Becoming Creatively Unstoppable

I remember when I was a kid, it seems from an early age I would write down stories in a journal. I did this at school, but I also did it at home. After all, my mom was (and is) a writer herself. Writing was just a normal part of life in our household, I guess. When I was really young (maybe 11 or 12? Not sure), I realized that I could improvise music easily and effortlessly. It just occurred to me, kind of like an equivalent realization as a…

The Importance of Being Ready

Most of my life I put incredible pressure on myself. I forced myself to step into challenging situations and grow and strive. And I learned a lot from it all, yet ultimately, after all of the striving and struggling and stressing and hoping and shouldering the burden of a thousand expectations, I learned that concentrating on what I am actually ready for is a far more effective approach. I grew up admiring (and envying) artists, musicians, and writers who got well-known/famous/rich early in their careers. That was the picture of…

Reaching for Satisfaction: Creativity Edition

Since starting up this blog again ten days ago–actually, for several months now–I have been thinking about what, exactly, this blog means to me. More importantly, whether I’m blogging or doing something else creatively, I have been searching for what I want to do next. It may turn out to be blogging specifically. It may turn out to be another kind of writing project, like writing a book. It may be a music project. Either way, it will be a satisfying creative project 🙂 The 365 Day Blogging Project was…

The Ghost of Elvis

Every day I show up to the page and see what it has for me. I say this literally, and I say this figuratively. The “page” might be this keyboard, it might be the journal I’m currently writing in. It might be the piano I am playing, it might be the music program on my computer I am using. It might be the voice recorder on my phone taking down whatever I express, whether through words, song, or piano-playing. By extension, it might also be the things I tell the…

The Closet Renaissance Man Calls Out that Old Nasty

Earlier this month I mentioned the Benjamin Franklin biography I read a few years ago. Since reading this book, Franklin has seemed to me the perfect example of someone who permitted himself to follow any and every interest without self-censoring, over-thinking, or stopping himself. He pursued every passion with complete commitment and abandon befitting the ultimate Renaissance man. No wonder he is still remembered and celebrated. I have deeply admired that, and I aspire to that freedom. Yet I admit I have often been too judgmental, to contained, to circumspect,…

The Return of the Return of the Daily Blogger

It’s June 1st, 2020, and I’m ba-ba-ba-back, baby! I blogged every day in April and decided to take May off. The allure of the daily blog called to me, though, and by the middle of May, I was already planning on returning for June. This is not the first time I have re-started up my blog after pausing it. I find that this deliberate approach of on/off approach (kind of like a spigot or kitchen faucet) works for me. And while I’m bogging, the most satisfying practice has been to…

If You Tune In, the Ideas… Just Come.

Last December I started collaborating on a musical. My friend Matt had written the entire script, including lyrical drafts of almost all the songs. What he needed was a composer and tunesmith who could provide musical ideas as well as craft the lyrics into workable form. I began working over Christmas break. By March 1st, we had nine songs completed, which we sang as part of a read-through with twenty or more people present. Nine songs in a little over two months! Prior this project, I have written dozens of…

Your Creative Path of Least Resistance

Recently I asked myself, “What am I getting out of writing this blog?” Here are my thoughts: This blog has been a great way for me to express myself. In some ways, it has been just about the most successful creative project I’ve done. I spent too long being perfectionistic and worried about “how” to do the things I wanted to do. As a songwriter/music artist/rapper, I had big creative dreams. But I put up a lot of mental resistance. I stressed out and spent a lot of time unhappy…

A Heartfelt Connection with My Audience

This afternoon I performed a solo piano show for an enthusiastic audience which I would nearly describe as raving fans. I have performed at this venue numerous times before, and there are always really cool aspects to it, such as: audience members who always get up and dance people who address me by name and clearly look forward to having me back people who sing along with the songs I play people who line up to come and thank me afterword good food always provided 🙂 people who come to…

Nothing a Little Music Couldn’t Help With

So today started out sort of strange. In the morning I felt a lot of nervous energy: there was a feeling of being in the flow, of being alive… yet of being slightly off-kilter about it. So a regular mixed bag, partly positive, partly not. I went through my day in this way, and needless to say, it was kind of uncomfortable. I tried meditation. That helped, but still the feeling of discomfort persisted. At one point this afternoon I sat down at the piano and started playing some of…