I need to do to show commitment to this project. I have to give up the TV shows for a while. I’ve got to get people involved, like my son. He knows what I’m trying to do and will ask me what new song am I learning this week.. I want to be able to tell him what song I’m working on. I want to show him what it means to commit to something you really want to do. I want to be proud of myself like I want him to be proud of me.

I need to stay out of my head and away from excuses. They just make me feel badly about myself . Why the hell do I want to feel badly about myself. It’s a bad loop to be caught up in.

My first song has been recorded. I’m on week two with song two.

It’s a start. And I will post. Warts and all.

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