The Year is Half Over, What Have You Done?

On Saturday I woke up to the realization that the year is half over. And what have I done?

Well, I’ve had a lot of fun.

I’ve been to a bunch of Happy Hours with my girlfriends. (I almost never go out to dinner, but I am the queen of Happy Hour.)

I’ve done some cool hikes with my husband.

Sunday we went here.

Malibu hike Charmlee Wilderness Park
A beautiful hike through Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu

I’ve been to a bunch of concerts and country music festivals.

Brandy Clark. Coastal Country Jam featuring Jake Owen. Jay Nash, Tony Lucca & Matt Duke. (OMG – if you have a chance to see these guys – just one or all three together DO IT. They are amazing.) Stagecoach. U2. Oakheart Festival. Boots and Brews.

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Stage
U2 Joshua Tree Tour. I’ve seen U2 at least 10 times. I’d gladly see them 1,000 more.

Four festivals and three concerts are more shows that some people will see in a lifetime I realize, but those are not my people. God that sounded super assholey, didn’t it? That was not my intent. I’m super grateful to have gone to these shows. And I’ve got more on the way this year.

Hall & Oates with Tears for Fears (OMG!) Adam Ant (OMFG!) Green Day (Finally!) Thomas Rhett with Old Dominion & Walker Hayes (Cannot effing wait). And something called Retro Futura with Howard Jones, the English Beat and a bunch of other 80’s throwbacks. (Bought for a steal on Groupon – going with Dave and the kids. Should be a blast.)

So yes, it has been and will be a good year for music. Because live music more than anything is what makes me feel so alive. And young. (Seriously, so fucking young.)

And fun is great. Important, even. But I have goals this year that I have not achieved. I wanted to interview more artists like I did last year with Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion and Matthew Nelson of Nelson. But I haven’t. Because that takes effort and I’ve been busy with a new(ish) job and life and just trying to keep all my balls in the air.

You know. Like everyone else.

I’ve only written seven blog posts all year. And maybe two newsletters (which you should totally sign up for because I obviously won’t overwhelm your inbox and you get a free book. Or rather bookette).

I did write this piece for my friend Jessica’s blog that I’m quite proud of, but only because she asked. And really. It was just a reworking of a piece I’d already written.

And my WIP – the sequel to Frosted Cowboy. LOFuckingL. I have an outline (ish). It’s actually a great story (at least that’s what everyone I’ve told the plot to says), even better than the first. And I’ve written some of it, obviously. But. But. What?

I’m just busy.

And lazy.

And so damn scared.

Because writing is so hard. And what if it’s terrible? (And like any first draft, it is so terrible.)

So, sure. I’ve had some goals. But I haven’t really had a plan. And  A goal without a plan is just a wish. I read that on Pinterest. Or maybe it was Twitter. One of those very philosophical websites.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Saturday as I was cleaning that pile off my dining room table I came across an article I ripped out of Sunset Magazine by Anne Lamott called Time lost and found. And even though I was “so busy” and I’ve read it at least a dozen times before, I knew that this article about finding time to write was exactly what I needed and I sat down and read it again and it made me cry.

Because Anne Lamott knows the truth.

It’s so easy to make excuses. To be too busy to write. Busy job. Busy social life. Keeping all those balls in the air.

I’m not going to stop going to concerts or hiking with my husband or (god forbid) Happy Hour.

But what if I didn’t work through lunch every day. Or let one of those balls drop? (Or two? Or three? Or four?)

What if when I get up at 5AM (and I do, every single day) I actually write a blog post? Or contact a musician’s publicist? Or stopped being so scared to tackle my WIP?

Maybe in six month’s time – when the year is completely over, I’ll have done more than just have fun. More than just work. I’ll have created.

And my year will be one that was not half-lived.

 

*The quote “A goal without a dream is just a wish” is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupery (but you can find it on Pinterest). 

 

 

Singer/Songwriter Jay Nash Talks About Songwriting, Fatherhood and Leaving California

jay-nash-musician
Photo credit: Jessica Loucks

“Combining this whole rock and roll and fatherhood thing is not for the faint of heart.  It’s like a well greased high wire act.  I highly recommend it, but it’s definitely not for sissies,” says new father and musician Jay Nash.

“I used to go on tour and come back shredded from only getting five or six hours of sleep a night.  The idea of getting six hours of continuous sleep these days sounds amazing.  I practically come back from tour feeling refreshed.”

Growing up in Syracuse, New York Jay Nash dreamed not only of becoming a musician but of living in California with visions of surfing the Pacific and skateboarding in empty swimming pools. In 2001 he made that dream a reality and moved to Los Angeles to make a name for himself as a singer/songwriter.  (He also did a lot of surfing.)  But in April of this year he and his wife Rebecca packed their bags and relocated to Vermont.

“We spent so much time traveling to New York to see my parents or Connecticut to see her parents it seemed to make sense to move back east since we were starting a family.  Vermont is about equidistant between our two families and it’s just spectacularly beautiful.  In our town there are no fast food restaurants and no strip malls.  It’s like a step back in time.  I tour a lot so it’s a great place to come home and retreat to between tours and lay low.”

I met with Jay when he recently returned to Los Angeles for a week to play a few shows and mix his album that will be released in February of 2011.  When asked about his songwriting process he said, “All my favorite songs were written in a very short period of time.  It almost seems like they’re written even before they come out.  Occasionally there are times when you get a piece of something and you go back and refine it over time, but more often than not the best stuff just flows out of you.  There are more verses and more melodies than you even know what to do with because it’s been sitting there and it’s the truth and it just flows right out.  The best songs just sort of write themselves.”

Nash is about to embark on a six-week tour that will be done in two three-week stretches.  “The longest I’ve been away from my daughter is three days and I was miserable.  Now I’m going to be gone twice for three weeks and I’m scared.  There’s so much of a change in a 24-hour period.  I’m going to be gone for three weeks and when I come back she’ll be a completely different person.

“But I’m really so grateful to be doing what I love for a living.  This is the life that I asked for and you know what they say, ‘Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.’“

Well Jay Nash has certainly got it – a beautiful wife and daughter, a new home, a twenty-one city tour, and a new album due February 2011 – Jay Nash has got it indeed.

*Originally posted to skirt.com on October 11, 2010

To listen to some of Jay’s music click here and to see his tour schedule click here.  If he’s coming to a town near you do your best to check him out.  You won’t be sorry.