Have you ever heard of something called a ‘Depth Year’?
It’s a lifestyle concept that has been gaining some traction online for a few years, somewhat akin to minimalism. The idea is that you stop taking on new projects, buying new books when you already have so many unread, focusing on what you already have on the go, and actually finishing some stuff.
Arguably, everyone went through a similar set of constraints this year as we found ourselves stuck indoors, but personally I’ve been trying to apply some Depth Year principles throughout 2019 and 2020 in order to develop my music career.
The result? I was able to rebrand, and share 20 new pieces of music with you in 2020. But what do I have planned for my focus in 2021?
I appreciate this is a pretty long and detailed blog, so I’ll provide you with a handy article outline:
In this post:
- The Year Of Video
- Minding My Own Business
- (Even) more Collaborations
- Small Dreams
- Big Dreams
The Year Of Video
This year it’s my aim to get right back on the YouTube horse and make 20 full-scale music or behind the scenes videos. My last stint of uploading music content regularly ended in around 2012. At the height of my channel’s popularity, I was probably getting 100-300 views reliably on each upload. These days I’m able to get a similar amount, but not quite as quickly, and with far fewer comments from consistent viewers. I’m really grateful my viewership hasn’t dwindled away to absolutely nothing, but there’s definitely work to be done here.
I want to do more to cultivate a thriving audience on YouTube and also hone my languishing video editing skills. I have some cool new tools to play with now including a big DIY green screen and a phone that can shoot in 4K (things I didn’t have when I was last ‘being a YouTuber’).
Minding My Own Business
Now I have all the proper equipment and software, it’s high time I started treating my music as a profession and as a business. I even have business cards! Really, there’s no reason for me not to launch ahead and start making serious moves.
Speaking of my business cards, if you’d like one (or a few), please get in contact with me on Instagram, or Facebook, or just by good old-fashioned email. If you get one, please post a pic and let me know where in the world these cards end up! I might combine this with some kind of prize or giveaway, but I haven’t fully thought that out yet. Remind me!
Leading on from being ‘totes profesh’ (complete with snazzy business cards) I will need to make something more of my website. One thing I can do to help with that is to start blogging regularly again. I’m aiming to do this weekly, every Thursday. People can suggest (music related) topics for me to explore, but hopefully a steady stream of topics will arise naturally from my working on those 20 big videos.
(Even) More Collaborations
As mentioned in my last blog, I’ve approached a whole host of different independent and up-and-coming artists to work with. With this aspect, I hope to work on my skills as a producer and start gaining some notoriety in various online music communities.
This part also aligns with a ‘big dream’ that you can read about in the end of this post.
The idea is that you complete a set of music career-focused tasks every day for 20 days, but if you skip just one task, you have to start again from Day 1! The result should be that you see explosive growth in your following and social media engagement. I completed my 20 days back in October 2020, and through sheer force of will and an unhealthy level of spite, managed to get through it without having to start again.
One of the core tenets of the challenge was that you had to interact with lots of different people each day on your chosen social media platform, while also providing daily content for them to interact with. You had to choose 5 relevant hashtags or topics, then leave one ‘engaging’ comment each on 5 posts within those 5 hashtags or topics. As you can imagine, this was the most labour intensive aspect, especially to do on a daily basis. Some days it took me hours to do just this. Once the challenge was complete, I was pretty convinced I never wanted to do anything of the sort again!
But… after having a couple of months to come to terms with those 20 ridiculous days, I’ve realised that doing what was known as the ‘five by five’ for a few days out of a month could still be a really valuable use of time. So, I’ve begun writing in days in my 2021 page-a-day diary that will be devoted to this task of highly focused interaction with my following and potential following online.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught a series of story posts about some of my ‘small dreams.’ This details some of my short term goals that it would make me really happy to complete this year.
My small dreams are as follows:
- To work with Lucky 1s Media
- To be interviewed about my music again (here’s the first time)
- To appear on a music podcast
- To reach 1,000 Instagram followers
- To have a Patreon with 100 patrons
Have you ever tried to make a dream come true? Like, an actual dream, that you had while sleeping?
Quite regularly, I’ll have music making dreams. They often feature other artists that I’d love to work with. Other times I’m dreaming about working in a DAW that doesn’t exist. And when I wake, I’m filled with this overwhelming desire to ‘make my dreams come true.’
Sometimes, when my brain is trying to work something out, I’ll have recurring dreams. One such dream was about working with a whole host of different artists in a high class ski lodge/cabin type thing in Canada in the snow. We were a group including some rookies, lead by Beloved Artist (I’m keeping the name secret for now), all working together to write an album for a new solo artist (young and female, that’s about all the dream suggested).
After the third or fourth dream, I decided this wasn’t just something to inspire me, it was something I wanted to do for real.
How exactly do I plan to make this happen? Well, the only lead I’ve got so far is to catch the attention of Beloved Artist through amazing work done as part of collaborative projects with adjacent artists, with the end goal being to collab with Beloved Artist themselves. As it happens, Beloved Artist is indeed Canadian and living in Canada, so that provides me with an at least tenuous link to what this dream might have in store.
So, friends, that outlines my goals and intentions for the the year 2021. Are you as excited about it as me? Drop a comment and let me know what you think.
I will see you in my next blog entry, that with any luck should drop this Thursday, 7th January.
Take care of yourselves, music fans.