I spent New Year’s Eve down in Florida in an Urgent Care facility receiving the diagnosis that yes, I did have the flu. Yay! It only served to punctuate my predetermined assessment that 2018 sucked ass. But did it really?
Today is three days after diagnosis and I am sitting upright outside my parents home in Florida as a gentle, perfect breeze strokes my finally painless skin. God bless the inventor of Tamiflu. I had started reading “The Productivity Project” prior to our flight down and it was literally the only activity I could tolerate during the first day or so of flu-hell. You know it’s bad if I don’t check social media…at all.
I brought the book outside and finished a chapter when it hit me–there were many fabulous accomplishments, achievements, and realizations to be thankful for in 2018. That realization prompted a burst of energy and inspired me to take inventory if not for anyone else but myself, so I grabbed my iPad and decided to start writing. (And yes, I am fully aware of how apparent my Type A personality is in admitting that, through fever and body aches, I STILL needed to be productive so I read a book about productivity…and decided to write a blog. Of course, if you know me at all, this is not a surprise so stop the eye rolling!).
Back to focus – So what was truly great about 2018? I started 2018 with the flu (a pattern perhaps?) but still participated in a Fearless Songwriter Challenge and wrote 7 songs*. I also found myself fighting a heck of a Depression and decided it was finally time to give up music as a career and demote it down to hobby status. That lasted about a day when I decided I wasn’t ready to give up. You can call me crazy, but you can’t call me a quitter!
I also manifested a branding expert who offered to mentor me and do the deep dive into who I am. The intention is to decipher how we can translate the “who” into the “why” and create my brand according to what we discover. The exploration has been both emotionally and intellectually taxing and rewarding. It has also not been that surprising since along with my Type A tendencies, comes self-perpetual-evaluation. Next, we get to explore the visual depiction of what we have discovered about me. I think that’s pretty cool and hope I can remain patient enough to get there.
I have connected with a network of musicians who are data-miners. They have taught me how to analyze my existing fans and find the best means to keeping them interested, and if they’re not truly engaged, be brave enough to say goodbye. It has also forced me to start assessing my business practices and how to get the best ROI from my music.
I find this fascinating because like most creatives I hate getting “all business’ey.” I too have this secret desire that if I write the best songs, someone will come along and take care of all of the “stuff” that needs to get done and I can just go about creating and take afternoon tea with fabulous people because I wrote my 90th Top 10 hit. HA! Nothing could be further from the truth. If I want the music out there, I have to work it. If I want to make a living, I have to work diligently and be smart with my time (hence the reading of my millionth productivity book!). I am thankful that in 2018 I uncovered a kernel of possibility that might help these efforts along.
I wrote more songs in 2018 than any other I can recall. 30 completed songs (one co-write), one incomplete song I started last week, and of the 30, I would say about 22 are keepers. I realize that to some, 30 may not sound like an awful lot for an entire year, but when you juggle day-jobs to pay the bills, numerous family responsibilities and all the maintenance tasks required to stay healthy and happy (well, I guess healthy didn’t work out as intended…) I’m pretty proud of my 30 new babies.
I also rebuilt my website, discovered there’s still more work to be done and have a plan for that as well. I had a consult with a digital marketing professional who helped me clarify where to best utilize my time and energy. This will all be in keeping with my new Marci-Brand which I hope to reveal in conjunction with the release of my 5th independent album sometime in 2019.
There are more things that I could go on listing but in reality, the biggest gift came at the end of the year.
I was so close to finishing my latest album, and if it weren’t for circumstances that were truly out of my control, it would be 90% done right now. But you see, that is life. There are times when the unexpected throws you off course. You know that you’ll be forced to go a different direction than you intended. It is in these moments that I align with what is truly important to me; not the stuff, but the love. It always comes down to the love and I can honestly say that 2018 not only tested my love but proved its tenacity and perseverance.
So there was no toast at midnight, no silly hats worn or noise-makers clamored. Forgive me 2018. I am thankful for you and all you gifted me with. You deserved a proper send-off but my feverish body wouldn’t allow it. Did you suck? In retrospect, you were a pretty, fine year. This is my symbolic toast to you. 2019…bring it on!
*As of the publishing of this Blog I have completed my first Fearless Challenge of 2019. Seven new songs were written in seven days. If you click the link and scroll down to January 2019, you can hear the raw demos uploaded the day they were written. https://marcigeller.com/fearless-songwriter-challenge
For more information, visit my cyber-home at www.MarciGeller.com