Season 2 Episode 7 Nobody particularly likes starting the process of change. At least, nobody that I've met. Sure you might appreciate the results of taking on new habits and whatnot, but getting that process started? No me gusta. I'm the same way when it comes to change. Being a teacher (and being married to one!), I recognize what it takes to develop new skills and improve on them. I know it takes hard work to build solid habits, especially when you have to “un-learn” the old ones. I also know that putting in the time and energy works. Intentional changes (like forming new habits) usually create positive effects in your life. That's what education and all other types of self-improvement are all about. What I'm saying is, I get it. But... That doesn't mean I always enjoy the process. I tend to be especially grouchy about getting the ball rolling on new habits. Momentum builds up with old habits and whatnot and it requires a lot of gumption to reverse that inertia. I don't always have that gumption. Hence the grouchiness. Much has been changing in my world recently. A lot of people found themselves needing to pivot this past year (thanks 2020) and I'm one of them. Most significantly, I switched day jobs. This affected my life in some pretty dramatic and unexpected ways. I worked at my previous position for five years, and had (understandably) built up some habits and expectations around that work schedule and environment. But, with my new position my daily schedule vastly changed. I used to work afternoons and evenings, now I'm on a more regular 9-5. This forced me to take a hard look at my music habits (practicing, recording, etc.) and figure out how I could carve out space for them. My songwriting process isn't immune from the effects of these changes. Previously, I used the mornings and afternoons before work to write and record. My wife was away at work. I could sit at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee, my guitar, and a notebook, watching the sunrise as I worked on my latest tunes. Usually one of my cats lazily snoozed on the chair next to me. It was nice. Serene even. And I miss it sometimes when I have to now get up and on the road to work while it's still dark outside. Let me tell you, getting the gumption going to write after a long day at work is difficult. Especially since I had gotten used to such a comfortable writing environment. But I know from experience that songwriting can become a habit. The more you write (and the more consistently you write) the better you get. I know that if I'm not proactive in creating some sort of space for my music with my new day job, my music will slowly start taking a lower priority in my life. Slowly getting that ball rolling in the opposite way of where I want to be going. Knowing my personality, I work well under sort of structured deadlines. Even if these are self-imposed and somewhat arbitrary, I know I get more done if I schedule out a routine. This has worked for me in the past with songwriting. My first few albums, actually, are going to be filled with songs I wrote in an intense, year-long writing “challenge” I'm wanting to get back into a regular writing habit, but with the new job I'm needing a new structure for it. So that's what I've been working on developing. And that's what this episode of The Honest Songwriter is all about. I'm sharing what I going to be doing as a way to stay accountable to building the new habits. Plus! As a bonus side-effect of the new plan I've come up with, there will be more opportunities for you guys to hear early demos and see other behind-the-scenes stuff.