Saturday, January 3, 2015

Could The End Be Near? Decade Milestones A Telltale Sign? History Says No.

Here it is 2015 and I just realized I started this blog a decade ago.  Happy New Year, by the way, whoever you are (voices in my head?).  Haven't posted much, but have ramped it up in recent years a bit.  Still have no idea if anyone is reading it, but don't care, since it feels good to write about my hobby here at

A couple years after I started this blog, I started my website.  Neither was hard to figure out.  I have intentionally not taken it too seriously, choosing only to post content to either when I felt like it.  Slowly but surely I've steadily made improvements and upgrades over the years.  Just like my songwriting hobby, I've eased into the blogging and web site stuff slowly.

Last year marked a decade of releasing an album every other year, and in four more years it will be a decade of selling my music officially in online music stores.  Slow and steady improvement in all of this stuff, in my own opinion anyway.  Maybe 10 years is a nice number for a life chapter, although to be honest, I started this whole hobby in 1989, so it's going on a quarter of a century strong so far, and despite a few droughts of a few months here and there, has shown no signs of letting up.

Only when the urge strikes do I even attempt updating the blog, the website, writing a new song, or recording a new song.  Seems like since I didn't follow this pattern for releasing albums, opting instead to stick to a steady schedule, it would make sense if I tried to write one blog post per month.  I pulled it off last year for the first time.  Unlike my album release schedule, I didn't have a stockpile of posts first ready to record and release well into the future.

It just so happens that I'm now really almost out of songs, and am in the process of finishing recording all the songs I ever set out to record.  More formally record in multitrack digital, anyway.  The first take cassette tapes don't count, in my mind, since they were mostly practice exercises instead of actual songs.  I've gotten a little better here and there over the years, in small noticeable ways, and more than anything involved with the craft, I'm better at rewriting now. 

Re-writing and then either re-recording or recording new the songs is what I should be able to finish up by the end of this year, considering available free time.  There are about 40 or so remaining to do.  These are the bottom of the barrell songs that I've deemed just barely borderline-worthy enough to rewrite, or for good reason have procrastinated recording over the years.  Many of the re-records are ones that didn't make the cut on past albums.

So, my next release should be the best of the last batch of not very good songs, but I feel compelled to exhaust the current lyric/chord stockpile.  About another 10-15 beyond those 40 are lyric-only documents I need to write music for.  Then there are about 50 more documents of starts to songs and very incomplete lyrics I might revisit.

Of course there will be weed-outs, and not enough to result in two album's worth of material.  The drawback here is I'm possibly wasting time on songs that are not good enough to begin with, instead of writing new ones.  I can't help but finish these up though, and just maybe the next dozen you hear won't be half bad.  It could possibly be that clearing my plate of this song candidates wrap-up project will be liberating a spur on another creative period.  Time will tell.

I'm stating all this because I haven't felt like writing new songs at all lately for several months now.  Part of the reason is I want to get all these remaining unfinished songwriting/recording related tasks done first before I switch back to the create new from scratch mode.  It will truly feel fresh when that happens, because I won't have the dark cloud hanging over my head making me think I have unfinished songs I need to be working on.

It could be the hobby has run its course.  There are many famous artists I've read about who have a creative spurt - usually for about a decade - and then the desire fades and they don't write/record anymore.  Usually a lot of contributing factors and reasons for this, many unique to the individual's circumstances, but also it's the kind of thing that seems to have a tendency to slow down and conclude naturally on its own.

The 2016 album will therefore have a feel of a b-sides or rarities or previously-unreleased type of compilation, and it may well signal a final album like you might expect.  Maybe not, but I'll be fine with it either way.  Maybe I'll find a new hobby and move on to something else.  You never know, but it will be fun to have a feeling of closure on these never-quite-finished tasks on my hobby to-do list.