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Halftime: A Look at My 2010 Goals

We’re well past the halfway point of 2010, which is flipping mind-boggling. So, I’d say it’s time for an honest look at where I stand with my year’s goals, see where I’ve drifted and make the necessary corrections. This should be sobering.
1) Record two more EPs with at least four songs on each.
On Schedule. This summer’s one-song-a-week project has revolutionized my output, and because of it, I might be ahead of schedule (Don’t want to get cocky). So far, I’ve recorded 10 songs, some good, some bad and some that could use a quick re-write here or there. As far as “releasing” two separate EPs, I decided a couple of months ago that I wanted to approach releases a little differently. With the freedom to put up a song within minutes of recording it, why wait for some random future date to officially release it on a record? This was my thought: Make my entire body of music available as one big, evolving collective. Kinda like a journal. Then, every few months, take the best songs I put to tape, burn them on a CD and give them out at shows.
I love how the internet gives guys like me the opportunity to spread my music to virtually anyone, but there’s something to be said to talking with listeners and handing them an actual CD instead of a business card with a web address. Look, everyone’s short on time, and I don’t want to make people comb through 50 some songs in search of the good stuff. As a listener, I wouldn’t do it. BUT, I think it a cool idea to open up the vaults and let people listen to as many Louiston songs they can handle.
2) Write a novella.
Fail. I’ve got my idea, but have yet to put pen to paper, so on the back-burner it sits. Yes, I’ve written a couple short stories here and there, but that doesn’t count. However, JHurls and I have started writing a web series. That kinda counts, but not really.
3) Find a job that plays to my strengths but also challenges me to improve.
Fail. It’s time for a career change.
4) Begin busking uptown. Donate proceeds to one local outreach.
A little bit success, a little fail. I busked once uptown in late February, collecting around $40 for Jackson Park Ministries. That night, I was jacked up to continue at least once a month, but since then I’ve let that excitement slip and slip. The Resistance got the best of me, and all I’m left with is a defeated sense of self. Time to utilize the last few weeks of mild weather and hit the streets. Then maybe I can count this as a success.
5) Play bar gigs for extra cash.
Fail. I compiled a list of 40-some covers to play out at bars, and dammit, I’ve yet to invest the time needed to learn them. Playing the chords is no problem; it’s remembering the lyrics that’s the real bitch. Yes, I could put up lyric sheets, but isn’t that cheating? Doesn’t that seem a little, I don’t know, amateur? I’m over-thinking this, probably…definitely.
6) Film “Zeus”. Our screenplay is nearly a year old. It’s time to get this done so we can move on.
Success. We filmed the bulk of the film in April, and this week I’ll be back in Olean to film the last bit. We’re looking at a Halloween release, as of today. You can read the thorough recap of the filming process here, here, here, here and here. I’m so glad JHurls and I stuck it out, worked and reworked the script over the course of a year and now get to see it come to life. It being our first crack at writing a movie together, we’re keeping expectations low. We know “Zeus” won’t be taking in any screenings at Sundance. But, hopefully, this is the start of a long-term writing partnership, with more projects ahead. We’ll see.
7) Play at least 20 to 40 shows, including bar gigs.
Fail. Fail. Fail. I suck. Open mics don’t count. So far, I’ve played a handful, maybe five actual shows. I’m worthless. Time to get busy this fall and winter.
8. Read a book by Ayn Rand.
Fail. My reading took a significant hit once I started writing songs for “Zeus”. I got my copy of “Atlas Shrugged”. Now all I need are eight to 12 months to read it.
9) Learn to play piano.
On schedule. I inherited my grandfather’s old keyboard and spend a little time each week, going through chords. Of course, I didn’t expect to master the instrument in one year but instead establish a base knowledge in which to build from in the future.
10) Learn Italian.
Fail. Other than a few language lessons on my iPod, I have yet to dive in and invest the needed time in learning Italian. Probably, the best option here would be to sign up for a language class, something I see as a valuable use of time and money.
There are a few too many “Fails” in this short, very do-able list and four months is enough time to get on the right track. No excuses.
I will, however, give myself a pat on the back for the upkeep of this blog. Starting these things is always a fun endeavor. I mean, setting the theme and banner image! How f#$#ing rad! It’s keeping content coming on a semi-regular basis that’s the difficult part, and I’m glad that nearly one year after creating it, this blog remains as important to me now as it did then. For someone who’s often struggled with staying dedicated to one project, I can look back at this past 12 months and see what a little discipline can accomplish. Here’s to another year on the blogosphere.
As for you, reader, where are you at with your goals for the year?