Two Year Blogiversary!

Well, I’m still fairly new to the blogosphere, but I’ve now officially been at it for two years. Ra, ra, ra! I started with a space theme, calling my blog, Musings of a Musician. Then I changed the name to Overtones of a Musician. Then I got the red/orange theme I’ve used for the past year and a half or so. Then I split my blog into two: Overtones, and Making Moments. Then I got a couple more blogs that lasted awhile. When they fizzled out, I merged the two original blogs, and now here I am again, trying out another twist of the kaleidoscope.

I try to be real on my blog, and though I’m sure it comes out stale or stiff sometimes, I have a fun time with it. But I’ll be straight forward for a moment. I’m working hard to become an established musician and author, and blogs have a weird place in the lives of both professions. Most artists use blogs to connect with their fans, and it’s a great way to do it. I’ve tried hard to do that, too, but I’ve become rather lazy at feeding the “social media connections” part of it – I love reading other people’s blogs, Facebook notes, tweets, and participating in the discussions, but wow it’s time consuming. While working on two books and two CDs, as well as doing a full-time job and supporting a family of five, every spare minute is like gold.

I’ve also turned down some fairly profitable web-design opportunities because big moneymaking projects distract me from writing and composing. If it was just for the money that I’m doing all this stuff, that would be a ridiculous choice. The fact is, musicianship doesn’t earn much money, and I doubt authorship does either. I guess my hope is that both together will be able to work out all right. But really, I’m not doing it so much for the money – though it would be nice to earn enough to keep me at it. And believe me, it takes a great deal of time and energy to be constantly writing and composing.

I used to have a dream of becoming a full-time LDS seminary teacher. I can’t express how badly I wanted that. But in the past couple years, I’ve found that I just don’t have the right kind of personality for a position like that. I still think of that as the ultimate profession, being able to have such a strong spiritual influence on students – what an AWESOME opportunity that would be! But I can see now that I’m not what the students need, and I’m okay with that.

So I’m going for a stand-by. I’ve always loved both writing and composing, and I’m beginning to see that there may be some potential here – much more so than I had with teaching seminary. And it can still be a great chance to touch others, and encourage people to be better than they are. I suppose books can be like seminary teachers in slow motion – if that makes any sense at all. Music can invite the Spirit, and encourage people to be better, too, so I don’t feel like I’m failing so long as I keep at my writing and composing efforts.

Anyway, I like to think optimistically, and I have great hopes for the next decade, but I don’t expect my efforts to offer much financial support to my family for awhile. It’s the best time in the history of the world to become an established musician or author, but it’s a pretty rough time to be making money at it.

So what does this all have to do with my blog? Well, not much, I guess, except to let you know my intensions, and hope the blog will help out with that. I’m trying out a new theme. It’s certainly the noisiest theme I’ve had yet, and some have said it’s hard to tell whether this is supposed to be a blog or a static website. That’s okay. Why not try things a little different once in a while.

And frankly, so far, I really like this theme – mostly because I can put the emphasis where I want it. There will be new entries all the time, and those of you reading from feed readers won’t see a difference. But for any who come to visit the site, I can shout out my favorite stuff and draw attention to the things that really mean something to me. Yeah, it’s scattered and a bit overwhelming, but so is my life, so it fits. There are still a few quirks that have got to be fixed, but with time, it should work out.

Let me know what you think!

The Fair

the-fair.JPGI love going to the fair. It’s such an interesting experience. All the people in the state are invited to participate by submitting something. Perhaps many of those projects represent a good part of their interests and skills, and yet few, very few, do it for a living. I’m sure they’d love to. In fact, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d bet most contributers to the items at the fair would far rather follow their interests instead of their present jobs if they could have the same basic pay and benefits.

But then again, perhaps if that were the case – if everyone did their hobby for their occupation, perhaps the individual works would not mean as much to the artist. As it is, people create what they create for the sake of creating; for the joy and fulfillment that comes of expression and creativity. There is a pureness to a piece that was created for the sake of the end product. When someone creates something for money or position, the art is merely a means, and not an end of itself.

There is just as much to be said for a piece that is created for the sake of a principle, idea, or message. Art gains its meaning in the intent of the author and in the reception of its audience. But when something is created only for money, the piece is only worth its monetary value. It can only be worth that amount, and rarely more. The remarkable thing is that there are some artists (and musicians and authors) that are able to put infinite meaning into their work, and still use the piece to make a living. Those are the real professionals. Those are the people that can carry emotion, meaning, and purpose in a frame, as it were, and share those gifts with the world. This may be a difficult balance for creators to find, but certainly the truly passionate will come through, and will make the world a far more beautiful place for the rest of us.

I believe that many of the truest and greatest authors and artists will never be known, because they are too busy living to put their art on paper. Many of the deepest thinkers and the greatest ‘live-ers’ have not the time to immortalize their compositions by putting them on paper, because to do so might take time from the glorious day to day experiences that make them the great artists that they are.

Gratefully, painting, music, poetry, and all of the great arts are products of the mind and heart, so they do not vanish with death. This life is only a grain of sand on the beach of eternity, and the greatest masterpieces will not show up in mortality.