Practice, ReWriting, Self-Care

The Marketing Audit

I started The Marketing Seminar two weeks ago now. The first exercise was a marketing audit: 26 questions about how I’m currently marketing my project. We were told we’d also complete the audit at the end of the course. It would double as a before and after snapshot. 

Nothing about it was too hard. Though I’m not clear what exactly psychographic are, I assume by the end of the class I will have learned.  

What was surprising is that as I filled out the audit, I found my focus drifted between projects. I’d answer one question referring the Fearless Songwriting community, and another referring to the project I’m working on discussing the principles of music.  

In my mind, I’ve thought, I’m able to juggle everything clearly and focus on what I need to. But the truth shown by the audit is clear, when I start talking about my projects even I’m a little confused about what I’m actually working on.  Finding out I’m confused is the beginning of clarity.

Songwriting, The Song Well, Tunesday

Tunesday: Sept. 22nd: A Message Writ in Indigo

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song. This was written from the prompt post on Saturday, September 26th: A Message. (You can receive a new prompt every Friday in time for Happy Hour by signing up here).

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All these tales are dogging me
Smoke in a cheap motel
All the stares are stacking up
stories to a tower bell
The garbled voice of static fear
A haunted telephone line
All these wake ups calling me
Telling me it’s time . . .

These laurels left upon my door
commemorate the dead
These lush bouquets of sympathy
for resentments in my head
Sheepish mundane fantasies
flowing through a tiny valve
bread crumbs on a jagged trail
I’ve been on since I was twelve

I want chocolate chip of more forgiveness
the whip cream of less shame
The open valve of a little hope
the flow of angel cake
To Thaw this Ice box of resentments
This store of frozen beefs
Move out of the cheapest room
With it’s nasty old inn keep

Boundaries, Imperfection, Shame

It’s about Their Experience

I’ve worked as a server in restaurants to earn my living for the past twenty years. In the industry, I’ve been taught if a mistake has been made it’s a faux pas to explain to a guest that it was busy, or that the restaurant was understaffed.  It shouldn’t be the guest’s concern that the restaurant is busy.  

Part of what a guest is investing in when they make a reservation is the experience the restaurant has promised to deliver on. 

Of course restaurants get busy.  And sometimes understaffing happens.  But when something goes wrong and  I explain the circumstances which I claim caused the mistake, the focus shifts to my experience.

If something goes wrong, it’s better to do your best to connect with the guest, own up to the mistake and make amends.  

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Music Theory, Songwriting, The Muse, Writing

Saturday Songwriting: A Message

There’s a time honored tradition of switching a chord from major to minor, which means if you’re playing an F major chord in a song, making the next chord you play an F minor. 

The worksheet I included today is talking about the difference between major and minor chords.  (It’s just one note!) It ended up being an explanation of how chords are built instead of a musical idea someone could really try out. But why not just play around with changing a chord from major to minor? See what happens. A classic way the Beatles (among many others) make this change is this:

Say you’re using BEAD Guides Chord Flow in the key of C (Here’s a link to BEAD Guides Chord Flow for the key of C).  That makes the major chords G, C, and F.

When it served the song, they would play an F chord and the next chord in the progression would be F minor.  

Another key you could try this in and avoid the F minor bar chord would be the Key of A. (If you’re avoiding bar chords note all the minor chords in A: C#m, F#m, and Bm, are bar chords).  

That’s the idea, give me a shout if you have questions or could use clarification.   

The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Richard Hall’s “Message in a Bottle”

The Musical Idea:

Here’s a downloadable pdf of the worksheet above:

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Self-Care

Tired

I’m tired.  

There have been enough days in a row of tired (and enough nights of eight or more hours of sleep) that the tired feels both unwarranted and big. 

I took a nap this afternoon. When I woke, I had to leave the house—I thought to go for a walk—but then I reached the wall at the end of the driveway and the naps grogginess was still trailing behind me. I leaned my butt against the wall for a while, and ended up looking up Brené Brown’s most recent podcast. 

Of course, she was talking about being tired.    

There’s not much else to say, except, take care of yourself out there. If you’re tired, try to cut yourself some slack. I’m merely a guy with a wife and cat who works in a restaurant and types a few words out on a blog most days and I’m tired. I’ve got to imagine there’s tired out there that’s a lot worse than mine.   

Take care of yourself.  
Take care of each other. 
I’ll do my best to take care of myself and the other’s around me too.   

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