photo by Gianassi Photography
Click here to read Brian's bio
Oregon State Fair
McMenamins Grand Lodge
Lange Estate Winery
Rock Bottom Brewery
Fire on the Mountain
Pub at the End of the Universe
There are no upcoming events right now.
As Thanksgiving winds down, I want to observe the holiday by sharing some thoughts, and a new commitment, with all of you.
I am always thankful for the people on this mailing list. Some of you are family and close friends whom I’ve known for many years. Some of you are kind audience members who joined at a show somewhere along the way. Regardless of how you came to be part of this group, please know that I appreciate you greatly. I often hear back from you with words of encouragement. Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading these newsletters, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
I started sending out this newsletter in 2008. It has been the primary source of information on my musical endeavors. Let’s face it, I haven’t had much to report lately. I’ve been pretty much dormant as an artist for more than a year now. Sometimes people will ask me if I’m still making music and I’ll give some vague answer about how I’m “working my way back to it,” but the hard truth is that I haven’t been doing much of anything.
I’ve found it difficult to figure out what, specifically, I want to focus on and how to motivate myself. When I get home from work, I’m often tired and burned out. It becomes all too easy to let things like TV and the internet distract me from working on my music dream, especially when I’m not that clear on how to go about doing that work. The phrase, “I’ll work on that tomorrow,” has become something of a daily motto.
In my last newsletter, I told you I was on my way to a seminar in San Diego. It was lead by a musician named Tiamo De Vettori. I actually got the idea to do custom songwriting for weddings from reading some of his online materials. That business never really got off the ground for me, because I struggled to “close the deal” with potential clients. (I’ve never been much of a salesman.) I went to the seminar hoping to get some insights on that, as well as information on some of the other things Tiamo does, like corporate and academic gigs. My experience at the seminar was enlightening in a number of ways.
For one thing, Tiamo gave a different, more positive way of looking at “selling” my work than the way I’ve always thought of it. Parts of his presentation also helped me to understand that the difficulties I’ve had with that are rooted in certain fears and insecurities that I’ve always had about reaching out to people, particularly people I don’t already know, particularly when I’m asking those people to hire me or buy my music. A good portion of the seminar focused on dealing with those kinds of fears.
Also, the presence of my fellow attendees in San Diego was a breath of fresh air. My routine for much of the past year has been go-to-work, come-home, go-to-bed, repeat. The only people I really spend time with are my coworkers. They’re lovely people, but they are not creative types like me. So spending three days hanging out with other musicians who think, fell, and talk like I do was invigorating. It got my creative energy going and I felt like my old self again. I’d missed that feeling.
During the month since that seminar ended, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the information and ideas that were shared there. I feel like I have some new ideas on how to pursue a career in music, some specific tasks to focus on, and a renewed believe that this is what I am meant to do in life.
So with this newsletter, I am making good on a homework assignment Tiamo gave us. One that I promised - on camera - that I would complete on Thanksgiving Day. This is my Twenty-Eight-Day Commitment letter.
The idea is that if you can do something consistently for twenty-eight days, it will start to become habitual. Consistency has always been a big problem for me. When I have tried to devote time to pursuing my music goals, I get distracted or lose focus far too quickly. Having a well-defined timeframe to hold myself to sounds like a good idea. Here then is my commitment to myself and to all of you.
Starting this Monday, November 28, I will spend twenty-eight days doing everything I can with the time that I have to pursue my music dream one-hundred percent.
For me, this will mean working to explore some of the potentially-lucrative markets that Tiamo’s seminar opened my eyes to. There will be a lot of reading/researching. A lot of e-mails and phone calls. A lot of internal work aimed at getting over the hang ups and anxieties I have around reaching out to people. It will also mean more writing, recording, and practicing. Lastly, it will mean more time spent involving myself in the creative community here in Portland that I have been all to distant from lately.
I usually get home from work at around 5:30 in the evening. Giving myself some time to eat dinner and rest a bit, as well as some time to get ready for bed at the end of the night, this gives me a three-hour window from 7:00 to 10:00 to do whatever I want. Lately, I've ended up giving most of that time to TV and the internet. Now, I’m going to spend it on this. No Facebook, no Netflix, no YouTube. Nothing that doesn’t help me move closer to my goals. I intend to keep to that schedule Monday through Thursday, give myself a little break on Friday, and devote at least three hours per day on Saturday and Sunday.
And we’ll see where I am, come Christmas. There are two things you can do to help me.
One, if you haven’t done so already (and a big thank you to those of you who have), please stop by my website and download a copy of the newly-remixed and reformatted Stuff In The Middle. It’s pay-what-you-want, so go ahead and take it for free, but any amount that you choose to spend will be reinvested into my music goals and every dollar helps. Plus, if you spend at least $5, you’ll get some cool bonus tracks.
My other albums - Songs From The Counter Of The Kettle and my Live From London EP are also available on a pay-what-you-want basis, so if you don’t have either of those, please add them to your collection now!
Two, please hold me accountable. Like I said, I am easily distracted, so having people holding me to task is actually welcome. Feel free to shoot me the occasional e-mail or text to ask how I’m doing, make sure I’m not slacking off, or offer up any advice or encouragement you may have in terms of keeping focused.
Every night at 10:00, I will be posting an update on my Facebook fan page to let everyone know what I’ve been working on and what progress I’ve made. Please check in on me from time to time and make sure I’m staying on task.
Thank you everyone for your friendship and support over the years. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families. I’ll talk to you again soon.
You are visitor number: 19960