Let’s close out the old year with a bang, yeah? How about a blog post? Does that work for you?
I finally finished Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica, a book I had started in July and never got around to picking up again in earnest until this week. Determined to finish it before the end of the year, I read essentially from the time I woke up at noon to 9pm, breaking for meals, of course. It was quite a good book! I learned a lot and gained a lot of insights about not only Metallica but the music industry as a whole. Secretly, that’s why I read musicians’ memoirs and biographies: to learn what they did, what mistakes they made along the way, to gain inspiration, and to apply it all to my future career. It’s like the book’s author Mick Wall said about Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich: “He also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of rock, what went wrong with groups and what went right with them” (pg. 442). That’s the kind of understanding I’d like to develop.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I’m always one for realistic, measurable goals, and this year I’m in a place where I would like to set some year-long goals to begin in 2012. As much as I am totally loving life right now, there are some aspects of my life where I’m dissatisfied. These aspects are very much controllable, and I think with the right goals and the right frame of mind, I can build better habits that will serve me well hopefully far beyond the coming year.
Read (at least) one book a month. I used to be an avid reader, but that interest petered off in high school and I haven’t really found time for it since. However, I’ve noticed a marked decrease in my spelling ability, I’ve had more difficulty with tenses in conditional sentences, and I overall just think I could really use the reading boost. One book a month seems easy enough, but seeing as I only read six books in 2011, it will definitely be a change. I already have some books queued up, which you can see on my Shelfari if you’d like.
Practice singing (with warm-ups) three times a week. This one’s pretty self-explanatory, yeah? I take voice lessons at a local music lesson place, and while my teacher hopes I will practice every day, most weeks I only practice once a week, sometimes twice. I make excuses about not having time, but the truth is I could easily find a half hour to practice most days, if not every day. This is something I need to do for myself and my future if I EVER want to see my dream fulfilled of singing in a band.
Practice guitar six days a week. I go on and on about how I want to be a singer, not a guitarist, but the truth is I’ve wanted to play guitar ever since I was seven years old. There was a period sometime in late 2010/early 2011 where I practiced every day, and although I’m still very much a beginner, my playing greatly improved during that time. I want the coming year to be a period like that. I want to learn more chords, I want to learn electric techniques… basically I just want to learn. I’ve tried the whole scale thing and it got boring after a few weeks. The way I see it, there are plenty of guitarists who were self-taught simply through learning to play others’ songs (*cough* Zacky Vengeance), and that’s even how my voice coach runs things, so why not give it a try myself?
We’ll see how I go! 😀