Monday, January 24, 2011

The War of Art and The Lizard Brain

Material to stimulate Art - Continued

This is a repetition somewhat of a previous post with some additional material on the subject of guides for the production of Artistic Work.

The war of Art - Pressfield speaks of a tremendous animus force pushing headlong against our greatest need to create, trying to suppress us creating ( creating anything new whether an entrepreneurial venture or a sculpture or song).  Turning pro is a step in defeating this as is putting work out there to suceed or fail and mostly fail. Failing does not mean I'm a failure - in fact it probably is the opposite - the Lizard and the Resistance did not have their day in the sun either - so is it a draw or a win?  Pressfield  writes that fear is the thing we can use to indicate what we most need to do. Go in the uncomfortable direction - the road less traveled as it were.

Derek Sivers   says the same thing; his idea is to - do whatever excites you or makes you afraid - and if there's something that makes you uncomfortable versus the comfortable safe choice - take the more difficult choice. 

The litany of the saints of artist freedom:
  • Derek Sivers
  • Hugh McLeod
  • Julia Cameron (!!!) 
  • Steven Pressfield

Seth Godin also deserves  a mention - admitting though I want to  read a little more of him also. But he says ' Ship it" which as my colleague Tim equates with "Git 'er done" and brings me to the next gentleman writing about procrastination -

The Lefestz Letter is also cool for a really down to earth and realistic look at music industry hyperbole.

Finally Dan Kimpel is another cool soul to catch up with especially for songsters - he really gets into the heart and souls of Songwriters - Go Dan! he the man for networking!

As I write this I am aware I am in exalted internet blogger and artistic company, it's good to have human templates to aspire to as the heavenly helpers may seem very far away - I am following and trying to learn to live an integrated life & walk in their shoes. These writers and bloggers have all helped me in different ways to get through the valley of the day job and now helping me find handholds and paths in the night fog of the pro-artist.

It also has to be said a spirituality is really important; as it used to be called - faith and hope. Pressfield says the muses and higher powers are there to help us -

Yea though I walk in the shadow of no day job I fear no evil for thy rod and thy staff are there to comfort me... 

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Fighting the Lizard Brain Resistance

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Symptoms of 'The Resistance' as discussed below

All week I was sick

All week I was afraid

All week I was being convinced there was a 100 better things to do and better ways to do it

All week I went back and forth between feeling futile but doing it anyway, fighting the good fight, trying to prepare when I couldn't  breathe through my own nose -

"Nah nah nah - How're you going to sing if you can't breathe", the Lizard said


Lessons learnt:

  • It was good to do show and push my envelope ( performing a full set is a bigger task than an open mic)
  • Friends are great- and Encouragement is important ( with reality)
  • The struggle is an inside issue not and outside one - this can be a whole blog subject itself.
  • Create VIP list of folks to email and let know I'm playing out and send them a nicely worded HTML invite with a gift or encouragement to come to gig
  • Share the stage and create team poportunities ( Nice new word by me!) to play together with other folks and share the artist and technical burden of equipment and setup and promotion - sharing with the awesome Ryan Morgan and his cool lyrics and hooks was great. Calm and solid performance.

Some of the above is commentary on my reflections through what I have read recently - and previously about making Art. This next section feels like it should be a 2nd Blog post but allow it for the moment - it's of a theme with above fear facts.


The war of Art -
 

Steven Pressfield speaks of a tremendous animus force pushing headlong against our greatest need to create, trying to suppress us creating ( creating anything new whether an entrepreneurial venture or a sculpture or song).  Turning pro is a step in defeating this as is putting work out there to suceed or fail and mostly fail. Failing does not mean I'm a failure - in fact it probably is the opposite - the Lizard and the Resistance did not have their day in the sun either - so is it a draw or a win?  Pressfield  also says that fear is the thing we can use to indiate what we most need to do.

Derek Sivers   says the same thing in his idea of doing whatever excites you or makes you afraid and if there's something that makes you uncomfortable versus the comfortable safe choice - take the more difficult choice. 

The litany of the saints of artist freedom:

  • Derek Sivers
  • Hugh McLeod
  • Julia Cameron (!!!) 
  • Steven Pressfield

Seth Godin also deserves  a mention - admitting though I want to  read a little more of him also.


The Lefestz Letter is also cool for a really down to earth and realistic look at music industry hyperbole.

Finally Dan Kimpel is another cool soul to catch up with especially for songsters - he really gets into the heart and souls of Songwriters - Go Dan! he the man for networking!

As I write this I am aware I am in exalted internet blogger and artistic company, it's good to have human templates to aspire to as the heavenly helpers may seem very far away - I am following and trying to learn to live an integrated life & walk in their shoes. These writers and bloggers have all helped me in different ways to get through the valley of the day job and now helping me find handholds and paths in the night fog of the pro-artist.

It also has to be said a spirituality is really important; as it used to be called - faith and hope. Pressfield says the muses and higher powers are there to help us -

Yea though I walk in the shadow of no day job I fear no evil for thy rod and thy staff are there to comfort me... 

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Killing the Golden Goose v The Milkman of Human Kindness

I wrote previously about Sonic Bids and wanted to add an update:

Sonic Bids Blog ADDENDUM: 2011


I just read this on Derek Siver's Site: ( Awesome dude! and founder of Original CD baby site) Kinda re-enforces my point - why does Sonic Bids exist - is it to milk the musician or help them ...


Derek's Advice to his staff as he delegated authority to them -


“Yes refund his money in full. We'll take a little loss. It's important to always do whatever would make the customer happiest, as long as it's not outrageous. A little gesture like this goes a long way to him telling his friends we're a great company. Everyone always remember that helping musicians is our first goal, and profit is second. You have my full permission to use that guideline to make these decisions yourself in the future. Do what makes them happiest. Make sure everyone who deals with us leaves with a smile.”


I wonder what advice the Sonic Bids or any of the other music sites teams are given - Kill the Golden Goose (extract maximum $$'s from creator's ) or be the Milkman of human kindness ala Derek (Yay!) Sivers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tireless Tiresome Self Promotion

 Anyway this week has seen me in the trenches self-promoting - it's a full time job and kinda leaves a trail after me of posts like a digital snail where I have been - twitter, blog posts, emails, group emails, facebook, myspace updates, flyers, poster, uploads downloads, postings replies  yak yak yada yada -  - oh boy I thought I was a songwriter and all for one show on Saturday -

(Special thanks for above poster and pix by Christina Lord co-writer of The Unemployment Blue's)

In case you did n't notice here it comes again - the info about the show -

"What Show?"
My show on Saturday 22nd at path Cafe ?
"Oh, wheres that? "
131 Christopher Street - B/D to West 4th or 1 to Christopher
"Nice.. What time you on at ?"
I'll be on shortly before 9 - hope to see you there...

John

---

LaughJohnLaugh
ASCAP Award Winning Songwriter plays the Path Cafe
Saturday 22nd January at 8.30 pm.

plus special guest Ryan Morgan also appears

Path Cafe http://pathcafe.com/location.html
131 Christopher Street
New York City, NY 10014

ADDRESS

Irish owned and operated cafe-bar with a great selection of beers, wines and a hospitable welcome from David Sheridan.

B/D To West 4th Street
1/2 to Christopher Street
Path to Christopher  St

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Path Cafe NYC 8.30 Saturday January 22nd 2011

LaughJohnLaugh (John Munnelly)

ASCAP Award Winning Songwriter plays the Path Cafe
Saturday 22nd January at 8.30 pm.
http://www.myspace.com/laughjohnlaugh

Ryan Morgan also appears

Path Cafe http://pathcafe.com/location.html
131 Christopher Street
New York City, NY 10014

Irish owned and operated cafe-bar with a great selection of beers, wines and a hospitable welcome from David Sheridan.

Inspire - Be Inspired

Hugh MacLeod GapingVoidGallery


Well I don’t know about the rest of the web world but I’m in a constant state of arousal - ahem, excuse me,  I mean I feel inspired a lot of the time. But it’s not emanating from an empty vessel - inspiration needs some challenge or nourishment.  I read a book or listen to an interesting provocative discussion on radio and it sets off a thought or a feeling that I then need to ACT upon. This generates something new (like a song in my case) that adds into the circle of ideas. As a direct example of this circular e-motion I wrote 2 more verses and a chorus to Hugh’s “She’ll eat you for breakfast” - Why? I felt inspired!

Personally I get a lot of inspiration-mileage out of real life stories and biographies - I connect to other peoples creative struggles and it gives me hope to continue on the ‘un-mapped way’, the uncharted territory Artist’s and creator’s voyage across in search of the Muse.

Because once the Muse has breathed her sweet soul message into your heart - we are hooked and seek to be inspired anew.

Koan: Did I leave the cubicle or did the cubicle leave me?

-----

Get Hugh MacLeod Art at  gapingvoidgallery.com

Sort of About Me

I am a songwriter living in Brooklyn NYC - I can write a song about anything: Positive Uplifting Messages Spiritual/Hymns Social Commentary POP/Rock - Kids Songs Celebratory/Seasonal Personal/Relationship Work/Employment New Styles Poems set to music Celtic (open tuning) PIANO SONGS

Blog Filing Cabinet -previous musings