31 January 2014

January!

It’s been a quick, packed month here! Lots and lots of concrete progress and Things Done:

– Awesome start to my exercise goal with 26 workouts done, progress made on all fronts, and masses of motivation to keep me going far into the future. I have worked my arse off and I am SO proud. (Target was no more than 13 rest-days and I only took 5, despite having a chest infection).

– The album! Crazy to think that when January started, we’d only had one day of editing and nothing was even final – and here I sit with a CD in my hands! There were multiple stages in this process and obstacles to be overcome – once the mixing was done, ordering the CDs, registering for digital distribution, creating the artwork and placing the print orders, and building a website so I can run my own little online CD shop from home. All of the stages to take the music from the studio to the outside world, basically – all that work is DONE, all the hitches overcome, everything ready to go. I have worked my arse off and I am SO proud.

– I gigged twice (which was my minimum target) – that’s good enough. I learned a bunch of new songs that I can’t wait to try out, and got my guitar restrung (which is a hassle as it takes a couple of weeks to play the new strings back in, but it’s sounding better than ever!) I recorded vocals on someone else’s project and wrote lyrics for another with an old musician friend.

– I have cleaned up my act at work and gotten on with the work that needs to be done – I’m also further along with my textbooks than I anticipated. This is something I wasn’t expecting.

Of course, because it’s the same 744 hours as every year, there is a cost to all this – some things have fallen by the wayside:

– Sleep.

– Social life – I haven’t done anything at all to just hang out with people except for lunches, not a single thing. This has taken a bit of getting used to but I’ve had gig nights and studio days and that’s all social time, as well as new interactions on the phone and online. It seems to be OK and I haven’t forgotten anyone’s birthday yet!

– Cleaning – our flat is not rat-infested yet but I haven’t made it through my weekly list every week and it’s not quite as sparkly as it normally is. This too is probably OK!

– Creativity – I’m not up to date with Scrapbooking and I haven’t done much to scrapbook about, but I will get these bits filled in. I’ve done so much on artwork for the album that that’s taken the space, I’ve been keeping up with my origami calendar and I started some art journaling so on balance it’s fine.

For February I’m moving on to the next phase – the steps ahead are quite obvious now:
– Get back to gigging – this is the thing that I MUST DO. You know when there are things that are so obviously going to make you happy and you find every excuse to avoid doing them because you’re scared or you know the learning curve is going to be steep and painful? THAT. But I have to get on with it otherwise I’m just delaying the inevitable. With this goes PRACTICE, lots of it, and learning new songs, and maybe even writing one or two? (Target is anywhere between the original target of 3 gigs and twice a week on average which would be 8).

– Get into the swing with the album, fulfil any CD orders (!!), iron out any bugs, get used to updating the website, take up all the promotional opportunities I can find, see how many copies I can sell. Set up a weekly meeting to make sure I am covering the fulfilment & promotional bases (Mondays!) (Original target was to sell 9 CDs + January’s target of 4 so 13! That must be doable!)

– Keep up with workouts and the escalating programme – more mile swims, add running speed and distance, build strength. It’s the last month of “standard winter” as archery starts in March and running season in April so now is the time to focus in the gym and knuckle down. (Original target was to have no more than 12 rest-days, that shouldn’t be a problem!)

Those are the really important things. Gigging and CDs (ecommerce debut building up to a second income!!) and workouts and waiting for SPRING!

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