Where I’ve been

By | April 4, 2013

It’s possible that you’ve noticed that I don’t post a lot here anymore. This blog has admittedly fallen mostly into disuse. This should not be a surprise to anyone.

It occurs to me, though, that some of you may wonder what I’m doing instead of writing blog posts. (Others of you, I’m sure, couldn’t care less. But that’s not going to stop me telling you.) So here I am, back again, to tell you what I’ve been up to and why this blog has taken a bit of a hit since its heyday a few years ago.

I started this blog as a place to test the technology as we considered blogging as a training tool at work. Over the years it evolved from a place to pontificate about training industry and technology topics into a personal outlet for pop-culture. I tried to make it a place where I’d present a topic and have some kind of discussion about it. That worked from time to time, but rather infrequently. It’s hard to keep energy focused on writing things when you’re not getting any feedback, so over time I worked less on trying to generate conversation and tended more towards writing only when I found something I wanted to share or record for myself – and that became less frequent.

This is partially because Facebook came along, and now I tend to post my thoughts and links in short-form on either my personal page or the Caddickisms Facebook Page. A lot of times I feel bad about that since there are topics that I’d rather discuss in longer form here, but a lot of times it doesn’t seem worth the effort.

I’ve stated most of the above before in conversations elsewhere (notably on Lee’s recent posts on his own blogging changes), but something occurred to me tonight about where a lot of the time I used to spend blogging is going. Music.

I’ve mentioned it from time to time, but for those who don’t know, I sometimes write music. This is a bit of a tricky proposition, because I’ve never had formal instruction in music composition or theory, nor do I play any instruments. I do sing in our church choir (and have sung in choirs for decades). Predictably, choral music is the most common type of music I write, and generally it’s pretty simple stuff. I have written some instrumental stuff as well, and oddly I tend to like those better. I have noticed that my attempts are getting more complex lately. I’m still firmly in amateur-land, but it’s definitely a transition toward something more advanced.

The biggest problem is that it takes me forever to actually finish anything. I think this is primarily due to my aforementioned deficiencies in theory and playing. That, and my best ideas occur to me in the shower, which is usually right before I need to leave the house, so by the time I get to capture anything the fullness of it has long faded from memory. If I’m lucky I retain enough of it to get a main idea down and can sometimes rebuild what I had fully realized in my head at the outset. Usually, I get something kind of like what I was thinking and then it develops along a totally separate path – sometimes better, usually worse.

Anyway… my point was that a lot of my ex-blogging time goes into this. I really enjoy it, despite the fact that almost no-one has ever heard any of it (with the exception of one “Amen” I wrote in 2004, which we use in my church periodically) outside of a very few friends and family. I’ve considered sharing it here from time to time, but haven’t. I’ve been bothered by self-criticism, embarrassment, and the fact that I’m not really satisfied with how the MIDI rendering sounds. A few things are changing in at least 2 of those areas, though, so I may do a post here in the future that shares at least something of what I’ve written.

Which leads me to this: this blog is not dead, though you’d be forgiven for thinking it is. I’m not making any pledge to post more frequently. I’ll post if and when it suits me, and that may be very infrequently. But I will post. I still hope some of you comment – honestly it makes this whole endeavor more fun for me – but I’ll be posting because I have something to say that doesn’t really make sense to put in Facebook.

I’m also open to guest posters, so if you’re interested in writing here, let me know.

I will continue to post much more frequently on my Caddickisms Facebook page, so if you’re looking to get more from me, please “like” or follow me there (you can even use the button on the right of this page).

15 thoughts on “Where I’ve been

  1. Dan

    The only problem with facebook pages is that the posts on them don’t always show up on my wall. stupid facebook.

  2. Lee Sargent

    Have you ever thought about shower crayons? I got some a while back and they’re great for writing on the wall in the shower any ideas that come to you.

    Also I didn’t know about the music stuff, thats pretty cool. I’m learning the piano myself, I’m completely not musical so it’s a challenge but it’s also supposed to be good for the brain!

    Technically I’ve got the ukelele here to lear as well but the piano is coming to me (albiet very slowly) a little easier but I can at least start to understand the process which will hopefully make the uke a little easier to pick up.

  3. Lee Sargent

    You can fix that, there’s a setting when you go to a page that will get all updates onto your wall.

  4. Dan

    You do realise we have the beginnings of a band here…..

  5. Lee Sargent

    The very very very early beginnings of one, so far I’ve worked out which way is up on the keyboard… (hint it’s the black and white bits!!!)

  6. Colin Chick

    I’ve noticed you mention your musical endeavors before, and can very much relate to your frustration on being able to “get it out”. I had a huge diversity of musical influences growing up, and especially appreciate my exposure to classical, and singing in choirs. I feel blessed and cursed by the ability to conjure up in my head what I consider pretty decent multi-part orchestrations, and feel so frustrated that I have no ability to get them out of my head and into the real world! So I deeply admire your efforts, and do look forward to hearing them some time.

    And no matter how infrequently you write, I always enjoy your posts!

  7. Jeff Post author

    What is that setting? I can’t find it. Or at least I don’t know if I found it.

  8. Jeff Post author

    hah… I saw my URL had a 2 in it, so I knew I’d used that title before. Didn’t bother to read the old article, though. Yep. Nothing changes… except I actually post less now than I did then, which I wouldn’t have believed at the the time.

  9. Jeff Post author

    Colin, you’ve stated my exact problem – fully orchestrated pieces in all their so-called “grandeur” are exceptionally hard to write down. I imagine they present a bit of a challenge for professionals as well, which put the bar at just about “gargantuan” for us. My saving grace has been Finale PrintMusic, which has some awesome features to make it easier. Due to lack of skill, I have to put each note in by mouse individually – still way harder than sitting down and recording something I play on a keyboard to at least get the notes down – but it’s something. Sometimes it takes a few hours just to get 6 measures out. But it’s still fun and exciting when something turns out close to good.

  10. Jeff Post author

    Shower crayons… that sounds like loads of fun! :) If I started trying to actually write out music on the shower wall I think the water would be freezing long before I was able to figure out what notes I was writing. I already get in trouble for taking long showers…

    I’ve always heard piano is the best instrument to learn first. It’s the only one I ever had lessons on… WAY back in my past… and I don’t think I’d be able to do what I’m doing without that little bit of knowledge. Very cool that you’re taking it up.

    I also think the Uke would be fun. My wife has a guitar that I’ve tried to play from time to time, but I think it’s an entirely different mindset than I’m used to, so it’s really hard for me. I can’t “picture the notes” the same way I can on a piano.

  11. Jeff Post author

    Now that I have stats on my FB page, I have noticed wild variations in how many people see the posts. Frustrating.

  12. Jeff Post author

    One day we should try to break the internet (and likely everyone’s ears) by doing a multi-continental live musical performance over Skype.

  13. Lee Sargent

    If you hover over the like button (or “liked” button if that be the case) you can tick the Get Notifications which should show them in your feed now. I’ll pop a photo on over on your FB page.

  14. Pingback: How I write music « Caddickisms

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