Next week I turn 28. Time for my annual life crisis.
Every year around this time, I melt into a pool of worry, regret, dissatisfaction and depression. I’m sure this isn’t the way you’re supposed to feel around your birthday, but for over-optimistic and under-achieving perfectionists like myself, I guess it should come as no surprise.
Maybe I enjoy summer so much that I don’t make much progress on my goals and it leaves me feeling blue. Or maybe reflecting upon another year gone by has left me feeling underwhelmed by how far (or not) I’ve come.
I’m trying to fight it this year with gratefulness. I made a list in of things I’m grateful for in Evernote, and I’m aiming to look at it and add to it daily…
- A beautiful, loving, silly fiancé (a love of 7 years) who I’ll be marrying on a beach in Playa del Carmen a year from now
- A large, loving, supportive and awesome family (and everyone’s health and success)
- My own health (fairly ideal weight, good habits, average seeing a doctor about once per decade)
- Owning my own business – most people work their entire lives and never experience the freedom I have
- Musical ability – most people neglect to develop their talents
- Many hobbies (mainly fishing this year) – most people don’t have (or make) time to pursue hobbies
When I start sinking into depression, either my blood sugar has plummeted and I need a Twizzler or two (I’m a crazed hypoglycemic) or I need to practice gratefulness. Because it’s hard to be sad when you’re grateful.
The next thing I’m doing is hiring help. I tried to write, record, produce, mix, and master a new song every week. I failed after 8 weeks because A) I wasn’t happy with the results, and B) I was doing way too much and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
So I’m looking into a few companies that offer mixing & mastering services. If I could limit what I do to writing, recording, and creating the layers of the song, I’d be a happy songwriter. Sure, I’d have to give up some control. And perfectionists suck at this. But frankly, I feel like a subpar mixing engineer. And you can’t be perfect (or even good) at anything if you try to be perfect at everything.
Turning On Comments
I tried the Seth Godin approach of disabling comments on my blog over the years. It was nice to not have to deal with the clutter (removing spam, moderating idiots, etc), but I miss the community. I miss interacting with the readers and listeners. You can always email me, but comments let you interact with each other. And I think that matters.
I have to be honest here. I hate playing shows. Not for any good reason. Honestly, I’m just afraid. I’m afraid I’ll forget the words. I’m afraid I’ll screw something up. I get nervous that people won’t show up — or worse — that no one will care. I think every artist feels this way. There’s something about being naked that is downright terrifying. But hiding in your room isn’t the answer. That’s what resistance wants you to do. It bullies you into shutting up and wants you to give up.
So I’m going to start playing more shows. I don’t know where or when. I’d like to play more house concerts. But for now, I guess I’ll go back to some of the venues I’ve played before and try some new coffeehouses, restaurants, and churches. It’d be refreshing to meet some new listeners.
A Songwriting Blog?
I’m thinking about starting a songwriting blog. A place to write some things I’ve learned about songwriting over the years. I’m no guru, but I have written a few thousand songs and published over 70. So that must count for something.
What do you think? Would you be interested in reading my songwriting tips? Should I create a new blog site and post those things there or should I just lump them in here on this blog?
Leave a comment and let me know.
Do you ever get depressed around your birthday, or is it just me? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sticking with me all these years. I’m especially grateful for you.