2 First Steps to Music

Though putting my entire energy, heart and soul into my passion from the beginning, at this stage in my life it would be a poor choice. I am intent, however, on achieving my goals through persistence and passionate work. Today, I’ve put two things into motion to start making things move for my new vocation.

  1. I started packaging a kit to have a liturgical piece of mine published. I have several of these that are worthy of publication, but most of them aren’t in publisher-ready form. I’ve got one based on Psalm 67 that just needs a rough recording and it will be sent to WLP for review. This is just the first of many.
  2. I started recording a song this afternoon. Its composition and arrangement were completely finished for my last band, but we never got to perform it. This is an unfortunate situation because it’s a really catchy song. I’m proud to announce that it will debut here on Space-age Wasteland. This, however, will develop into a solo performance project for me to carry around town.

The plan is to spend my spare time working on this sort of thing. I’ll keep you updated each step of the way. I’m excited.

Dropkick those Obstacles (My First 5 to 1)

…and the meme multiplies: Curt writes this yesterday. He’s obviously sneaking into my brain and doing his best to talk me into doing what I know I should. I’ll try his exercise even (think of 5 possibilities to get around each obstacle): First Obstacle: No one is going to pay me to play, write, teach, or record music.
Five Possibilities to overcome (This ought to be a real treat):

  • I could spread my time capital among all aspects to diversify my investment, capitalizing on playing out in venues that pay well, writing lots of quality music for publication and reuse, teaching lessons and making commissioned recordings
  • I could look for an institution that would provide a salary for me to provide their musical needs (school, church… and those are the only two I can think of right now).
  • I could seek employment at a music store. This strays from my passion and puts me into sales a bit, but I have sales experience.
  • I can focus on a business idea I have which is almost to form a sort of ‘school of rock’ which (in short) will be a zen-and-the-art-of-modern-ensemble to apply what I’ve learned from many years in large organized ensembles to my experience with small modern ensembles. Think of it as band class for rock.
  • I can work freelance for a more flexible schedule that gives me more time to pursue the music. This is sort of the middle ground.

That was easier than I thought, thanks Curt. I think I’ll do this for every obstacle I can think of. That’s all for now.

For Now… It’s Music

If you haven’t already concluded this from the last two weeks of posting, my day job is draining the life out of me. From comments here, discussions outside of the blogosphere and my own personal reflections I have decided that a music career is what will fulfill me on every level. It’s my passion.

I think, commercially, it will have to be a combination of teaching, performing, composing, and recording but nothing about any of those four facets scares me. I also can’t promise when I’ll have completed enough research and work to move enough “Bryan Stock” into this project to call it a career. I am committing to take steps, however, and substantial steps. It’s time to do more than write about it. It’s an official goal now.

…Like Everything I’ve Ever Heard Before

It’s funny. I know I read this back in May, but sometimes repetition of a theme really is worth it. Formalization counts for something to. I suppose we should all get together and write a book about this process, or has Fred already done that (it is on my reading list, by the way, I’m just a little slow)?

Reading and writing about this process, this vocational shift, is profoundly easier than doing it. Everything I hear is telling me that something needs to be changed. One third of each of my weekdays is fraud. I can only look at myself with shame. What could it possibly take for me to make the change that I know in my heart is required for my personal success? How can I make the change without injuring my family?

The force pulling me in this direction only grows stronger. I suppose that it’ll get much harder before it gets easier.

The Prequel to ‘Finding Your Calling’

Ok, so I wasn’t so clear about how I actually went through the exercise early Friday Morning. After reading back over the post, I realize that it looks like I skipped the first two steps, but they were just done on paper. Now I’ll share them in hopes that a review of them will give me stronger results.

My Gifts:

  • Musical Performance
  • Facts and Trivia
  • Instruction
  • Performance
  • Technological Proficiency
  • Strong Faith
  • Communication and Conversation

My Passions:

  • Creating, Writing and Performing
  • Being a Positive Influence on Others
  • Systemization

More Specific Passions:

  • Music Electronics/Synthesis/Gear
  • Live Music
  • Liturgical Music
  • New-Media/Design and Technology Aggregation and Integration
  • Keeping up with Technology Trends

It is from these gifts and passions that I drew Friday’s ‘Passion Intersections:’

  • Music Technology Instruction – Teaching people (kids?) the correlation, history, and future possibilities of music with computers, computer based instruments, etc..
  • Musical Resource Development – I write a lot of liturgical music, most of which could be used even worldwide and receive modest payment for it.
  • Musical Performance – I could always gig but this is an obvious one I’ve intentionally stayed away from as a career choice since I left for college – why?
  • Technology Instruction – I’ve actually done this before with much success, but never in my current market so it might be worth testing the waters of SC.
  • Leadership Instruction – I’m an effective leader of young people but this market might be slim.
  • Productivity Instruction – I think I’d get a big kick out of doing GTD-style training to executives and watching the results as they become more productive, but this is an odd market to break into, and the local market is probably intensely slim.
  • Buzz Consulting – How is this even on the list, huh? I don’t even know where this could go but with my ability to get a good overview-like knowledge of emerging technology very quickly, I’m a good box drawer. I’m good at coming up with systems (at a high level) that will work once the boxes are connected by the right programmers and designers.

This is, of course, still a work in progress. But there was some confusion so I think this should clear some things up. I appreciate the comments and assistance.

Fred’s ‘Finding Your Calling’ Exercise and Invitations

Recently, Fred Gratzon over at The Lazy Way to Success posted a very interesting article outlining a method for “finding your calling.” Seeing as how this seems to be the meme of the year and I mentioned it in my last post, I figured it would be a good idea to actually exercise this method.

My ‘intersections of passion’ (on pass #1) are listed below. Some may have a commercial component, some I can’t even imagine being existing jobs. Does that discount anything? Probably not. I’m inviting feedback on these intersections (invite #1).

  • Music Technology Instruction – Teaching people (kids?) the correlation, history, and future possibilities of music with computers, computer based instruments, etc..
  • Musical Resource Development – I write a lot of liturgical music, most of which could be used even worldwide and receive modest payment for it.
  • Musical Performance – I could always gig but this is an obvious one I’ve intentionally stayed away from as a career choice since I left for college – why?
  • Technology Instruction – I’ve actually done this before with much success, but never in my current market so it might be worth testing the waters of SC.
  • Leadership Instruction – I’m an effective leader of young people but this market might be slim.
  • Productivity Instruction – I think I’d get a big kick out of doing GTD-style training to executives and watching the results as they become more productive, but this is an odd market to break into, and the local market is probably intensely slim.
  • Buzz Consulting – How is this even on the list, huh? I don’t even know where this could go but with my ability to get a good overview-like knowledge of emerging technology very quickly, I’m a good box drawer. I’m good at coming up with systems (at a high level) that will work once the boxes are connected by the right programmers and designers.

Ok, that’s pass #1.

I’d like to nearly shift the focus of space-age wasteland to this sort of passion/goal-seeking mentality. It’s not a big stretch considering what I’ve written about in the past. I’m going to post updates on these sorts of exercises and goals in my life. Invitation #2 is for you to come along. In the comments of this post, it’d be rad (yeah, I said ‘rad’) to see feedback of my ‘intersections of passions,’ the results of your calling exercises and some discussion of the results of each.

My next post could be an announcement of steps I’ve taken to advance one of these ideas, maybe it’ll be motivation for you to follow. It could also be another pass at this exercise because I found that the results were lousy. I hope to hear from you. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Who does what they want?

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about only doing what you’re really passionate about. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look at daringfireball.net, lazyway.blogs.com or slackermanager.com. It seems to be one thing to really take on your dreams if you’re already someone of note, either electronically or professionally. But what if you’re just a space-age cipher with a ton of chutzpah?

I’m a big fan of the ideal: work your passions. The things you love, you’ll love to be good at, you’ll love to persist at, and you’ll really love when you succeed. The problem is most people are living in a hamster cube. Who has broken free? What did it for you? What was your secret, what was your drive?

I’ll anxiously await your comments. It doesn’t even have to be your finished story. Maybe you’ve got a friend. Maybe you’re almost there and you’ve got a plan to finish. Or maybe you just want to know the same things I do.

Help Sleepless Nights

Another (near) month without a post. I’ll start by saying my life has been busy. My wife gave birth to our second daughter. She’s a wonderful blessing even though it’s been quite an adjustment. I took 2 weeks of (unpaid) paternity leave time in order to help Cindy adjust to having two at once all day long, which was a pleasure. All of this comes in the wake of my acceptance of a part time job as Youth Minister at my Church and of my Father’s passing, which has weighed heavily on my work, life and heart.

Last night was particularly difficult to endure for some reason. I laid in bed for what seemed like hours: grieving, being afraid of what is unknown and really just thinking too much. I don’t know what finally led me to slumber, but this isn’t a problem I wish to continue having. I’m not a fan of chemical sleep aids because they tend to keep me down for longer than I like to be asleep (and they’re chemicals) and I don’t really have any reason that I just layed awake for so long – so it’s hard to come up with a probable solution.

So my call for help now is, how do you all (assuming some of you are still there) get over whatever you’re thinking about and fall asleep on those particularly thoughtful nights?