Does the Law of Attraction Really Work? (Mutineer Progress Report #1)
For over a decade, I’ve dreamed of recording and performing a collection of my own rock songs. I call the band/project “Mutineer.” In January of this year, I finally put my cards on the table, announcing my intention to complete this project publicly. Why? To keep myself accountable. Also, I wanted to share with anyone else who has a personal or professional goal that while things might not happen overnight, things can happen if you set a goal, come up with a plan to achieve it and then take action. In that sense, I view Mutineer as a bit of an experiment in the power of the Law of Attraction, and putting to work the recipe I try to share with others: Hope, Creativity, Accountability and Positive Action will eventually get you where you wish to be.
I set a target date of April 29, 2017 to launch or complete “Mutineer.” All the reasons why that date is important are listed in this article. That date is now less than a year away. So, how’s the progress so far?
Here’s a quick recap of some of the obstacles I noted as being between me and my goal:
Ability as a guitarist
Ability as a singer
My guitar (I bought for $150 at pawn shop)
No bandmates (yet)
NO rehearsal space
Physical conditioning for performing for a couple of hours
Vocal conditioning for performing for a couple of hours
Time. I’m a single dad with a busy career whose top priority is his kids. My time with them is off-limits to much else. What sense does it make to take this on?
Here’s how I would assess the progress so far:
I’m behind where I expected to be, but am amazed at the people and situations I have attracted into my life that have voiced their support of this project and may be able to help.
I felt that I’d have re-demoed all the Mutineer songs by now so that I could share them with potential players and contributors. That still has not happened. In fact, after reaching near burnout around Easter (end of March), I’ve hardly picked up my guitar, and I went near three weeks without it as it sat in the shop waiting to have a small electrical issue repaired. It’s back now, but I still need to pick it up.
Having made all my home demos to this point on a little Fostex Digital 8-track machine, I entered into this project expecting to use a Digital Audio Workstation (Cubase) along with a virtual drum program (EZ Drummer). I’ve found the learning curve for both of those things far more steep and frustrating than I expected. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the basics of it, and I’m no dummy when it comes to that stuff: I was trained in the broadcast industry and usually know my way around basic digital editing. But getting the right inputs and outputs assigned and the proper tracks assigned and dealing with latency and other computer-related stuff makes me long for a good old reel-to-reel machine. But I’ll figure it out.
Where I feel I’m ahead of the game is in the pool of potential players.
“Band”mates (potential contributors)
At the end of February, I reached out to the guy who, I wrote in January, would be my dream guitarist for this project. And as outlandish as my story sounded coming out of my mouth when I explained it to him, he replied, “That sounds like fun. Send me some of the stuff and I’ll see if I can help.” And then he went on a European tour with one of his other bands. I still haven’t sent him any “stuff.” I fear that what I have recorded already is not good enough to share with him. I need to get over that and I know it. We shall see if he’s meant to be involved or not.
Having said that, I’ve also met many people in the time since that have caused me to re-envision what this might look like and how it might work. When I explain the concept of Mutineer, creative people seem to want to be a part of it. And I would like for them to be involved, almost as if I was a collector of souls to try and harness that good energy and share it with anyone else who cared.
I’ve begun to wonder if, perhaps, April 29, 2017 should not be viewed as the end, but as the start. Maybe with a concert involving all kinds of players to introduce and kick-off the project and give people a taste of the songs, and then go and get them recorded and follow up with a proper release later on? That idea has some appeal, but we’ll see where it goes.
In March, I enjoyed a real thrill by joining my pals from the band 7T8 out of Cambridge, Ontario, on stage for a song at the “Rock For Dimes” event I MC’d for the third-straight year. I talked a little about Mutineer to those guys and, of course, they said they’d help however they could. Hmm.
At that same event, I met a couple of other people with deep roots in music and lots of connections, knowledge, gear and experience. Again, when I mentioned Mutineer to them, their response was almost instant: “Let me know how I can help.” That’s pretty neat.
Ability as a guitarist / Ability as a singer
Prior to reaching near burnout in March, I had actually been playing both my acoustic and electric guitars more than usual. And I was getting better. And really, my only goal is to be good enough to be able to capture a demoed version of each song that will do the tune justice. I’d like to play some rhythm guitar to a few of the songs on the record and in the concert, but I really would like the bulk of it to be handled by someone who really knows what they’re doing. So in this area, I just need to get back to playing and practicing more often.
My vocal ability, on the other hand, has improved. I sought out some instructional videos for proper warm-up, breathing and beginning vocal technique, and while it’s far from making me a stage-ready performer, I can tell that it’s helping. The trouble is, if I allow myself to get overworked, one of the first places I begin to feel it is in a strain in my throat. In both February and March, I lost a couple of weeks due to fighting off some sort of cold (even when I did “Rock for Dimes,” I was not feeling well). So I’ve reset my goals to make sustained health and balance the top thing. I can’t do much else if I’m not feeling well, but that has caused me to reign in some of my expectations.
However, I’ve put far more hours into singing in the last few months than I have in the last many years. And most of it has been in my car. Since I work in sales and marketing through the day, I drive in to the office and do vocal warm ups. Then when I head out to see clients, I will often do more vocal drills and then work up to singing along with certain songs as I go. I get some strange looks at stoplights, but I don’t care. I’m using the time I have as effectively as I feel I can without driving myself too hard.
This is, I feel, my largest challenge. Mutineer is but one thing I’m working on outside of being a single dad and working a very hectic full-time sales and marketing career. I also keep up weekly activity through my own business, Kevin Bulmer Enterprises, which includes what has turned into a bi-weekly Podcast (those are fun, but they take time). And as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, time with my kids is off-limits.
Since I am divorced and only have my boys with me about half the time, you’d think I’d have all kinds of extra hours to do whatever I want. But that’s not the case. On the weeknights when I don’t have my boys with me, I scramble to get done all the things I don’t want to be doing when they are with me: laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cutting the lawn, other errands and chores, extra work, going to the gym (see the next point), MC’ing events, additional work-related functions, and anything else that relates to either Mutineer or Kevin Bulmer Enterprises. It’s a lot. And this is probably the reason why most people don’t even bother to try: they don’t see how they’ll be able to fit it in. But if it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. Oh, and I also look for whatever time I can to be with my sweetheart, Caroline, who has similar challenges to me on her side of things. So if she and I have the chance to be together, the other stuff waits.
Physical conditioning for performing for a couple of hours
I’ve made good progress here. I’ve long since ingrained the habit of visiting a gym three or four times a week. Now, the routine has begun to change. Though I’m not bodybuilder, I’ve always enjoyed doing some weight-resistance exercises to work off stress. But now, I’m doing far more aerobic exercises and a lot of stretching and yoga-type stuff. It’s making a difference. I’m far more flexible, I sleep better, my endurance is improving and I have fewer aches and pains.
As with other things I’ve mentioned, I sometimes get tripped up with my fitness by pushing too hard, getting sick and then having to pull back for a week or two. So I’m really trying to be mindful of that and keep more consistent to build slowly than try to do too much all at once.
In this area, I’m happy. I feel good, and feel better more consistently than I can remember as an adult. I can build off of that.
In addition to my goal of having Mutineer activated as of April 29, 2017, I have what I feel is, for me, an aggressive income goal for 2016 and an aggressive target for me to hit at my work as well. If I can stay focused on achieving those goals (or even coming close), then the money for Mutineer will sort itself out. I’m really not concerned about it.
To help me along, I am taking a course that I invested in back in March. It is helping me to upgrade my knowledge and skills and to identify and overcome any limiting ideas and beliefs I may have about my ability or potential. And so far, I love it. However, what that takes is – you guessed it – time. I usually wake up between 6:00 and 6:30am and invest approximately 45 minutes every single day to working on and learning from that course. It’s become a habit. I’ve been doing it for 9 weeks now. So, usually, by the time 8:00 am rolls around, I’ve already done a lot of positive self-development work and have also, quite often, worked on podcast editing, social media posting, blogs or other contributions to my overall goals before I ever head off to work for the day.
Money, I can make. I’m more concerned that we get the lighting right when we finally do the Mutineer concert.
So … now what? Well, more of the same. But as the weeks and months pass, I think I’ll zero in on getting these songs put together and more of a definitive, actionable plan and start working it.
I want so badly to start sharing some of this music. But I want the music to be of at least a decent-enough quality that it represents itself well enough to be shared. I’ve been imagining that I’ll share the demo process with you and perhaps do some lyric videos to go with them. Perhaps it will be interesting for people to see how these things evolve over time? Or maybe I should just wait and only pull back the curtain when it’s ready. I don’t know. But I’ll figure it out.
I believe I could get this done pretty quickly if I were to zero in on it and make it my only priority. But I’m not willing to do that. Mutineer is an important piece to what I’m doing, but it’s just once piece.
So far, it’s serving its purpose very well.
Posted on May 17, 2016, in Progress Reports, Uncategorized and tagged 7T8, Dreams, Goals, Guitar, Law of Attraction, March of Dimes, progress, Progress Report, recording, Singing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.