#FAWM, Day 1, Song 1: A Lover’s Lover

Okay, so it’s day 1 of FAWM 23, and I’ve uploaded song #1, A Lover’s Lover.

What else am I doing on day 1 of FAWM 23? Continuing my read of Digital Minimalism. I do like minimalism, don’t I? I’m almost finished reading Essentialism. Similar ideas.

Both validate my whole POV anyway. But it’s always good to be reminded and to realize you’re not alone in thinking these things and in practicing them, too.

What to do about social media is always a struggle, but it’s good to know the best way to deal with technology is to choose the parts you find essential and to toss the rest.

Take FAWM, for example. It is a bit social media-like and can trigger the dopamine rush checking to see how many comments you get and what people are saying about your music, but it’s also the motivation I need to get some music done. So, overall, I find it worth keeping.

Now, on to some more reading and writing and listening. That’s how FAWM works. You listen to others and they listen to you and you often discover some real gems – both people and music – along the way.

Emotionally Sober (#FAWM Countdown)

As I count down the days until FAWM (just 1 more day) I’m catching up on my reading. Julia Cameron’s latest book, Write for Life: Creative Tools for Every Writer (a 6-week Artist’s Way Program), hits me with this thought: Emotionally Sober.

Struck sober at age twenty-nine, I was at the mercy of my moods. Without alcohol to buffer them, my moods were savage. I needed a new way to write and to live. I needed to be emotionally sober. – Julia Cameron, Write for Life.

She stays sober by writing her morning pages daily and by writing 2 pages of whatever writing project she is working on.

Another thing that inspired me was reading Becca Syme’s words of wisdom in yesterday’s email, about February Social Media Challenge (no social media for the first 30 minutes of your day):

If I could put my finger on the one piece of advice I give the most often recently, for any number of different problems, it would by far be: just stop with the social media. – Becca Syme

This answer might solve:

  • Empathy problems (where the Empathy Strength is overloaded by too many people having access to your emotions)
  • Input problems (where you’re using low-quality social media input to fill the well, but it’s only making a penny instead of a dollar because it’s also taking things from you)
  • Intellection problems (where you’re “really quick”ing yourself into social media when you’re stuck, only to realize it’s not making you unstuck
  • Strategic problems (where you’re avoiding the pain of being stuck by soothing on social media)
  • Learner problems (where this one time, you learned something on social media, and now your Learner is getting co-opted by your dopamine receptors into doing social media “really quick”)
  • Relationship-Building problems (where you’re isolated and lonely, and you’re hoping social media will fill your bucket, but again, it’s pennies instead of dollars)
  • Influencing problems (where you’re not getting the impact you want, and you’re hoping social media will give you some impact hits, but again, pennies, not dollars)

Yes, we all know this, right, but sometimes, we need to hear it from somebody outside of ourselves, sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already know, and sometimes we learn something new about something we thought we knew.

My Sacred Space for FAWM Madness

On this Saturday night on the last weekend before the FAWM madness (a challenge to write 14 songs in 28 days) begins, I’m organizing my studio, but especially my sacred space. But I’m *supposed* to be working on my novel.

But it’s only 4 days until February 1st, which is the first day of FAWM, and I can’t wait to get started. The forums are already busy. Some are posting photos of their studios. But instead of doing that, I think I might need to post a photo of the part of my studio that is my sacred space – a tribute to the past that is so important to me.

So I run over to the den in the front of the house where the hubster is working on his novel.

Me: “Can you hear what’s happening in my studio?”

Him: “No.”

Me: “Well, it isn’t writing.”

We laugh hilariously!

So what was I doing instead of writing? On my way to the computer to open my wip, I looked at my vinyl records and pulled out “Spinout” and started playing it. And that led to the other albums, like “The Onstage” album, dated February 1970. Interesting it was February. And 1970 was the year I saw Elvis perform in person. Who knew all these Februarys later I’d be participating in the annual “February Album Writing Month,” writing 14 songs in 28 days.

You see, when I unpacked our stuff after the cross country move last fall, I found several of my vinyl records still intact. They have survived zillions of moves, including a step dad who loved to toss things out, roommates, my tendency to lose things, and an exhusband! It’s a miracle!


My Playlist Muse (#amwriting #amproducing)

Okay, so I’m having an awesome week so far. Getting out there for my morning walk smelling the beautiful Florida morning grass (mostly dirt in Vegas – lol), getting inspired by some awesome music, and then getting to my studio for some productive writing and music production.

My current favorite song is from… who else but Wolf Kier. His song “We Give We Take” from his soon to be released Life of Love album really touches some emotion that compels me to write, when I had almost given up on it. He has this gift of tapping into edginess and vulnerability at the same time.

It pulls out both sides of my artistry of working on both fiction and music. I’m now pumped for FAWM 2023 and working on my novel.

So, buckle up for a real treat:

And while we’re at it, check out this one, too:

Walk for Life, Write for Life #writing #music #inspiration

Tall, dark, and handsome with a laid-back personality and a slight southern drawl, my step dad was liked by pretty much everyone. I didn’t think of him as a step dad back then – he was just dad. So as step dads go, he was pretty easy to get along with. But looking back, I have two insights into our relationship: (1) he respected my boldness and talent (2) he resented my existence. And knowing what I know now, I resented his.

One thing he said to me that I never forgot was “You’re dreaming your life away.” Wondering why he said that, I remembered how I would take solo walks to think about life. I found it quite inspiring and was the way I sorted through things. How I processed the past and dreamed, yes, dreamed of the future. Was this a bad thing? Was I missing out on life because of it? Those words haunted me.

Continuing to read Julia Cameron’s latest book called Write for Life, I noted this:

Inspiration comes to us as we walk. Novelist John Nichols walks daily. So do I (Julia Cameron), and so does Natalie Goldberg who said, “I will tell you what I have learned myself: for me, a long five- or six-mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.”

Emma Lively, writer and composer, walks daily. As she walks, she daydreams. She experiences hunches, inklings, and inspiration. coming home, she sets her hand to the page, writing out melodies and scenes for her musicals. Lively believes what Ueland wrote: “Imagination needs noodling: long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling and puttering…”

Aha! I wasn’t “dreaming” my life away, I was getting inspiration for a life as an artist, a writer, a musician, a songwriter. What that also tells me is that no, I don’t have to make a choice between writing and music. There is much writing in music, musical theater, lyrics, story. Who knows where my writing will take me, what shape it will take. It could only be in song or it could be in novel or short story or playbook form.

And walking and dreaming and thinking is vitally important.

I’ve really been expanding my walks in the neighborhood, either staying within walking distance from my home or getting in the car to drive a couple of miles to another part of our “neighborhood,” with lakes and woods and trails, all so beautiful and amazing and inspiring. I’m looking forward to returning and taking photos.

Yesterday, I walked the neighborhood and discovered a path to a golf course. Walking, exploring, daydreaming… and when I returned home, I finished a song that I’d been stuck on. Walking, so inspiring!

Why We Must Go Big or Go Home

Rethinking yesterday’s blog post as I read the next section of Essentialism. In making choices, an essentialist tries out several things before committing to one. One question to ask is, “Do I want to go big with this idea?” If not, move on. You can’t go big with two things. I must choose, writing or music.

Reading Julia Cameron’s latest “Artist Way” book, Write for Life, I notice she repeatedly says how she “loves to write.” I enjoy it when I’m in the mood. Sometimes I absolutely must write. But I don’t love it! When I first started writing fiction, I would take all day to get around to it. 4 pm, as I recall. Resistance is a thing, sure. But with music, I can get right to it.

She mentions how writing keeps her company. And I recall that when I was home alone, yes, writing did keep me company. I was going through something big back then. Julia has a writer’s dog, I had a writer’s cat. In some ways, he was my emotional support cat during that time. Skipper loved books and sleeping in my comfy office chair as I sat at the computer and wrote. It was quiet. He was quiet. Except when it was time to eat – lol!

He hated it when I started creating music. So noisy! In the 4 1/2 years since he’s been gone (he lived 18 1/2 years), I’ve been focusing mostly on music.

The third thing that happened yesterday that led me to rethinking yesterday’s blog post on my latest idea on how I can juggle writing and music was reading this interview with the composer behind the theme song of Miss Scarlett and the Duke. I want to be him. I would love to watch him work. So inspiring. Makes me wish I’d been more dedicated to my piano lessons.

That song has inspired ideas for my take on a similar song. I shared that in this post, “How to Tell if You’re a Writer or Musician.” I’m so looking forward to fleshing it out during FAWM. Music is what I love! That’s what I want to go big with. I guess there’s a reason for cliches such as “Go big or go home.” There’s truth to them.

2023: The Year of Submissions (Indie Gold Rush Is Over)

I’ve been agonizing over which path to choose to go all in: writing or music. And I haven’t been able to make a decision. I started reading Essentialism about the importance of choosing to do only the things that are the most important. Still trying to figure out which is more essential to me: music or writing.

And then I read an email from Becca Syne called “The Indie Publishing Gold Rush Is Over” and it all clicked. No wonder I’d lost interest in writing. Although I’d started out with an agent and a few publishing contracts, I had become an Indie Author and it was pretty awesome in its heyday. But those times are long over. And I mean long over!

So I turned my attention to music. After all, it was my first love. And I’m madly in love with this journey, but, once again, what future is there in that?

And then Haterade, a music producer from Sonic Academy, put out a tech tip video on YouTube today called “How to Set Up a Release Plan” about the importance of finishing a song and submitting it to a label or some place.

So, that’s my answer. I can work on my stories and music but only for submissions. I already submitted a short story today. No more Indie this or Indie that. Not for me. Not in 23.

Let’s see what this year brings!