It would honestly be a lot easier to tell you what’s not on the burner. I’m very blessed to be able to have so many projects in my lap, but at the same time I feel as though having so much to do could very likely make it impossible to do any of it.
I hope I’m wrong about that.
The Art of Tactful Procrastination Progress
It’s still not happening as quickly as I’d like it to.
Most of my time is spent just trying to keep my guitars in tune, and by the end of March it frustrated me so much that I just put the whole thing down for a couple weeks. I’ve had the Oscar Schmidt taken in for a setup and retuning/restringing, just to make sure I wasn’t doing something stupid, but I don’t think it has helped like I would have liked. I’ve attempted some recording with that guitar on the title track several times in the last two months and I wasn’t happy with any of it.
The good news is I have a nearly-completed song in “Bleeding Heart”, which is a bit of an industrial rocker, I suppose. The main riff and verse vocal melody is pulled from a song I did with Starways Congress back in 2003 called “Cross To Bear”, but everything else including the chorus is brand new. The only thing this song is really missing is a guitar solo, and I haven’t settled on one yet.
Likewise, the song “Addie”, which is designed very much as a pop lullaby, is nearly completed. It’s missing some synth to fill it out, but I have a strong lyrical idea for it, and I imagine I’ll get to singing that one sooner rather than later. I’m really excited about this song because while it is a bit sappy, it fits right in with the theme of the album and connects the dots from birth to growth and the wish to “not grow up”.
Once I get these two more or less locked down I’m off to the next song, which currently doesn’t even have a working title. All I can really tell you to describe it is that it has two entirely different time signatures – one for the chorus and one for the verse. But it’s a little techno and a little punk. Not sure where that’s going yet.
So I’m still a little behind. I wanted to be at 6 songs by this point but I’m not even really through 5. As the year progresses, it’s looking more and more like this might be a 2018 album release. I hate that, but I want it to be right.
The Dream Divide
The first edit of my second free eBook, The Dream Divide, is going to be delivered to Emily today for editing.
This book started much like Operation: Joy in that it was about 40 pages, but then suddenly took off to become about 80. I’m very proud of it as I truly believe it helps to clarify why people in my age range might be struggling to make their dreams happen. It’s not specific to any one person’s situation, but I think it’s got a very good, broad baseline for helping in any given one. We’ll see. I consider it a work in progress because I’d really like to see how well it works and how it can be made better.
It also was originally supposed to be its own thing. In fact, I’d started it long before I’d ever done any of the Operation: Joy stuff, but now I consider it part of that brand. The idea is to expand upon a lot of the ideas I talk about in the various Operation: Joy books with other ones like The Dream Divide. There’s a wealth of potential material there.
Look for this to be available free to Mail List subscribers and on Amazon Kindle most likely in May.
As you may recall, I was working on opening up a Patreon page that would allow supporters to join a paid subscription service that would give them access to various behind the scenes things and upcoming projects etc, as well as allow them to download anything I do that has a digital version – including music and books.
I was almost ready to launch it this month, but midway through creating a welcome video, I ended up shelving it. Why? Because I don’t feel I actually have enough to offer that’s worth paying for in such a way. I only have two of my albums available for digital download, and the only books I will have available in the forthcoming year are books that my mail list subscribers will be able to get for free. I just didn’t think it right to charge for that stuff.
I also couldn’t figure out how to make the payment tiers work in a way that was fair. I didn’t even really like the idea of tiered access either. I want anyone who is part of such a club to have access to all the same things. I don’t want to give out pieces to each group. I feel like that’s a little cheap.
I have, however, researched a ton of potential alternatives, including just running a paid fan club directly from my website. The more and more I look at this option, the more and more I feel it’s the way I want to go. But that’s still, I think, far in the future.
Speaking of the website itself, I’m putting it through a big SEO overhaul that will likely take the entire year to accomplish, as I’m only doing pieces at a time. It’s really difficult to work on an album, write books, write articles, promote myself as much as possible and on top of all that, do some insane SEO stuff. As a result, the SEO stuff comes when I have a moment or seven to spare.
As it is, I went really light on my article writing this month in order to focus on The Dream Divide and the album. With the book done it should be a little easier for me to use that time to write blog posts and get them out to you. I feel like I’m building something really big here so I have to keep moving along with it.
Really quickly… please follow me on Spotify. As of this writing I have 14 followers, and I need 250 in order to get control of my artist profile and to do amazing things with it! I would really appreciate it.
One last thing…
I have a friend who is in many ways into a lot of the same things I am – primarily when it comes to inspiring Joy. I wanted to give his and his wife’s project a big plug.
Please go to their website and check out their series of children’s books entitled Zen Pig. I highly recommend getting your hands on one (or the hardcover anthology). These aren’t like typical children’s books – they’re about mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, acceptance, and so many of the other values that generate a peaceful, happy life.
And every book purchased generates enough proceeds to give 10 people access to clean water for 1 year! That’s huge!
The books are written by Mark, and illustrated by his wife Amy.
Get a copy today. I did, and it’s spectacular! Love seeing this kind of thing from my friends and I can’t wait to help and inspire Joy in the same way.