I have good eyes. My vision is pretty great. I do not require glasses. I can read stuff, with accuracy, from impressive, if not improbable, distances. I notice things in the periphery. Stuff like that. And I'm grateful. After all, I'm 43 now; this is when my body is supposed to begin breaking. But I happen to be in probably the 95th percentile of the best shape of my life. Does that even make sense? Who cares!
I used to have glasses. For, like, three weeks back in ninth grade. They were for reading. It's not my best look. But yeah, for a while there I was a person who wore glasses. Then I left them in Mr. Sherman's classroom, remembered that I left them in Mr. Sherman's classroom, went back to retrieve them and noticed that they weren't where I left them. No one had any leads for me to follow. What the fuck? Did someone steal my glasses? Is it the same person who stole my Boss Dr. 550 "Dr. Rhythm" drum machine? Probably. Asshole.
I came home and told my mom that my glasses disappeared. She was all like, "tough shit; you should have taken better care of them," which is classic my mom expressing her love in the only way she knows how. I didn't need glasses anymore, though. I had been doing some exercises to strengthen my near-field vision. I found that I could read without squinting or experiencing eye strain. I just had to chill out. I haven't worn corrective eyewear since.
My vision of the near future benefits from me chilling out, too. And I've been doing a fair amount of chilling out lately, as I described I would be doing in this blog post.
As I look ahead to 2020 with an unadorned, chilled-out mind's eye, here's what I see for me, my life and my world:
I Will Release Hours and Hours of Recordings
I've told you about The Matt Kollock Show, right? It's a podcast that will debut in January or February of 2020. Recently, I recorded the first interview for the podcast with my friends and musical partners Jason and Melissa Kadinger of Meri Dean. I have been lining up additional interviews and recording bumper music for the podcast, and I am excited about how it's all coming together. I will let you know about how to listen and all that soon.
I am also feeling the pressure – good pressure – to get my repertoire of songs recorded. I need to get my music out there and available so I don't have to point people to the less-than-ideal video content I have on YouTube. I have signed up with DistroKid, so I can get my music on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tik-Tok and everywhere else modern people listen to modern music in modern ways. I will probably create some physical media products (CDs, LPs, USB drives, etc.), too. But I really need to get the songs out there. It's embarrassing that I don't have music for people to listen to, really. So I'm going to fix that in 2020. It's a priority. A big one.
I Will Write Many, Many Words
Perhaps you've noticed how the Matt Kollock blog got a little busier in the final months of 2019. I feel like having the blog allows me to express myself in a way that brings people closer to my whole vibe. It gets people over to my website – and, crucially, off of Facebook – where I am the person in charge of curation.
Each week, the main blog entry will appear on Tuesday. That's where I'll be doing the big info dumps and exploring the questions that have been nagging at me. It's where I'll announce important stuff. It's where I'll tell my story. And really, it's my story that I want people to pay attention to; the music is just a part of it. Yeah, it's a major, major part of it. But it's in service of telling a larger story. And that story will be revealed in the form of English-language words, mostly, right here in this blog. I hope you follow along.
Incidentally, I'm also on the hook to write many, many words for my day job in 2020. Weekly blog posts for clients. A whole damn book for a client in the chiropractic industry. Things like that. I am not looking forward to writing those words. but I am looking forward to receiving the payments for them. Well, truthfully, there is one client with whom I have a nice, synergistic relationship. I can write from my heart and from my own worldview for this client, and the words work well for their purposes. But still, I want to be more useful, which means...
I Will Quit That Day Job
I am grateful to have my job as a freelance executive ghostwriter. Really. I don't know what I would have done without it for the past several years, honestly. But I will be disappointed if I need to rely on ghostwriting for income past December 2020. That means I have to get my shit together. Record the music. Release the music. Build the audience through the blog and podcast. License songs. Play fun shows where people pay attention and I get paid what I'm worth.
I'm just trying to be as useful as I can be. I figure that I am much more useful making music, blogging and podcasting than I am serving the professional needs of others. So I hope to attain near-maximum usefulness in 2020. I can do more good that way. And it will open up opportunities for others who are trying to find lucrative writing opportunities. I need to let this work go so I can do my best work and create the space for someone else to do theirs. Then maybe we'll all switch places again in a few years. I don't know. But this is my 2020 vision we're talking about here.
I Will Make Patreon a Focal Point of My Strategy
Speaking of making money, one of the best ways for independent creators (notice that I did not write "creatives") to earn income these days is to build communities of patrons on Patreon. So that's a thing I'm going to do. Fans and supporters can contribute as little as one dollar per month, knowing that they are making it possible for me to maximize my usefulness. So that's a pretty attractive way to spend money, right?
If you are interested in supporting me on Patreon, visit my page by clicking here. Thanks!
I Will Witness the Milwaukee Bucks Win the NBA Championship
It's time. It's their year. They learned valuable lessons last year in the Eastern Conference Finals series against Toronto. Giannis Antetokounmpo and company will not let anyone stand in their way this time. It will be glorious and I will probably cry and write numerous songs about the team's excellence.
I Will Perform In Traditional Venues and Under Conventional Local-Music-Scene Circumstances Way Less
I was happy to play as many shows as I did in 2019. One of my goals was to establish a foothold in the local scene. And I did my best. People recognized me as Albuquerque's second-best songwriter. I earned some applause. I got some compliments. I saw some repeat customers show up to support me. Amazingly, I got to fill my sets with mostly my weird, original songs – and people seemed to dig them! It was all pretty nice. At the same time, it was all very frustrating.
Playing shows is exhausting. Especially those three-hour marathons. Especially when those three-hour marathons happen in front of crowds that are just there to watch the game and eat some wings.
As it turns out, I love performing music, but I don't love it so much that I want to load up my calendar with a bunch of local gigs. I'd rather play special shows. Shows with themes and fun ideas and special guests and surprises and drama and reasons to tell other people about them so I'm not just some dude in the corner with a guitar, some songs and a decreasing level of enthusiasm. And enthusiasm is essential to my brand!
So in 2020, I'm going to scratch my performing itch by going live online much more. I want to explore non-traditional venues and opportunities. I want to get together with other artists who are sick of the best practices and conventional wisdom around performing in one's local scene. I mean, really. Fuck that shit. I want to break it all apart and stuff. Maybe I'll never play in Albuquerque again. Increasingly, I am super-okay with that.
I Will Do Better At Supporting the Local Scene
The big secret about The Matt Kollock Show podcast is that I'm going to use it to make friends with people in the local music scene who I would otherwise be too socially awkward and anxious to talk to under typical circumstances. Then maybe I'll be able to leverage these new relationships into opportunities to play local shows that don't suck. Make some new fans. Stuff like that.
But I also need to actually go out and see some shows. I don't do nearly enough of that. And there are a lot of great artists in this town. So I'm going to try to stop staying in when I could go have a beer and make my colleagues feel a little less alone wherever they are playing. I want to buy some merch. Wear the T-shirts. Give some compliments. Yeah. This Is The Way.
I Will Be Way Less Present on Facebook
I hate the way I feel when I spend time on Facebook. So I'm going to stop spending time there in 2020.
It's going to suck at first – most of the traffic at mattkollock.com comes from Facebook. But I believe I'll be better off in the long run if I make my website my hub and marginalize the importance of Facebook for my career. That means a lot of you will probably stop coming here and reading. But I will have more time to write blog posts, create music, make podcasts and do the stuff that's actually going to advance my ability to reach my objectives. And I will feel so much better!
I am not disappearing from Facebook entirely; I will post links to the blog and stuff via a third-party app. I'll check in with friends and family members from time to time. But I really, really just want Facebook to not be such a towering presence in my life. There's this attitude I've noticed in the local scene where if it's not on Facebook, it must not be happening. Virtually all promotion is done via the platform. I dislike this reality. I wish it were different. So I'm going to subtract myself from the whole deal and just hang out on Patreon and my website. Twitter, too. And Instagram! Yeah, I know it's the same company. But I feel way less shitty when I'm on Instagram. And I feel like Instagram offers a real chance to reach people and build community (for now). Facebook offers the illusion that you are reaching people. Yes, they make it seem like it's where the party is located; everybody is there. But they also make it so no one gives a shit about the thing you're trying to accomplish unless you contribute to the platform's bottom line with your dollars. And I say fuck that. I'll be elsewhere. Find me there.
I Will Put a New Thing Out Every Weekday
I guess we will see how ambitious I can actually be in 2020. Here's my plan for content:
Mondays – New episodes of The Matt Kollock Show will drop
Tuesdays – I will publish a long-ass blog post here
Wednesdays – New entries in Discover Weakly Wednesday will be released here on the blog
Thursdays – Yeah. I need to figure out Thursdays. Something with video. Live performances. Stay tuned!
Fridays – New entries in This Is the Good Stuff will be revealed here on the blog
I'll be taking the weekends off, okay? Unless I have shows. But weekends are going to be for loafing, songwriting, honing my craft and watching my stories.
I Will Move With My Sweetie into a House of Our Own
It's true! The wheels are in motion for Annie and me to buy our own house together. We need more space for our respective endeavors. We need to be better at being adults. Well, I should really just speak for myself on that one. But anyway, it's very exciting! I will keep you posted.
What Do You Want from Me in 2020? What Do You Want for Yourself in 2020?
If you're reading this, it means you're some kind of fan. You are invested! You are one of the OG Matt Kollock supporters and you mean a lot to me. So what do you think? What would you like to see me do in 2020? What do you think of the vision I have outlined here? Let me know in the comments or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, okay? Great!
What about you? What do you see happening in your world in 2020? What is your vision?
A Special Holiday Note for the Special People During these Special Holidays
Hey! You! Thanks for reading the blog. Truly. I am so glad you are here. I hope you've been enjoying my output.
I will be taking a little break from the blog after this week, but I promise to come roaring back in the new year. In the meantime, I hope you have an excellent holiday season and you're surrounded by loved ones in a comfortable environment where all your needs are met, if not exceeded. While you're there, why not tell people about my website and stuff? You see, if you tell two friends and those two friends tell two more friends, well, I should have about 64 new fans in no time!
But seriously, I hope your holidays are exactly what you need them to be.
Until next time, don't be afraid to blow your mind.