When should you follow your heart?
Always, I would argue.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible. Sometimes it’s money. Sometime’s it’s all of the other demands on your time. Sometimes you just don’t feel strong enough to stand up to the inevitable “What on earth are you thinking?” questions you’re going to get from people both close to you and so far away. Sometimes that deeply ingrained practicality of yours just won’t allow you to believe in your own dreams anymore.
Man, those times are rough, aren’t they?
I started Homemade because I have spent a lot of time lately not following my heart. I set a really aggressive deadline mostly for one reason – so I couldn’t procrastinate. I know my heart is in songwriting. I know that more than I know anything else in this life. But I come home exhausted. I come home hungry. I come home missing my husband after long, trying days at work. And man, it’s hard to convince yourself to work – even when it’s work you enjoy, and love, and feel called to – when you’re just dragging yourself in the door at night.
So I gave myself a reason to do it. A goal. Something to work towards. And I put that goal really, really close to me.
And it worked. I’ve written three new songs (one which has been sitting in my “ideas box” for a year and a half. I didn’t even used to have an “ideas box” because I would just sit down and use my ideas as they came.). I have regained my basic knowledge of Protools and other general recording techniques. I’ve had to work to get my voice back into shape (and I should keep working).
But I didn’t meet my deadline.
Now, a few things happened. Of course I knew that my parents were coming in the middle of all of this, and that time would not be used toward the project. I knew that I had another project (the curtains) to finish up before I could switch the extra room from seamstress to home studio mode. I didn’t count on coming down with a cold for a week, letting the house get out of control due to feeling like crap, and having extra clean-up to do before my parents came as a result. I also didn’t remember what a perfectionist I can be – and how hard it is to just accept that sometimes, especially in a setting like this, it’s just not going to sound perfect or BE perfect. Maybe not even close. Maybe I shouldn’t expect myself to sing like I could five years ago when I spent at least three hours a day seriously singing. Maybe I shouldn’t expect to magically know how to mix a vocal like it’s my job, and maybe I shouldn’t expect a ukulele to sound like a guitar, because it’s a freaking ukulele, for heaven’s sake.
But whether I have valid reasons or not (I would say they’re maybe half-valid?) I just didn’t meet my deadline. That’s not something I do. That’s not something I’m okay with. But it happened, so where do I go from here?
Well, I focus on the things I did accomplish, and then I keep going.
The new release date for Homemade is March 4, 2014. The day before my birthday. A Tuesday, the day records drop. I do not know if I will make it to ten songs. I will release whatever has been completed by March 3rd, when I go to bed. If I do NOT make it to ten songs, the rest will be released one by one, as I finish them.
I mean, why did I commit to a full album in the era of the EP anyway?
Well, the answer to that is easy, but it’s moot now.
I hope you’ll understand. I hope you’re still looking forward to hearing these songs. I really am proud of them, truly.
I’m working on a new project called Homemade. As part of the rules of the project, I am providing weekly updates of my progress until the release date. See Update #1, Update #2, Update #3, Update #4 and Update #5 for more details.