Want to torture yourself? Pause on Dec. 31st to consider the resolutions you scribbled down 364 days ago.
But not everyone is a resolution cynic. Check out the comments section below last year’s NYE post, and you’ll find a dozen entires from Josh Starmer, who pledged a year ago today to record an entire album, finishing one song per month.
Yup — he did it! You can read about his journey here.
Speaking of journeys: I emailed Josh to congratulate him, and he wrote back from frickin’ Cambodia on the day he was touring Angkor Wat.
Heck of a year, Josh!
I solicited words of wisdom. Josh’s reply:
For every one part challenging, it was 10 parts rewarding. Before I started, I’d never written a song before. I’d recorded little instrumental tunes, but nothing with words. I was pretty intimidated by lyrics early on, so I did what any awkward person would in such a circumstance, I sang about the weather. I then sent the song out to my closest friends and, over the months, their praise and complements kept me going, and their honest criticisms made me better. I’ll have an album out by mid-February.
Each month started out with one or two weeks of doubt and freak out. It didn’t matter how good an idea I had about what I wanted to record, it always seemed impossible. But, like everything, it was just a matter of starting, pressing record, and then putting the song together, piece by piece. The second two weeks of each month were always filled with immense pride as I watch the song materialize out of nothing. An idea in my head made real, and in many cases, better.
Along the way I developed a systematic method for singing in tune (which, sadly, is a different skill from playing any other instrument in tune), and I’m going to write about that as soon as I can. There’s a lot of bad advice out there on the internet, and I think what I came up with works really well.
Oh, and perhaps the most important thing – I can’t say enough about how cool it’s been to take an seemingly impossible task and just chip away at it each month in a disciplined way. I’ve found myself encouraging everyone I meet to do a similar thing – be it sewing a quilt, or writing short stories, etc…
How cool is that?
Anyone up for the “Starmer Challenge” in 2014? Or are you goals more modest? Or more grandiose? Please — confide your hopes and dreams for 2014 so that one year from today we can all join together to
laugh at your failure toast your amazing accomplishments!
So what are my 2014 resolutions? Easy — same as 2013!