I went to the gym this sub-freezing morning, did some fast walking on the treadmill and some weights. Last night I ordered the salmon instead of the cheeseburger that was beckoning. My cholesterol was a little high at this year's checkup and I really don't want to take a pill for it, so I've made these New Year's resolutions - as we often do - to exercise more and eat better. Over the holidays I had some time to reflect on life a bit, and I realized I'd been kind of neglecting my music. Maybe it was some depression at first, but then I just got out of the habit. I was picking up my guitar only occasionally and, as a result, wasn't really working on any new songs. So in addition to those usual resolutions, this year I've also made some MUSICAL RESOLUTIONS:
- To pick up my guitar every day, both to practice my usual material and also to develop new skills - and hell, just for the pure joy of playing;
- To open myself to new musical and lyrical ideas, grab them when they come along and work on them;
- To explore new music and new artists to add to my own musical stew;
- To get back to some songwriter events this year like the Richard Leigh Songwriters Festival in Abingdon, VA, and the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg; and
- To schedule shows in some new places and venues - so let me know if there's a cool coffee house, brewery, or club near you that I should contact!
The truth is, music is a discipline and a habit, as much as getting regular exercise and eating right. If I get out of the habit, my musical muscles atrophy. By the same token, if I cultivate habits of giving myself to music, I'll be there ready when the joy and the new, unexpected ideas come.