We are officially well into 2020. As we are diving into this new year, and depending on how you define it, new decade, while I have natural inclination to **NOT** make 'resolutions', I do believe it is a healthy idea to set goals for the things that are important, so that we have some way to measure how we are doing along the way.
With that in mind, I have set these goals for myself this year:
1. Songwriting goals. While it's true that creativity can't be "scheduled", I think we creative types often allow that to be an excuse to get lazy and not 'work' at our craft, using the excuse that we're 'waiting for the muse' to move us. Last year I did a 7 day songwriting
challenge, and forced myself to write a song a day for 7 days. One of the things I learned through that experience is that sometimes the 'muse' needs a good kick in the ass to get her into gear! Not all 7 of the songs were masterpieces, but most were worthwhile songs that I continue to perform. This year I am setting a songwriting goal to write at least one new song per month during the year, and to participate in at least one multi-day songwriting challenge during the year. By the end of the year I am aiming to have written at least 15 to 20 new songs between January 1 and December 31, 2020. I don't expect it to be 'easy', but I do believe it is doable, and will push me to keep my songwriting skills sharp.
2. Performance goals. Currently almost all of my musical performances are in SecondLife. I intend to continue doing shows in the virtual venues, and to try to improve my shows, using a wider variety of the instruments and technological tools I have at my disposal (loopers, keyboards, special effects pedals, etc. ) in addition to taking a serious look at the songs I perform, and trying to honestly evaluate which ones I do well, and which ones I should put in the "it's better for me to listen to that on spotify' list. I do plan to work on doing more dual streaming with other performers in SecondLife. While I don't have any specific goals for that, I hope to be doing dual streaming at least once every couple of months or so by the end of the year. I believe in using the talents I have to do positive things for others as well, so I'm planning to do shows for 'Feed a smile' and other charity/benefit related groups. Additionally, I want to do more live video streaming shows on Facebook, YouTube, and Street Jelly - at least once a quarter.
3. Recording goals. With all the songwriting I'm planning to do this year, I am planning to record and release several singles and at least one full-length album. I haven't set timelines on those, but I hope to release a new song at least once every couple of months,
and to release an album by late summer. Recording and releasing my music is really not about trying to 'sell' it as much as it is keeping me focused on sharing my creative vision with others. I perform it in my shows, but there are people who have never come to one of my shows, and never will, who have found my music speaks to them, and that is extremely encouraging and satisfying to me as a songwriter-performer.
4. Writing goals. During 2019, I started writing this blog, and it's my goal to write more consistently during 2020. At least once a month I'd like to have a new article posted here about various music subjects. Writing a blog keeps me thinking about music and about how I can improve who I am as a singer-songwriter. In addition, in late 2019, I released my first book about music, "Say What You've Got To Say: A songwriter's perspective".
During 2020, I'd like to complete and release at least 2 more books about songwriting. I have had several people tell me they would love to write songs but don't know how, and I'd like to take my stab at writing a workbook for songwriters, and also perhaps a book on using a guitar as a songwriting tool, for those who don't consider themselves guitarists/musicians. I find I have many ideas brimming to the surface, so I'd like to distill some of those ideas into at least a couple of books to share some of my ideas with others.
Whew! As I look at the list I've created so far, it looks like it is going to be a busy year! That can be daunting, but it is also exciting! I've been making music for decades, but I find as we are launching into this year/decade that I am more excited about digging down deep inside and bringing out my creativity than I have been in for a long time. I think it's going to be a very good year for me musically. Obviously, posting this here now means that when the year is drawing to a close, I will be posting a follow up to evaluate how well I did at reaching my goals.
What about you? What do you want to accomplish musically this year? I suspect your goals will be very different than mine, but I'd love to hear from you about your music goals for 2020. How are you going to challenge yourself to accomplish more musically this year than you did last year? If you haven't signed up here, please do, and then you can leave your comments here about your goals this year. Alternatively, you can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org , but I'd really love to have you join us and post them here so others can be inspired by your goals as well! Even if you're not a songwriter, or even a musician, there are ways that you can use music to make a difference, because music DOES matter!
-♫ M ♫-