The end of a decade. This is usually the time of year that we reflect on the previous year and look to what’s ahead in the coming new year. But this is 2009 and we are all reflecting on the previous year AND decade and looking to what’s ahead in the coming new decade.
When I started 2009, my goal was simply this: Reach new fans. I launched a campaign on January 1, 2009, to give away free copies of “Between the Whiskey and the Wine”. Within the first 3-4 months, I had given away 1000 copies for free. I did not keep track of this beyond those numbers, but requests continued to come in throughout the year and I continued to see more people steadily subscribe to my email newsletter. I feel good about that. I feel good about reaching new people.
My songwriting has continued to grow and stretch. I wrote some good things that I am excited about recording in the future. I feel good about the fact that I have stayed true to myself and my values. I have continued to write the songs that I hear in my head and feel in my heart. I have continued to stay open to what is real, and I have not compromised myself for what an industry or culture demands.
It has been a tough year financially. One of my very dear friends was to be the executive producer for my CD, and he passed away 1 week before recording. 1 month later I was laid off from my day job. I secured a full time job 2 months later, only to be laid off again one month before Christmas. Through the help of friends and family, I have managed to continue to have a roof over my head and finish the new CD, appropriately titled, “Wrong Is What I Do Best”.
Typically, downturns in economic situations cause us to reflect on what is truly valuable in our lives. I had hoped that this would be the “good” outcome of the worldwide recession that we have experienced. That we would see a return to values. That we would remember the value of family, relationships, love and human connectedness – all of the things that truly last beyond the material wealth and youthful appearances that we have seemed to value more than anything else.
A change of values could give an opportunity for music to flourish once again - for people to draw towards songs of lyrical genuineness and musical creativity.
All I can do is talk in the small world I am in. All I can do is sing to the few people that will listen. All I can do is write for the person that I am inside. I will continue to do this in the coming year. I don’t know what will happen regarding events that publicists and promoters look at to define “success” in the music business. But I will continue to create those thoughts and sounds that are real to me and hopefully resonate with others as well.
As simple and as easy as this seems, it is not so. I feel sometimes that I am one step away from giving up my creative side and the heartache I continually experience from an industry that doesn’t give a damn about creativity and seems to embrace only conformity.
Discovering my true inner creativity has changed my life. 10 years ago, you would not recognize me as who I am today. I am glad for the last 10 years – for my own personal growth and self-discovery and my continued connection with real people around me.
I am SO thankful for all of YOU, the fans. I save every email and letter. I cherish every genuine expression of gratitude for my music.All the best to you in 2010 and beyond.