I wanted to drop you a line because I know you’re in the middle. Middles can be hard. You are not alone. You inspire me to keep working everyday. Can’t wait to see the blossoming of all the seeds you’ve been planting.
The Sybaritic Singer
One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is Andy J. Miller‘s “Creative Pep Talk.” He recently did a wonderful episode that is perfect for today’s challenge. That would be perfect supplemental material to our work here today. Please check it out after you’re done reading here. It was all about knowing that we all have seasons in our career. From planting to harvesting, each season has a primary aim. One of his main points was that we need to know which season we are in to help us tune out some of the ever-present noise in our lives.
To take that back to our Monopoly theme, it is our goal to buy lots of high quality properties at the beginning of the game. Later in the game, we are trying to negotiate for monopolies so that we can improve our holdings. But, you can’t negotiate until you have something with which to negotiate. It’s important to understand which part of the game you are playing in just the same way that it is important to know which season of your career you are enjoying.
Your Day 27 Challenge for 29 Days to Diva is to Plant and Tend to Your Fields.
In the podcast episode I referenced above, Andy talks about how we have seasons over the course of our entire careers but we also have seasons within each project. Your main challenge today is to look at all of your creative endeavors and write which season, or which part of the game, you are playing for each. Are you just beginning something new? Are you in the wrap-up stages of a big creative project? Those require different approaches. Some of our anxiety or discomfort comes from subconsciously treating all of our creative projects as though they are in the same stage.
I really want to focus here on the growing stage. In our field, we have a lot of focus on the planting with higher education, training programs, internships, and more. Those are all times when you’re learning about and selecting the seeds that you would like to plant in your life and career. One of the reasons I was talking about the pros and cons of urgency the other day, was because if we rush through the planting stage we will end up with inferior output. We didn’t take the time to really look at what was available. We didn’t prepare the soil. We planted something inappropriate for the area. If you’re in a hurry, you are tempted to just “get it done” or rush the planting stage. You can see why this would lead to burn-out during the growing phase. Or, a general sense of apathy about your plantings.
It takes a generous amount of faith to plan and plant a garden. Then, you must care for it through the winter to enjoy it in the spring and summer. Gardeners understand the benefit of patience. You simply cannot rush what needs time to grow. So it is with singing. You will need to plant the seeds of your creative projects and nurture them to fruition over the course of time that the project needs. The worst thing we can do is plant these seeds and then forget about them instead of caring for them during the growing season. The other situation I tend to see is continuous planting cycles. I see musicians who are starting a festival one week, and the next week they’re starting a record label, and the next week they’re starting an internet course. Of course we need to rotate our crops. However, continuous planting cycles do not leave any room for growing stages.
Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” The same goes for the creative projects that you have started. In the growing stage we have to stay committed. Think about all of the creative projects that you have started that you really truly loved. Are they still happening regularly? Some of the common reasons I hear are: “No, the show’s run ended. Or, it was a one-time concert. Or, yes, every once in a great while when somebody asks us to remount it.” Take time today to think about how you could grow those projects that were really fun, impactful, and/or profitable. Perhaps you have tricked yourself into thinking that project had been harvested long ago, while in actuality, it has been in the growing stage the whole time.
Being honest with yourself about where you are in the game, can have a positive significant impact. You can make better planting, growing, and harvesting decisions from a well-reasoned position. Like I mentioned above, you cannot negotiate until you have something with which to negotiate. Look at the creative projects you are doing. Do they give you leverage in the field? Are you saying “yes” to projects that will help you level-up? If not, challenge yourself today to start seeking out and creating those opportunities in your life.
Tweet All About It!
Do you love Twitter as much as I do? Let’s connect there. You can find me at @mezzoihnen. I would love to hear your #29DTD thoughts. Or, share your progress with these challenges. You’ll see me using both #29DTD and #29DaystoDiva. See those little gray birds in the post above? They’re all click to tweet snippets pre-made for you. Finally, don’t forget to join us for #musochat tomorrow night at 9pm EST! Looking forward to tweeting with you soon!