Once again, summer has flown by. This week brings a new season for me as I will be working a few more hours at my kids' school this year as an accompanist and music mentor, with a few sub dates thrown in here and there. Should be fun!
I am grateful for the daily opportunity to connect with kids and be a part of a wonderful vocal music program that has influenced my own family in countless ways. And yet, entering a new season means leaving one behind and this week I will close the door on another "Summer of Songs". I had intended to keep you more informed of how things were going, but truth be told, my writing time was limited and there were many days I had to choose between blogging about songwriting and actually writing a song. And since I didn't set out to have a "Summer of Blogs", it really was an easy choice as far as where to put my energy. The songs couldn't wait.
My summer also included 9 weeks of raising puppies and getting them settled in their new homes. Our adorable litter of Goldendoodles filled up many hours of my time and while it was a huge commitment, it also kept me home a lot which is my favorite place to be. So it's all good. I also returned to my job in and out of cornfields this summer with a detasseling company. This job entails early mornings, muddy commutes, a house that smells like corn for 4 weeks, working with great kids and a wonderful boss. Again....grateful.
So, did I write much? Yes. I finished up a new kids musical which, for reasons I will detail another time, was a new kind of challenge for me. I'm just beginning another kids musical which is being tracked in October so it's time to hit the ground running on that one. I continued to work on a new book which I hoped would release this fall but now I'm shooting for January. I used to beat myself up over delays like this, but I've learned to be okay with the process and timing of it all. I had some wonderful online co-writes with old friends and trusted co-writers. Just last week I wrote a Christmas song here at my house with an amazing artist who will be releasing a new Christmas project very soon - can't wait for you to hear it! I made a quick trip to Nashville with my girls (daughter Hannah and soon-to-be-daughter-in-law Kelsey) and squeezed in a writing appointment while I was there.
I have spent quite a bit of time this summer working on a project I can't tell you much about. I honestly don't like the whole teaser, secret-keeping thing when it comes to this stuff and I wish I could tell you more about it, but I just can't yet. Suffice it to say the writing has been life-giving to my songwriter's soul and I am loving the journey. The work is different than anything I've ever done and it has challenged me greatly. In many ways, it feels like the most sacred work I have ever done. I cannot wait for the day we get to unleash it to the world. I have no idea what that will look like at this point, but I believe with my whole being it will happen.
Honestly alert: Even with all the amazing opportunities to write, I continue to wrestle with knowing my place in the music industry. I work in it and for it, but many days feel like I don't belong; like an outsider who occasionally works inside the circle, but isn't invited to the party. I'm a hired hand but only the family gets to celebrate the harvest. It's not bad, it's just interesting. I swear I'm NOT complaining. As you read over and over again in my blog entries, I am beyond grateful for the work I get to do. And I am confident that I am the writer I am because I live where I live and do life the way I do it. I know I have opportunities come my way that wouldn't if I lived elsewhere. But like any profession, there are perks, obstacles, and unique challenges that come with the way I've chosen to work as a songwriter. Hopefully, I'm getting better at being content in all circumstances. God knows we've had enough conversations about it over the years.
So, what does the next season look like? Without question, I will be writing. As I mentioned, there are many projects that need my attention and I pray for more opportunities to show up. I will be watching for them as I walk through my days at school and at home. And as often as I can, I will give you a glimpse of the journey. Stay tuned...