The Reason

I got an email today from someone asking me "How do I know if I'm ready to make the investment to record an album?" I wrote him back quickly and then the rest of the day kept coming up with different answers to that question.

These different answers were showing up because I kept becoming aware of different ways I ask that same question every day.

I've been very blessed to achieve some big goals. I've played in an arena, heard myself on the radio, become friends with my heroes. But those are the kinds of goals that are pretty much out of your hands, unless of course you're crazy rich. A whole series of things beyond your control need to happen to lead you to doing those sorts of things.

Seeing it from that side, and thinking about that original question, I'm coming to realize that the goals we achieve that matter are the ones that we control. I'm much more hit-or-miss with that.

My hit: I started running to try and do a 5k last year. I actually did it and have lost weight and will lose to Jill Phillips handily in another 5k this Saturday. (3pm at the Nashville Zoo, if you want to watch. Gabe Scott will also be there and will run a marathon in the same amount of time.)

My miss: I've never written a novel. Barely even a short story. And why? What's stopping me?

Well, there are good excuses: I have two kids and a career that takes a lot of time.

And there are bad excuses: I'm tired, I don't really want to do it anyway.

And then, THEN, there are the reasons: I'm scared and I'm lazy. (Lazy, of course, just means I'm scared again, but of hard work.) I want it to be fun, but when I try it's not fun. It's hard. Because I don't know how to do it.

Practicing guitar was not fun. Playing guitar well is some of the most fun you can have on Earth. Why can't I take that knowledge and move it to another medium? The Reason.

So my answer to the question "how do I know I'm ready to make an album?" is probably the same as the answer to many other questions like it. Because you feel the need and it's become possible for you. And because otherwise you won't be ready yet, won't be ready yet, won't be ready yet and then one day it will be too late.

It's like getting married, having a kid, driving a car. You're never ready. You just decide to do what you feel you need to do, from my perspective this is called "obedience", and you do it as well as you can and you wait for something supernatural to bless it.

Now, I've got to go. I have an empty Chapter 2 to wrestle.