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

Behavioral Change Odds (Stacked in Your Favor)

Thanks to the outlet I have in space-age wasteland (and the fact that people continue to read it), I apparently have a 95% chance of making my vocational changes work. This Occupational Adventure post points out that:

[A 1993 BYU study] shows the chances of a change being incorporated into one’s life in various scenarios. When a person…

Says, “That’s a good idea.” 10%
Commits, “I’ll do it.” 25%
Says when they’ll do it. 40%
Plans how to do it. 50%
Commits to someone else. 60%
Sets a specific future time to share progress with person they committed to. 95%

I’m making significant progress on my goals. Thanks!

Day 3 of 48

Today, I read Chapter 4 of 48 Days… which started off talking about goals and actions. If there are two things I can handle, David Allen made sure they were goals and actions.

Dan Miller outlines a 5-step decision-making process:

  1. State the Problem: Easy. My career and my calling don’t match. I don’t work in what I’m passionate about (music).
  2. Get the advice and opinions of others. I’ve been working on gathering information from resources on the songwriting and publishing businesses and talking to friends, colleagues and other musically inclined folks.
  3. List the alternatives. I kinda did that here. I know there are still more alternatives. I found out about Pump Audio yesterday. They provide bumper and background music for television programmers and advertisers. The catch is that they draw upon independent artists and have a revolutionary system for their clients to find the music they’re looking for. I think with enough practice, this could be a viable mechanism for success – I just need practice.
  4. Choose the best alternative. Here’s where I’m struggling now. I have a regular full-time job, a half-time youth ministry position, a new family and I’m trying to launch as many of these passion-based ideas as possible to gain a foothold somewhere. I think to just survive I’ll need to spread out my proverbial eggs. I just need some focused direction here.
  5. Act. The pudding’s in the details, isn’t it? If this were easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s not though. The counter-intuition really kicks in here and says “don’t jump” – but I have to.

An important detail of this process is that it should take a maximum of two weeks. While reviewing some old scribblings in my Moleskine today, I saw that I first mentioned this whole “I need to be doing my passion” rant on March 23rd. That’s more than seven months. Seven months is more than two weeks. C’mon Bryan.

Dan mentions having a goal, natch. Luckily, David Allen got to me first, so I’ve probably got a few gimme days here. His criteria for vocational goals are much like the Fred Gratzon passion intersections I mentioned previously. I know what these are, and I also have specific goals for my family, my income and my health that are in my “Someday/Maybe” (I really like to make more of a commitment than ‘maybe’).

I’m still really enjoying (and I predict benefiting) from reading this book. I did do a quick countdown today and the 48th day is December 9th. I’m hoping to be working hard on my new vocation by then, and I’d like to see lots of you local readers at a show in January.

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.

Day 1 of 48

Those of you who know I’m the prince of the non-sequitur probably aren’t alarmed at all by my title. To clear things up anyway it’s a reference to the beginning of my journey to the work I love. Tonight, I started reading Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love. 48 Days to the Work You Love Dan suggests following the steps in his book within 48 days, so I’ll use some sparsely written posts here on space-age wasteland to keep me honest. Tonight, I’ll publicly answer one of his questions:

Respond to the statement, “All progress requires change, but not all change is progress.”

Progress, to me, is forward motion toward a goal. For me to, say, make progress toward my goal of paying off my house by 2007 a seemingly drastic change must occur – I don’t make enough money to do that now. If I want to make progress toward my goal of doing something I’m passionate about, then I need to change my behaviors for work, take some risks and probably a bunch of other things I’ll read in the upcoming chapters of the book. I understand change is necessary. This all reminds me of a line from the BBC version of The Office:

It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than half way up one you don’t.

My last thought is just a reference to an article that I found via this Occupational Adventure post. It’s a long article, but it moved me enough to print out a copy and hand it into my manager in my annual performance review. Good stuff. Good night.