Heartbeat, 12/13

No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the world. I’m working hard on my music projects, of course. I entered two songs in the Great American Song Contest. I’ve also made 2 Squidoo Lenses, Songmeister and Synthesizer. These two pages make me an expert at each topic.

Exciting stuff.

I’m looking forward to Christmas, for now. I know it’s going to be a tough one since it’s the first without Daddy. I’m trying to make it as celebratory as possible for my daughters, though.

I don’t have much other news, check out my Squidoo pages, and keep listening to the music listed below. I ought to have an Uncle Widget CD available for purchase soon.

Day 41 of 48

Only one week left. I’ve made substantial progress internally, and have started to build a network of people who I believe will be instrumental in the journey. I have been with the book for several weeks, had time to reflect and have taken away the following:

  1. Being successful and sustaining by doing what you love is possible.
  2. Doing what you love is your best chance at finding success.
  3. Some people may find their passion working for someone else, some working for themselves.
  4. If you’d love to work for yourself, make it happen in a way that works for you. You don’t necessarily need to quit your job and start bootstrapping it tomorrow.
  5. Following through on an action plan is the only way to reach your goals.

There have already been some obstacles, and there will be more. Even though I’ve still got a week left, I’m now officially moonlighting as a composer/songwriter. If you’ve got a use for music in a multimedia production, video game, film, programming, advertising, or presentation, let me know. I’m interested in entertaining working on projects of any size.

There’s my plug, and you should do it too. Anyone making the switch to your passion, let us all know what services you’re providing and how we can get in touch with you in the comments (I won’t mark your plugs as spam).

Day 35 of 48

Last week, I finally finished 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. The rest of the 48 days are dedicated to getting my music composition business off the ground. I’ve identified my strengths, weaknesses and passion core. I’ve learned what needs to be done to be successful.

There are two basic paths that the book may lead you on. The first is finding a job. I have a substantial amount of evidence that says this isn’t the proper path for me. The second is how to create a business out of what you really love doing.

The latter path suggests taking on your business as a sideline until it replaces your regular income. That is the plan. What I don’t think I can handle is the scenario where I’m not ready to exclusively run the business but my ‘day job’ ceases to exist. For now, I’m taking one step at a time.

I’m running in parallel on four types of music projects right now:

  • I’ve always been interested in writing video game music. I’ve got a sample I wrote for a prospective game developer at http://typica.cyefi.com.
  • I worked on a dance-inspired electronica project a few years ago called Rain Pilot. I’m interested in reviving that if there are people interested in hearing it. Some of the old stuff has been published at http://rainpilot.cyefi.com.
  • Since I’ve got children now, I’ve been inspired to work on some children’s electronica so my girls can listen to dad’s music while they sleep. The start of this project is at http://unclewidget.cyefi.com.
  • My main project is trooperseven. This is dance-rock that I’m planning to take to stage. I’d like to hear this stuff on independent films, college radio stations, advertisements, and the like. I publish unfinished and unpolished demos at http://trooperseven.com.

I’m excited about these changes, and thankful for having stumbled across Dan’s Book. Pick up a copy today.

Day 18 of 48

Over the weekend, while working on my daily draft (four lines of text to music each day) I managed to finish up the composition stage on one song. This happened to be a song I really enjoy, and I was able to get it into a rough demo. Today, I spent a lot of time getting my music website looking and functioning the way I want it to. Now, I launch it. This is the first publicity I’ve done for trooperseven. I hope you enjoy it. If you’re in the Columbia, SC area you’ll have the opportunity to catch a live show in January. Otherwise, maybe you’ll hear one of my songs on a tv show or something.


Capture the Song

I’ve got a lot on my mind, so you may notice that I’m frequently publishing short little entries.

I’m still capturing at least 4-lines of lyrics to tape everyday, mostly with some accompaniment. Since I’ve gotten back into writing regularly, inspiration seems to come at odd times. Lyrically, I’m always prepared because I’ve got the tools. I am a little lost however when a melody pops in. I lost what I thought was a pretty good hook this morning because it came to me between the garage and the office. There was a time when I used voicemail to capture melodies and I’ve tried a little digital micro-recorder, but being a songwriter with a day-job requires the ability for me to very quickly capture an idea without breaking my context. Any ideas?

Day 10 of 48

Sometimes the news that hits you like a ton of bricks is actually what you expected all along. I can’t really explain any more than that, but today, Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love has me recreate my resumé. This is probably the oddest resumé I’ve ever created, but maybe that’s been my problem. I’ve shaded out details I think are better left private, but what’s your feedback? Would you hire me to be your composition master? I’ve got some work yet to do, but here’s a glance:

My Resumé

Day 2 of 48

Yesterday, I told you that updates on my 48 days to the work I love would be sparse. Oh well. Dan asks this today:

If you want different results next year, what will you change in what you are doing now?

I agreed yesterday that change is the key to progress. Something has to change, and I’d like to see it change this year. We already know that I’ve got plans to make changes. My daily 4 lines of text to music is going well and I’m still constantly thinking of ways to make my calling a reality. I talk a lot though. Talk doesn’t make change for progress. I do need to consider my plans very carefully because I have three other human lives that are affected by these decisions. I plan on doing this, of course, but I need to be deliberate in my strategy. Now it’s time for church.

iBook Returns With No Change

I received a call from Visual Graphics and went to pick up my iBook with a replacement drive the day before my warranty expires. Of course, like the car that won’t clunk for the mechanic, she wouldn’t give in to their poking and prodding and they determined that the drive was fine. The night before I brought it in, it wouldn’t stay powered for more than 10 minutes.

I guess if we weren’t SITCOMs then I’d be a lot more comfy with the situation. I’d work with it until it broke and then just run out and get a new PowerBook. They’re coming out today, right? Hah (that’s the rumor anyway).

Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury, so I’ll just be very gentle with Miss iBook and pray that she remains healthy.

I’ve also become pretty excited about performing some solo stuff on stage, but until I can get together the resources to perform effectively (read: money for synth) I’ll restrict myself to writing the stuff I’ll perform.

Daily Progress

Yesterday I promised myself I’d squeeze in a daily activity into my schedule. I didn’t really commit to anything because I’m already reasonably overextended, but I knew it had to be something that was related to my passion.

If nothing else comes of this commitment, I’ll have earned the fruits of practice. Zack pointed out that I already have a daily activity because I take and post pictures of my daughters each day. I think this is one of the most important parts of my day. Now I’ve added to the daily activities with my daughters and have committed to reading two of their books to them each day. This puts my time with the girls at the top of my day and will hopefully strengthen our bond.

But what about something that will advance the progress of my latest goals? Music is it, folks. I can’t say I’ll write or record a song every day. Jonathan makes good use of Oneword.com to practice writing – it’s short and you only have a minute. So I’ve decided that I’m going to put 4 lines of text to music. Any 4 lines at all. Last night, I actually put 16 lines of text to music in a Psalm that I arranged for Sunday. We’ll see what happens tonight.