Get Your Blog On!…The Challenge – Week 6

Funny that the chapter on blogging for a blogging challenge actually comes in Week 6.  While previous weeks of the S.A.C.’s Canadian Songwriters Social Media Challenge have been focused on mutterings on the process of goal-setting, setting up social media and personal websites, it’s all been a warm up to getting tools in place to build real connection with potential fans.  And now that time has come.  Even though the sheer volume of new content published online everyday can seem overwhelming, it is also exciting to see so much connection and engagement happening.

You may have heard the phrase, “Content is King.”  A songwriter’s blog is like the heartbeat of your online presence, fueling all your web entities with original content targeted at creating conversation and providing your fans with a backstage look at who you are.   And here’s my favourite sentence in this chapter of “Music Success in 9 Weeks” by Ariel Hyatt, “Just get posting, don’t stress about it, and tweak it to death.”  Blogging, unlike songwriting, does not require hundreds of edits and revisions.  The point is to create a voice and a presence, NOT a literary masterpiece!

Similarly, this blog was launched one and a half years ago with the hope of connecting songwriters across Canada by sharing information and inspiration through individual stories and experiences.  During this time, we’ve been amazed at the incredible submissions we have received.  We are grateful to all our contributors for helping us to create this wonderful dialogue and platform.  Truly, the magic of a blog is in the sharing and commenting that happens!

Speaking of sharing…here are some highlight videos from Week 5:

Karyn Ellis, one of our participants, has challenged herself to make homemade videos for all the songs on her album:

And here’s the response video made by Sue NewBerry, also a Challenge participant.

Okay, Challenge participants, please post the following:

1.  The URL of your blog entry for this week.
2.  5 blogs you are targeting.

Getting Out Of The Gate…Saying Good-Bye to Perfectionism!

Creative Commons License: The Hackers Way

It’s been incredible to witness the frenzy across the blogosphere since the launch of the S.A.C.’s Canadian Songwriters Social Media Challenge.  It has been a privilege to witness the community that has formed between participants and the power of accountability towards getting things done.  At the same time, some of us (including myself), have fallen behind.  We understand, life gets in the way!  But, there is something else that gets in the way for many artists I know…PERFECTIONISM!  So, here is my blog entry on breaking through…

Getting Out of The Gate

I want to do things perfectly.  I want every song, every performance, every picture, every blog entry, every breath I take, to be awesome.  Unfortunately, I am human.  This gets in the way of my pursuit of perfection.  I get pimples, I forget things, sometimes, when I’m nervous, I strum the wrong chord.  I wish there was some sort of photoshop for life that could edit out all my blunders and imperfections.  Maybe if I lived via a holographic projection that would be possible, but until then…I must wrestle down my desire for perfection and make it a goal for myself to GET OUT OF THE GATE!

Last night I watched Taylor Swift‘s incredible performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards that proved without a doubt that she can sing.  Rewind to the 2010 Grammy Awards and her vocal performance in a duet with Stevie Nicks garnered a backlash of harsh criticism for being pitchy (especially from music industry critic Bob Lefsetz!).   Why has this redemption inspired me so much?  I think it’s because I’m inspired to keep moving forward and not allow myself to be crippled by everything that is less than perfect.  This applies to my music, my performances…and my website!  This does not mean I will not continue tweaking and improving upon what I’ve done.  It only means that I will not allow a lack of perfection to stop me from moving forward.  If Taylor Swift can release Grammy worthy music without having nailed down her ability to sing on pitch under pressure, why can’t I allow the same room for growth in my own journey as an artist?

Diving into Chapter 3 of “Music Success in 9 Weeks,” I had this grandiose vision, I will REDESIGN my website, it will be epic, it will sing, it will dance, there will be fireworks!  And then, life came knocking on my door.  Work deadlines, hosting gigs, and family commitments to name a few of the many distractions that took away from the vision of losing myself in WordPress for a week.  And then I took a look at my existing website.  I already have google analytics set up, and I already have a player embedded to hear a sample of my music.  Why fix what isn’t broken?

So, instead of investing 5 days of programming time I spent 5 hours tweaking.  I added a few snazzier looking social media icons, included my newest personal pitch and rejigged things, along with changing the homepage photo.

Am I completely satisfied?  Of course not.  But I accept that insatiable perfection monster that lives in my artist heart and will allow it to prompt me towards future growth in development.  In fact, I just registered for a class on HTML and CSS from the fantastic non-profit, Ladies Learning Code.  I will keep improving upon where I am at.  One day, my website may be able to brew a cup of coffee for my fans, but until then, I am happy to let myself GET OUT OF THE GATE!