I genuinely can’t believe that we’re already into the fourth month of 2018! Where does the time go? If you’re anything like me (I’m sorry) you probably spent a good chunk of this month worrying about and filing your taxes. I dread this time of year – it’s nothing but paperworkpaperworkpaperwork. And scanning and copying and worrying about whether or not I took care of this or did that… and something about kids and daycare and whether or not they’re getting where they’re supposed to go… so much of it is a blur that as I write this (well past midnight) I’m beginning to wonder if I forgot to pick them up.
And then you have the whole transition from Winter to Spring. Trust me, I love getting out of the cold months and into the warm ones. But that also comes with mowing, and pest control, and something akin to landscaping. Which means finding the time to do those things (or finding the money to have someone else do them for you). Today I spent a few good hours caulking the cracks around our upstairs windows. It wasn’t that bad – it gave me a good excuse to act like an absolute teenager and see how many ways I could insert the word “caulk” into a sentence.
More than I could count. Is that something to be proud of or not?
That being said, all of these things (and so many more) have been working against me this past month, trying as hard as they might to completely derail my progress train.
Well they ain’t gonna. Let’s see what’s On The Burner this month.
The Art Of Tactful Procrastination
As of this writing I have finished the music for 11 of the 12 songs on the new album! Yay! Depending on how things go with song 12, I may leave things at 11. I don’t know yet.
What I do know is that I need to get some time away from the home studio (ie: away from the chaos of children and pets) and into… well… pretty much anyplace else so that I can start working on vocals for these things. Most of the songs, apart from “The Storm” (and that’s if I leave it as it is), don’t have all of their lyrics finished yet. They all have some kind of developing thread – an idea here; a phrase there – that has already helped to define their respective themes and intentions, but few have much beyond that. The only ones that have a ton of lyrical pieces put together are “The Storm” (again), “Still No Closer To Tomorrow”, and “If Anybody Asks You”.
Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do there.
Unfortunately, I won’t really get a chance to do anything with these songs in the vocal respect until at least mid-late April. Emily’s booked the weekends for the first half of the month, which means I’ve pretty much got kid duty until she gets through those obligations.
Assuming I remember to pick them up from day care, that is.
In any event, whenever I’ve been getting a few moments I’ve been putting some creative thought into the look and feel of what this album will be. I’m starting to rough out some ideas for music videos, promo vids and other things to generate some buzz. It will be a bit yet before any of those things come to fruition, and I am really hoping to have some other folks on board to help me with that, but it never hurts to get those creative juices flowing.
Who knows – something I do there might feed back into and help develop the lyrical side of the songs.
Speaking of, if you want to be involved in how this is developing and give your feedback, please Join The Mail List and ask to be a part of the listening feedback group.
Marketing And More
I’m still doing a lot of research in this area. Based on my timelines and where I’m getting with everything my suspicion is that I should have a good idea of where I want to go, how I want to target an audience and what I want to say with that targeting sometime this summer.
And based on that research I can already say there’s a good chance I will not be labeling myself Alternative Synth Rock.
BandCamp And Patreon
I’m still developing these two fan community ideas. Both are currently in need of getting a promo/invite video done (which I’ve been working on). BandCamp is relatively self-explanatory in the things I need to create and implement – it’s a completely separate music subscription and community service that I won’t be running through my site.
Patreon, on the other hand, is causing me a headache. I’ve been developing a few different membership areas here on the Ender Bowen website, however, in running tests with them, I’m finding that the Patreon plugin isn’t blocking them from “non-members” like I thought it would. And if I want to offer some kind of special “gift” to members, that month-by-month subscription package Patreon offers (they don’t allow you to do annual subscriptions) makes it kind fo difficult and super risky for me. Sure, I could offer members who subscribe at $5 a month free eBooks and a signed book or other cool, personalized gift, but what if they unsubscribe the following month? On one hand, I’ll have lost a lot of money on that deal. On the other (the other being if a subscriber stays for at least a year) I’ll have people paying $60 a year in that tier and I don’t think that’s realistic or really fair, given what I feel I can offer right now.
I tried playing around with Paid Memberships Pro, but that has the same problem Patreon has regarding content blocking. Thankfully, it does allow you to do annual memberships, but because it’s not a platform in and of itself like either Patreon or BandCamp, it would really be up to me to completely run it… if that’s what I decided to do.
For now, I think I’m going to keep plugging forward with BandCamp, and see what happens down the line with Patreon, or an alternative.
Video Content Development
I don’t have much more to report on this except to say I’m still working on development ideas and, in tandem with some kind of fan community service, extras to go along with them that only subscribers would get to see. Like The Wireless Garage, it will all come. I just have to stick to it and get the bigger projects (like the album) done first.
Blog And Other Written Content
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for God Jots or Operation: Joy. I’ve put so much focus on the album and some of the other side projects (like last year’s website overhaul) that I kind of let that stuff fall to the wayside a bit.
The good news is that I’ve created content calendars for both of those projects. So I have topics and dates all ready to go. Unfortunately, I’m already starting to fall behind in getting some written because I’m having massive writer’s block. I’m not incredibly shocked – I’ve been super stressed with the new baby (dealing with a kind of paternal post partum depression or anxiety), which has made writing lyrics to this album a lot more difficult than I was expecting it to be. It would be odd if that block didn’t manifest in the other written content I’m trying to do as well.
But that’s also why I’ve been trying to do some other stuff with it. You may have noticed the new section I started called The O.T. (or “off topic”). It’s supposed to be silly, random, and stupid. Like me. I enjoyed writing the first entry into this and I’m looking forward to writing more.
No new developments for the cleanup work on my 2003 album. “Consequences” is still in the throes of its first real mixing overhaul which, thankfully, is being handled by someone who is entirely not me!
More on this as it comes.
The Nashville Film Festival
The Kentucky Bourbon feature documentary I edited two years ago (or so) has been accepted into the Nashville Film Festival, which is kind of a big deal! 😛 This is not an easy one to get into (trust me), so I’m way beyond thrilled to get to see my name up on the screen there, and to have been a part of such a phenomenally cool film.
I still don’t know how we all made that work, but that was one heck of a challenge.
When I consider how long it took for that film to get from initial gestation to where it is now (which isn’t the end of its road by a long shot) I’m reminded that the best, most important, most worthwhile things take time. As a result, I look at everything I’m doing and find myself taking a breath to say “be patient.”
It’ll come. It always does.
Social Media Team
Just as one more reminder, I’ve gotten my hands on a cloud-based chat platform called Flock. My intention is to invite my Social Media Team members to it so that we can better keep track of the social media campaigns I have out there, and in so doing push more visibility and engagement with potential and current fans and followers.
Again, if you want to be a part of this team (which is separate from the Listening Feedback one – but you can be a part of both) join the mail list and request that you be added.