A few years ago when I started writing these blogs I was in a transitional place and I needed to work out my “What’s Next.” I decided to share my journey, with the unconscious hope that I’d find like minds who could help me figure out what to do when at a crossroads.
My unconscious mind was very astute. It worked. Many of you were instrumental in pulling me though, whether you know it or not. In turn, I hope my musings have helped you find your way through the woods.
Yesterday, I tucked my unused “For Your Consideration” cards into a Ziplock. I don’t know why I’m saving them. I guess some things are hard to throw away—like Christmas cards after the holidays. They carry with them the beautiful weight of all the words that eventually lead to that unlikely GRAMMY nomination. As if I can preserve the memory of what that felt like in a Ziplock bag.
What to do now? How to sustain that excitement? Indeed, life, career, love have their ups and downs. Perhaps the lulls are necessary, albeit not as thrilling. Then again, I’ve always enjoyed unscheduled time to collect my endless thoughts. Examining is where we get material. We need to take time to replenish.
Ironically, the state of the music business is still as it was before I wrote a book about the pros and cons of staying in it. For most of us, it’s still hard to make a living. It’s still challenging to be older in a youth driven world. The upside is I know if we put our mind to something we can make it happen.
So, as I coast down Laurel Canyon and downshift from 4th to 1st, I realize I’m in yet another “Gap.” If you read my book you’ll remember that "The Gap”, defined by legendary and Songwriting Hall of Famer Allee Willis, is the state of ‘idleness’ where one doesn’t know where one is going or what they should be doing. Allee posits that The Gap is actually a divine state of discontent and a most FERTILE place in which to be. One shouldn’t try to push it away. But simply wait. Notice. Observe. Anything can happen. And it usually does.
And so...the pressure is off. I can get out of bed and enjoy the tranquility of the morning over a cup of coffee and the view from my deck. I can ponder whether to run a couple of miles or get to a Yoga class. I can get back in the studio, mostly with my gal pal and the savantly talented, Eve Nelson. Our “work” always includes a bottle of wine and a roasted chicken. I can keep a promise I made to myself to only collaborate with those whose company I enjoy. (Unless of course, Adele calls. I mean, I have no reason to believe that I wouldn’t enjoy Adele’s company. I have a feeling I would.)
All this said, I’ve always operated more productively with goals on the horizon. (I've often wondered if that’s because being in pursuit of something keeps me from thinking about my imminent expiration from this planet. Terrifying.)
So what IS next?
More advocacy? Mentoring students of music? Serial Songwriter—The Musical? More sessions (and roasted chicken) with Eve? All of the above. Yes please.
And…well, what about that album? An album I’ve been contemplating for the last 10 years. Hmm. I’ve never felt more ready, more inspired, so comfortable with my mediocre guitar playing. Besides, I’ve been encouraging my friends to make their records. Why not put my money where my mouth is? Find out what it’s really like to DIY.
Why not? Well, because I don’t know where to start. Allee would say, “That’s a good place to start.”
What's next? I'm not sure.
But I'm not supposed to be sure. I’m in the Gap. And I am feeling very fertile.