Why Do You Blog?

Recently I was asked the question, “Why do you blog?”

I’ve thought a lot about that.

For me, blogging is a tool to do what I’ve already been doing, better. For most of my life I’ve been doing stuff like keeping a journal, recording piano and flute improv pieces, making funny tape recordings, drawing cartoons, writing articles and stories. Now I have a place I can put it all. Not only that, but I now have a means to share it, and organize it, and broadcast it.

I suppose I’m a bit of a mutt blogger. I don’t have one subject. I’m an author, musician, dad, (wannabe) comedian, photographer, (hobby) cook, and religious fanatic. I can’t, CAN’T keep to one topic. If I had time to keep 5 or 6 blogs I would (tried it – what a joke).

I’ve fought myself on this. Everything I read says keep a FOCUS. I’ve tried and failed over and over and over. So I’ve finally given up and decided: you know what? This is me. I want my blog to be the real me. I love doing so many things. If that ruins my SEO, so be it. I didn’t start blogging for search engines. I have websites that can deal with those. My blog is me.

My hope is that I can use my blog to connect with you.

So how about you? If you have a blog, why do you do it? What’s your motivation?

I’m Back!

Okay, so I can be a little flakey – so be it! Actually, ditching this blog and turning it over to http://chas.willowrise.com was a bit of an experiment. See, I thought it might work well to have all my blogs just combine into one – to simplify. Actually, in a lot of ways, it just complicated things – plus my stats on this blog continued to do well – for six months! Even though I wasn’t updating anything.

Also, the search relevancy dropped considerably. People weren’t finding my music on the other blog, while this one continues to guide people accurately to what their looking for. It was an interesting experiment, but I’m back now! Let me know what you think of having this be it’s own blog – basically a blog containing and talking only about music.

This also means there’s going to be a flood of entries on here – for two reasons. First, I’ll be importing all the music related entries from the other blog onto this blog, and second, because it’s April, and I’m writing my Christmas CD. I did Nanowrimo this last year and loved it, so I thought I’d try the same thing with music and write a CD in a month. People have been requesting a Christmas CD for a long time now, so I thought this might be a good time to work on that. So far so good! I’ve got 12 songs so far, all arranged and recorded this month, and I don’t know much CD time I have left. I hope you enjoy it! I’d LOOOVE to hear your feedback! I’ll probably re-podcast them when the holidays are getting closer, but I want to show them to you now to give my blog/podcast listeners a sneak peak.

Thanks for your patience. Actually, in the long run, I don’t think all of you will notice the blog change much, but hey, either way, I’m back!

Chas

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!

An Experiment

I’ve decided to try something.  This is sort of my personal/family blog, and it has the least focus of all my blogs.  So I thought it might be cool to post the majority of the stuff I post on my other blogs and podcasts on this blog as well.  It’s kind of an experiment, so it might not last.  I’ll mostly just duplicate the stuff that is original content (meaning I wrote the words, made the video, or created the music, rather than just sharing something I found elsewhere on the Internet) when it’s from the other blogs.

If it works, this blog will get busier, but since the stuff going on in my other blogs are a big part of my life and family, they still fit the intent of this blog.

Let me know how it works for you who are reading!

Incidentally, here are my most regular blogs/podcasts:

Making Moments: My Daddy Blog (this one), and hence sometimes a humor blog as well.  If this experiment works, though, it’s going to get a little more scattered.

Overtones: My music blog/podcast.  Listen to my original music, musical thoughts, etc.  By the way, my second CD comes out in downloadable form at the end of this week!

Popcorn and Podcasting: An LDS podcast my wife and I do together.  We try to have a new post up every Saturday, but occasionally they go up late.

The Synergetic Novel: A collaborative weekly serial novel.  I should say up front that the reason the author is not posted on the site is because I hope there will eventually be many contributing authors – if the idea ever gets big enough to expand.  But so far I am the author, with the help of some of my fictional friends… and a lot of help from readers!

Awesome Musician Bloggers

I’ve been on the lookout for other musician blogs. It’s fun to connect and get to know how other musicians are doing with their music, and how they are using the blogosphere to share what they have discovered.

Many musicians have family blogs, religious blogs, and so forth, but there are some who’s blogs are focussed on music. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Paul Cardall: AMAZING musician.  I’m linking you to his website, because he has links on his front page to all five of his blogs – one of which is a music blog. All of his blogs are fantastic – check them out!  And what an incredible guy.  He’s now awaiting a heart transplant, too, and blogs about it.
  • Career Songwriter Blog: Andrea Stolpe does a great job explaining the ins and outs of both songwriting and the music business.  A must subscribe for music and especially lyric writers!
  • Piano Musings: If you would like to learn to play the piano by ear, Edward Weiss knows his stuff, and even offers classes.  His blog is very insightful and goes into detail about the intricate skills required for one who is learning to play the piano outside of the traditional sight-reading piano lesson style.
  • Sher the Love: I just discovered this one last week, and love it.  It’s a fun blog about the life of the musician Sherrie Shepherd, so check it out!
  • Solo Pianist for Peace: Louis Landon shares his thoughts and feelings in a very unique and personal way that makes his blog thoroughly enjoyable to read.

There are loads of others, but these ones are fairly regular in their posting, and are probably my favorites that I have found so far.

I would love to find more. Help me out and tell me in the comments about any musician blogs that you know of!

– Chas

Journals and Diaries: Ideas for Keeping it Fun!

I have been keeping a daily journal for about sixteen years now, and I love doing it.  One of the things that keeps me at it is using variety in my journal-keeping methods.  Here are some examples:

Traditional Methods

1. Keep a small pocket notebook with you wherever you go, and when an idea of something to mention in your journal comes to you, jot down a word or two that will remind you of the incident so you can write about it in your journal later.
2. Write a memory of something that happened long ago.  Remember that it probably won’t make a difference in the next generation if you wrote it the same day or years later.
3. Write about something funny that happened recently.
4. Write about something someone else did recently.

Creative Methods

1. Draw a cartoon, sketch, or simple painting of the event(s) of the day in your journal.  Write what the picture represents, and be sure to Continue reading

The Making Moments Six-monthiversary!

lunch-bucket

Though I have been blogging for about a year and a half now, today is my six month mark on the Making Moments project.  Just to let you know, I’ve diligently kept a record of each day in that six month time.  I have recorded some of these moments on this blog.  I was hoping by now there would be some grand awakening that would open my eyes to a whole knew approach to spending time with family.

There hasn’t been.  I’m the same guy, and though my kids have grown a little, they haven’t changed beyond typical child development.  I still haven’t found any secret discovery or key to perfect parenthood.

But really that wasn’t the intent.  The intent was to Continue reading

Spring Cleaning – er… blog cleaning… in spring

Okay, so you’ve all probably seen this nice little poll on the side of my blog for the last few weeks. I’m trying to clean it up, so I’m taking out the stuff that looks most cluttery. Anyway, I’d still like you to take the poll if you haven’t done it yet! It would really help me out.

Oh, and by the way. I do have a little playlist of favorite daddy and family-type songs. But alas, it’s also a bit cluttery, so I’m removing it from the side bar. I know some people just chop it, but then you can’t scroll, and, well, I’m not sure anyone’s listening to it besides me anyway! But you’re still welcome to listen to it from this post.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Also, if you haven’t noticed, I’m now on Twitter. I’m an official Twit now, so if any of you fellow twits out there would like to follow me, please do! Here’s a link, or Just click the follow button on the little twitter widget on the side of the blog. I’ll update you on new music I write, new blog entries from all three of my regular blogs/podcasts, as well as give you occasional meaningless useless bits of so-called information. Continue reading