Looking Ahead to 2016

Last week I did a brief overview of what my 2015 was like. This week, I’m talking about some of my hopes and goals for 2016.

I don’t set resolutions for the new year. I’ve found that those almost never end up happening, and then I get down on myself for not accomplishing them. So instead of resolutions, I make plans, and I always keep in mind that those plans are not set in stone. If something doesn’t work, I can try something else.

My main goal, of course, is to keep writing. I’m planning to submit books in April, August, and December; I’ve already committed to my publisher that those will be arriving in their inbox. I might write other things and submit them to other publishers. I probably will continue writing short stories to use as free reads, because that’s kind of fun and it’s a lot less pressure than writing something I plan to have a publisher look at.

I’m planning to keep posting on this blog twice a week. I’m *planning* to vlog once a week, but I’ve been kind of failing at that lately because I’ll have people around, so I can’t record the vlog, and then by the time I could record it, I’ve forgotten that I need to. So I should work on that.

Musically, I’m planning to finish–hopefully this week!–my vocals for “Break the Fall.” Throughout the year, I’m planning to complete the other songs for which I’ve written lyrics. I’m planning to keep improving my bass skills, and to stop being afraid to try to learn the bass line for other songs besides the three I’ve been working on for a year. (Not my songs. Other people’s.) I’m planning to keep working on learning guitar as well, and by the end of the year I hope to be fluid enough with it to actually play stuff. I’m planning on relaunching my band, Dichotomous, with the restoration of the Facebook and Bandmix pages and setting up a website.

Mostly, though, I’m just hoping to have a positive year. And I hope you do as well.

Music Stuff

Most people reading this probably know that I’m an amateur musician. I’ve been doing it for about a year now, and I’ve made a lot of progress with playing bass guitar and singing. I’ve written a number of songs, and even have a couple of singles out under the band name Dichotomous. (I wasn’t alone doing those singles, but I’m the only one who’s still involved.)

Getting motivated to practice vocals and bass, and to work on learning guitar as I’ve been doing for a couple of months now, isn’t always easy. I don’t have a private space where I can practice. Everything’s in the corner of my living room. That means if my kids or husband are home, I can’t really practice at all, because distractions and noise and such. When they aren’t home, sometimes I have so many other things to do that I keep putting off practicing until it’s too late because one of them gets here before I can get started. The location of my equipment also means having to rearrange part of the living room before I can practice, and sometimes I just don’t feel like doing that.

And sometimes, to be honest, it’s hard to motivate myself because I get sad about the music. I wasn’t the only member of Dichotomous when the singles were recorded and released. The circumstances that led to that changing were painful. Sometimes practicing and playing those songs helps, but sometimes it brings back that pain. Hopefully some day, it won’t.

Meanwhile, I just need to push myself to keep trying. I’ve been working on rearranging my schedule to give myself more time to work on learning guitar and to practice what I’m already able to do. I’m trying to sort out what needs to be done on the rest of the songs for which I’ve written lyrics, because I would like to finish those at some point. Sooner or later, I’ll get there.

Something Else to Learn

Some people reading this know I’m a musician. At least sort of. I’ve been learning bass guitar for almost a year now, and I’m relatively competent at it, at least with some songs. I’ve been singing for years and have been seriously working at it since about January, so there’s been a lot of improvement. And I’ve been writing songs.

My band… Well, right now, I guess *I* am my band, because of reasons I won’t get into because I’ve been asked not to talk about it. But just because I no longer have another musician helping me out, that doesn’t mean I can’t keep trying. So I’ve added something else to my plate…

I’m trying to teach myself guitar.

Yeah. Because I’m either that foolish or that stubborn.

I don’t expect to be able to magically play songs just because I’ve decided I want to. I’m setting very small goals to start with, like being able to actually play the¬†two¬†chords I’m struggling with because I have trouble stretching my left hand. And I’m not setting any time frame for learning what I want to learn, because I want this to be fun.

On the other hand, I have “dream big” goals for the long term. I want to be able to compose the guitar parts for the songs I’m writing. Technically, I kind of already do. I know what the guitar should sound like. I can hum the parts. I just can’t *play* them. So I guess I want to be able to play what I’m already composing. Without someone else to help, I’m going to have to learn to do it myself. (Drums are no problem, thanks to downloadable pre-recorded drum loops online…)

And there are three songs that I put together when I had someone else in the band with me, for which that person did the guitar parts. So the ultimate “dream big” goal is to be able to play the guitar parts for those songs. Which is going to be very far from easy considering that there’s a lead guitar and a rhythm guitar…But if I’m dreaming big, I might as well go REALLY big.

Last year, I didn’t think I would be able to learn to play bass. I insisted I *wouldn’t* be able to. But I have, and I’m still learning and improving. So I’m facing the guitar with “It’s going to take a while, and I might not hit the big goals, but I’m going to try because I believe I can at least learn something.”

So… we’ll see what happens.