New Year’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year because it is a chance at new beginnings. It provides the possibility to wipe clean the slate, and refresh the stale frame of mind. I focus my excitement by spending some time contemplating new goals, and begin to draw a map of how I might accomplish them. I have already created the framework for what I want to accomplish in 2008, and I’m on pins and needles to move ahead. There are new opportunities to take, new ideas to visualize, new challenges to complete, new people to meet and new successes to enjoy.
This past year has been a key year for me in terms of getting motivated. As 2007 set into motion I began to transition out of my staff position at Quad Recording Studios, and take a step towards my aspirations of becoming a freelance producer/engineer/songwriter. Now as 2007 segues into 2008, I look back to see that not only have I put a big step forward in attaining that desire, I have also managed to jumpstart my dream of building a media company—something I thought was a long way off. I drew a lot of my inspiration from some books, articles, websites and blogs I came across throughout the year. I will post links to them here; I strongly recommend you read them. Hopefully they will inspire you as much as they did me.
[These lists are in no particular order]
An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths by Glenn Reynolds
48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson
The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen
Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook by Bob Baker
The Ultimate Survival Guide to the New Music Industry: Handbook for Hell by Justin Goldberg
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
And obviously as a record producer and music maker, I have to list the music that inspired me this year. Posted below are some records/songs that left a mark on me. Some are brand new for 2007 some are from previous years [again, listed in no particular order].
The Greatest-Cat Power
El Perro Del Mar-El Perro Del Mar
Neon Bible-Arcade Fire
We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank-Modest Mouse
Broken Boy Soldiers-The Raconteurs
Robbers and Cowards-The Cold War Kids
Lullabies to Paralyze and Songs for the Deaf-Queens of the Stone Age
Because of the Times-Kings of Leon
Our Love To Admire-Interpol
Icky Thump-The White Stripes
No One’s Gonna Love You-Band of Horses
Love Song-Sara Bareilles
Split Needles-The Shins
2007 sparked a motivation in me that I have never experienced before. This motivation seems to have bled into a peculiar interest in stirring motivation in those around me. I hope you share some of the same enthusiasms I do about New Year’s Day. If not, why not start now by making 2008 your Year of Inspiration? Make this the year that sets a fire in your life to dream new ideas, set creative goals and explore uncharted visions. Pick a book from my list above to use as your spark. Perhaps you have already read one or two on this list. In any case, I would love your comments. I would like to read your stories of motivation, opinions on starting a new year, or maybe you could suggest a book or two to me. Let’s inspire one another to dream new ideas, set creative goals and pursue divergent challenges this year.
I can’t believe Christmas 2007 is here. I get anxious around the holidays because there are always those seasonal parties to attend, but I find it nearly impossible to remove myself from work. Although, when you begin to monetize your hobbies there is hardly a line between work and play. I am always thinking about the next project I want to tackle; constantly devising new plans and seeking the information I need to build those ideas. I love learning and creating.
Perhaps you share some similar anxieties. Despite all that, I feel it is very important to spend time with those you love-both family and friends. I hope this holiday season finds you warm with the enjoyment of the moment amongst the fellowship of your loved ones.
It has been a little over three months since the last time I posted to this blog. The main reason for the pause in posts is because I wanted to migrate to my own domain/host. During the course of educating myself on the proper ways to blog, I came across some advice that you should take the time to set up your blog on it’s own domain/host before you build a significant reader base. Any time you migrate a blog to another place on the internet, you run the risk of defeating all the hard work you have put into gaining new subscribers. You should decide what you want to call your blog, and register the proper domain name at the outset of creating a blog, not after you have made a significant start. Learning from the mistakes of others, and since my blog was pretty much brand new at the time (and still is), I thought it would be the perfect time to do the migration. But before I could transition, I needed to do a lot more learning. To minimize the risk of gaining exposure under an identity I didn’t want to keep, I stopped posting. I have finally completed my change-over, and am proud to present my blog under the new title of producer notes: the scribbling of an indie record producer. I’m also excited about the fact that I’m hosting the site on a dedicated installation of WordPress within Media Temple’s (gs) hosting service, using the domain name producernotes.com instead of jonstinson.wordpress.com.
In addition to the changes made to the setup of my blog, I have made a whole lot of exciting new progress in my music/production career.
The studio is still on the radar screen, but the date for breaking ground has been pushed back to the spring. There have been so many projects happening all at once this fall, and I needed more time to draw the plans. I was advised by a friend to wait until the ground warmed back up to break ground. The studio is very much a part of my plans to progress in my career, and I am still very excited about the project. I will report on the progress of the construction regularly.
At the end of September, I officially teamed up with a business partner, Jonathan Harms, to form a company called Radical Notion (independent media). This is a venture that I have been dreaming about getting involved in for a long time, and the solution I was looking for to help Wes Sp8 gain some recognition. We are ramping up for 2008, and it looks to be a bright year for us. Jonathan and I plan to work very hard to devise new opportunities for both creators of music, and fans of music. We can’t wait to move ahead with all the ideas we have already put into action.
The Street Corner Champs
In October, I recorded an EP at my studio for a band called The Street Corner Champs. As Jonathan and I began to form ideas for RN, I got a phone call to produce for the band. During the pre-production phase of the project, the songs came together so well that Jonathan and I decided to take them on as a Second act on the RN roster, meaning that we now represent two performing artists/bands.
The Wes Sp8 project has also made some significant progress. Wes has built a band to play at his live shows, and the ensemble could not be more perfect. The band spent about six weeks practicing, and now performs a live show that has a magnitude I can’t do justice in description. Once you see the show, you won’t be able to live without it. In November, Wes and I did an on air interview/performance on Vanderbuilt’s radio station, 91.1 WRVU. We enjoyed some very positive feedback from the Nashville community that was inspiring to us all. I look forward to posting a recording of the interview in the near future.
We all have high hopes for 2008. I know that Wes Sp8, The Street Corner Champs, and Radical Notion are going to have some wonderful successes. In the very short time that we have been around so far, we have experienced some incredible victories. It is perfect timing to set out to do something new. However, we cannot continue to grow and have success if you are not there with us. It is important for me to stress that Wes Sp8, The Street Corner Champs and Radical Notion need your support and inspiration so that we can build on what we have started. Please join us this next year, help us develop this new venture into something remarkable.
Become involved right now by getting plugged in at these places:
Bookmark those sites and visit them often. They are being updated with new content regularly.
It’s good to be back, and I look forward to seeing you in 2008!