Two years ago, in the summer of 2016, I made the decision to commit myself to a season of writing at a level I hadn't dedicated myself to before. I called this little adventure Summer of Songs and set specific parameters and goals to help keep me on track. It was a prolific time and while I may not have reached every goal I set, I have no doubt that it not only increased the amount of writing I was doing, but also improved the quality of writing I was producing.
This summer, I am embarking on the same adventure. Summer of Songs 2018 officially begins May 29th and I can't wait! I've got a couple of big projects I need to complete, but mostly I'll be slugging it out day after day, writing songs. Most of the same parameters will be in place which I'll detail later, but I am definitely raising the bar as far as my own commitment to the process. More on that later as well.
So, why summer? Why not dedicate myself to this type of schedule throughout the entire year? Mostly, because I have to work "real jobs" which requires much of my time and energy throughout the school year. And partly because I am still in a season of mothering two teenage boys who are heavily involved in music and sports. For many years our family lived a homeschool family's life which was incredibly flexible and worked well for me as a songwriter. When we transitioned our oldest two kids into public school, not only did the structure impact the writing plan, but I was also committed to missing as little of their activities as possible. It's a short and fast-moving season of life and no songwriting experience will ever compare to the joy of watching them do what they love.
The whole "real job" thing really ticked me off for a while because I felt constantly frustrated by the realization that making a full time living as a songwriter wasn't happening for me. I was having a decent amount of success, but as most writers will tell you, cuts and print projects and radio airplay and awards don't always translate to income. It is what it is. I've come to terms. In spite of the fact I would love to be writing full time, I understand that in order to continue to make the art I am most passionate about, I need to be my own benefactor, at least for a season. I am unbelievably thankful that God has continued to provide work for me in other arenas that I thoroughly enjoy and hope I am making an impact. But time spent there means less time writing. However, with the change in the summer schedule also comes the ability to dive deeper into doing what I love. And dive I will.
I intend to blog more frequently and will keep you posted on how the Summer of Songs 2018 is going. It's a journey I love to share and hopefully you will be encouraged and inspired to begin your own creative adventure. I look forward to hearing what that might be!