PLAY / WRITE / RECORD / REPEAT
In January 2015 I got a tattoo on my left forearm that was to be my mantra for the year. A friend of a friend offered me this piece of advice that as musicians & creatives (& probably as humans) we tend to overthink things & that maybe we need to keep it really simple:
Below is a chart of how setting this mantra impacted January 2015 & all the ways I set out to achieve one of these four goals every day of the month:
To keep me accountable to my goals I started to do a lot more "countin". Strategy is in my top 5 strengths according to Strengths Finder 2.0 and so in 2015 I got a lot more focused about setting goals, making plans, tracking progress and then celebrating successes by sharing them with people.
GUILD vs ISLAND
In the very start of Genesis God says that "it is not good for man to be alone" & I believe that art, like life, is better when you create it in community. I could not have achieved a single thing without the amazing people & artists around me in guilds & I highly recommend you get involved in one ASAP if you're searching for honest, vulnerable, & momentum building community. Lance shares some amazing thoughts on the lie of the lone wolf artist and guilds on his blog. Here's a few things the Songwriting Guild achieved together this year:
I've written so much about the liturgical calendar on our blog before. If you don't already know I have a worship project called "The Calendar Years" and I'm always looking for ways to make the seasons of the calendar meaningful & practical in my life. I've just started using a liturgical day planner which I backed on Kickstarter called "Sacred ordinary days" and they've also launched a podcast. If you've never heard anything about liturgy or the calendar then the podcast is a great introduction & they're full of great ideas on how to bring the seasons into your home with practices, rhythms & even decorations.
Here's a few other things that I loved this year:
And of course there's the music:
Lastly I feel 2015 really taught me just how beautiful & brutal life was as it flowed in, out & around all of us. So many reasons to celebrate from marriages and births but yet so many times when all we could do was mourn as we buried people and said goodbye.
The question which Gungor put to music this year is the words of the poet Mary Oliver and haunts me as I stare into 2016:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”