Final: Launching a songwriting blog for real


DEAR CAPTIVE AUDIENCE,

Say it in song,

Say it loud, proud and strong.

Blog through the kinks,

Blog with tags, tweets, and Facebook links.

“Baby, you were born this way.”

*

This blog, this course, this class, these posts, have fallen into my lap as an unexpected journey, one I have looked forward to since the day I decided to switch off an academic topic and write in my own voice.

You, #506iv, have been my captive audience as I honed in on efforts to make this more than “just another songwriting blog.”

I appreciate your attention, respect your critiques, and have enjoyed your blogs.

As for this blog, it’s not there yet.

In fact, that reality is one I was not sure I could live up to. Putting it out there. Being “more than.”

What’s changed is, I want to find out if I can.

*

Since starting this blog, I have discovered that fellow songwriters who live where I live are blogging where we all live — in the blogosphere.

I had assumed, ignorantly, that these songwriters and I just shared the same concentric circles cutting through the atmosphere of this seaside city, the same stages at open mics and songwriting circles, the same mental landscape that is the home of any good songwriter, a place in the head, a hole in the heart where you find your truth, fingerpick your way through chord progressions, free-associate random lyrics and then sing about it.

But no. We share the quest to become known, and to know ourselves.

Two of my favorite local singer/songwriters beat me to the punch and are blogging under their own names and power.

Next!

I will be consulting with Bob about how to change the name of this blog and my twitter account to my real name, which I would love to share with any of you who still might like to follow this blog.

I will be owning this space.

*

As this blog evolved in its infancy, I did not risk adding songs. But now I have, and it is, along with other people’s YouTube videos and perhaps music sent from peers that I can share, part of the essence of any good songwriting blog.

I was a closet guitarist for too many years. The fact that I allowed CDBaby to put my second CD on free sites so I could get more exposure is part of the change in my outlook. You’ve got to put it all out there.

Sunmonroe’s tweet, that she enjoyed hearing me sing, meant the world to me. Had I not put it out there, she would not have heard me, and I would not have heard her response.

*

Still, there’s doubt. There is always that. But doubt is the foundation of an artist’s soul. You can’t revise and grow and improvise and create without doubt.

So I wonder, still: What do I know, what can I offer that other singer/songwriters aren’t doing already, better than I?

Well, I can offer my voice, my songs, my experiences, my passion, my support, my ideas, my connections.

I can offer consistency and reliability, the commitment to maintaining a blog.

I had a blog for my web programming class under my own name. I couldn’t keep it going. I couldn’t find my voice.

Now I have.

Blogging is like peeling away the skin of an onion. Scratching at the surface and finding new layers underneath. Blogging is discovery. It is improv. It is connection. It is a way of reaching beyond yourself, attracting attention while paying attention.

I feel we as a class and I personally have been given an important gift.

*

Regrets? Not really.

I do wish I had conveyed some passion in the audio that accompanied my Prezi presentation.

But I’ve learned how to keep up with a regular blog, how to share audio, how to focus while letting my more poetic side express itself.

I’ve learned to make sentences leaner. Paragraphs more sparse. Let declarative sentences do some of the heavy lifting.

I’ve learned how to use tweets to draw attention to key posts, and how to check out new followers who flatter me with their attention as well as ignore or if necessary block the followers who disrupt civil tweeting discourse.

I’ve learned that the blogging universe is full of real and would-be stars sharing the spotlight, and that I do not need to compete so much as be a contender. Be out and engaged.

Cherish the gift.

Give back.

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