2024, the year I stop with my music

You’re probably going to start seeing a deluge of proclamations across your social media feeds in the coming days and weeks. New year, new start. I think it’s natural for these cyclical reminders to motivate us to start doing things we either stopped, never got around to, or simply avoided doing all together. A new year can be a fresh start and it makes perfect sense to my mind to use the new calendar year as the genesis for any number of things I want to experience or accomplish in my life. My 2024 “to-do” list has all kinds of fun and challenging things to push, challenge, entertain or just satisfy a simple curiosity I have. They include hiking a few trails, recording some music, learning how to do a “double-under", and taking a class on belaying for rock climbing.

Most of these are simple fun things to motivate me to leave the couch and go explore the world around me. One however find its way on to the list in some form or another every year. It's a part of who I am and I would pursue it with or without a list at the beginning of a new calendar year. For me that thing is music.

As I began to think about what I’d like to accomplish this year with my music, I felt a shift in my perspective. If I’m being honest, the shift has been taking place ever so gently most of this past year. I’ve felt the invitation for several months now to look at things from a fresh perspective, God’s perspective. Instead of “completing,” “accomplishing,” or “achieving,” I felt something deep inside me encouraging me to simply…stop. Yes, you heard it right, stop.

So with that mind, here are my 2024 goals as they pertain to my music:

  1. Stop defining the quality of my art by an algorithm I have no control over or any desire to devote time and energy into making work on my behalf.
  2. Stop expecting anything from what I create beyond the joy it brings me, the connection with my creator it nurtures, and the ability to help me make sense of the world around me.
  3. Stop using rejection as a metric for my worth, talent, or ability to make an artistic contribution to society.
  4. Stop taking art that is uniquely all my own and comparing it to art that is uniquely someone else’s.
  5. Stop equating success with how many people listen to my music. I’m already successful (See #2)

That’s it. Those are my musical goals for 2024. I will release a few songs this year I recorded last Fall. Hopefully, I’ll record a few more. I like them. I hope you will too, but if not, that’s okay as well. I’m more excited about the journey and path creating them put me on than the actual outcome of how well they do according to a metric I have no desire to chase.

I got to work w/ really talented and amazing people while creating these songs and walked away a better musician and song writer. I’ll see where the path leads, but it’s my deepest desire it simply opens up doors that allow me to continue learning, growing and connecting with fellow human beings. If my music doesn’t inspire them, maybe the story behind how it was created will. I believe we all have a contribution to make in this world, a journey that leaves more than it takes and brings each of us unparalleled joy and satisfaction. I believe this journey has a path we are called to venture down that is uniquely suited to each and everyone of us and the skills and talents we possess. And, I can’t help but wonder how much easier the path might be if our goal wasn’t to finish or complete, but rather stop. I wonder.