Since the mid nineties I have had a very keen interest in studying meditation. Around that time I was exposed to a number of philosophies of mainly the new age kind through the bands I was in and through the company I kept.

This created a healthy environment of wonderment and questioning about what life is about and what makes human beings (especially me as I point the finger inwards) do the things that they do.

Out of all the books I read, the people I had spoken to and the philosophies I was exposed to, it turns out that for me, Buddhism was the only thing that really made sense.

Now, there were periods of time where I was right into the study and other times where I had let it lapse but if I was ever asked what religion I adhered to, I would answer Buddhism.

However, there was always one thing that confused me about Buddhism and my relationship to it. I have never seen Buddhism as a religion but more of a method of living.

Now, some schools of Buddhism seem to have a more religious or doctrinal approach to them while others not so but all I wanted to do at the end of the day was practise this method of living without any of the superstitious or religious overtones.

It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered that my “Buddhism without the religion” actually has a name… Secular Buddhism. Now when asked about my religion (mainly through other religious people who knock at my door from time to time) I can reply “I don’t have one, but I am a Secular Buddhist” (much to the amusement or confusion of the questioner).

According to Wikipedia, Secular Buddhism is

“… a broad term for an emerging form of Buddhism and secular spirituality that is based on humanist, skeptical, and/or agnostic values, as well as pragmatism and (often) naturalism, rather than religious (or more specifically supernatural or paranormal) beliefs.”

It’s also referred to as Western Buddhism or Buddhist Atheism.

Once I found a name for my rediscovered path, everything else just started to make sense. Therefore, my Buddhist study would be of a secular nature and my meditation and mindfulness study would come from the disciplined Zen Buddhist tradition of Japan.

In future posts, I’ll be writing about what I discover on this particular path but in the meantime I’m just happy to “be” in this very moment.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

At the beginning of this month of March, I finally got around to starting a daily journal again, something that I haven’t done in a very long time. I’ve decided to do this for a number of reasons…

1. I can take the chatter out of my head and put it onto paper
2. I can examine my life on a day to day basis
3. I have an outlet to say whatever it is I need to say at the time
4. It allows me get organised and stay focussed
5. I am more perceptive to new songwriting ideas

Since starting again, I have found that I’ve been inspired to write and create more and my thinking has been a lot clearer, my focus sharper and my overall mood and stress levels have been much more manageable.

Not bad for just writing every day is it?

I was inspired to keep a daily journal probably around 15 years ago when I purchased Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and in it, discovered the concept called the Morning Pages… Three pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning as a way of emptying the mind to allow fresh ideas in.

It was the information that I needed at the time to evolve my journaling from just keeping a daily diary to something much more substantial than that.

I was doing really well and noticing the many benefits that keeping a daily journal brings into your life until one day, I stopped writing and I didn’t know why.

In between that time and now I had considered picking up where I had left off but for some reason, hadn’t done so but I am so glad I’m doing it now.

I had forgotten how great it felt after using my daily journal for an intense mind dumping session. I had forgotten how much more mindful and in control I felt about my life because I used my daily journal to contemplate about it. I had forgotten how focussed, organised and happy I felt being able to just get shit done because I had used my daily journal to plan it all out.

On the creative side, using my daily journal to clear my mind to receive other information has enabled me to be more receptive to any songwriting ideas that come my way and have the focus to expand those ideas into a completed song.

My blogging output has also increased dramatically since keeping a daily journal so thanks to that you’ll be seeing more updates on this blog

Am I going to stop again… NO! Am I going to keep it going… YES!

I’ll be putting up more posts and articles about journaling and its benefits as I now believe it to be the foundation of my creativity and my content creation/curation strategy. You should consider starting up a daily journal for yourself too.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

My nephew, is only 11 years old but he’s already got a YouTube channel, Instagram account (where he does his live streaming videos) plus he’s just got himself onto Facebook as well.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, first and foremost I’m a very proud uncle and the fact that my nephew has no fear when it comes to doing things like making random videos for YouTube and creating live streams inspires me greatly because these are the two activities that I want to be doing this year but haven’t as yet.

I also love his attitude towards social media. If he’s got something to say and it requires a video, he’ll just upload it regardless of whether the quality is perfect or not. He doesn’t care about people might think.

He’s teamed up with his best mate and together, they put up videos about them just being themselves. You know, getting into mischief, exploring, making things, riding bikes and scooters, hanging out with mates, going to school and other stuff that 11 year olds get into.

It certainly has got me thinking… If my 11 year old nephew can shoot videos (whether they be edited or streamed live) and upload them online without any fear, then what is my excuse?

I’ve been telling myself for a while now that the next stage in my online development is branching out into podcasts and videos but what has been holding me back is FEAR. Fear of imperfection, fear about what others may think of my creations, fear about not being taken seriously

It seems that the older I get, the more set in my ways I become and the more I’ve allowed fear to influence the choices that I make.

I know my nephew is only 11 and at that age anything is possible but it does highlight to me how much age can change your perspective on things. While age can give you wisdom through learning from experience, it can also stifle your growth if you allow it to.

Therefore, this year (as one of my goals for 2018) I want to take a leaf out of my nephews book and start creating videos and podcasts regardless of whether they turns out perfect or not.

I want to create more and worry less.

This post is my reminder that the right time to do anything is NOW because life is far too short to sit and wait for the perfect time to come along.

So, with all that said, watch this space, there’s more content to come

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Last Friday (March 9th) was the official launch of a project I am involved with called EveryOneBand. Its goal is to create the biggest band in the world (in terms of recording band members) with all funds raised to go to Support Act, a music industry charity.

So, how does EveryOneBand work? I hear you ask… Well, check out the EveryOneBand Official Video below…

The premise here is that you get the opportunity to join an online band and upload a recorded track to be included in the EveryOneBand single called “Stand By You” which is being put together at the moment. This means you have an opportunity to have your voice or instrumental part included in the song.

How awesome is that!

Here’s a video outlining how you can upload your track for the song…

The best thing to do is to go to the EveryOneBand website, check it out, join up and upload your track and remember, it’s all going to a great cause.

I’m in the band… Are you?

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Today marks the last day of the FAWM Song Challenge for 2018 and I can proudly say that I completed the challenge for the second year running with about three days to spare. An achievement that I’m very proud of.

Now that I’ve completed the challenge for the second time, I’ve got to say that I’m not feeling manic and crazy as I was last year. Maybe this is the case because compared to last years challenge

1. I am better prepared and organised
2. I know what to expect
3. My songwriting process is more refined
4. My time management skills are better
5. My confidence as a songwriter/producer is much higher

The funny thing is that I would’ve finished the challenge a few days sooner if I hadn’t gotten sick (I lost my voice for a week) or my day gig hadn’t given me some unexpected shifts to deal with.

Again, I found the overall FAWM experience a very rewarding one. I got to catch up with FAWMers that I met in previous years, made some new friends, got some great feedback on my songs and greatly improved my music recording/production skills as well as further sharpening up my songwriting process.

Another fantastic thing about doing the FAWM Song Challenge is that it increases the momentum I need to achieve the musical goals I want to tackle as outlined in an earlier post What Lies Ahead For 2018 – My Musical Goals. As a songwriter, I’m feeling pretty invincible at the moment.

Have any of you been involved with this years FAWM and if so, how have you found the experience? Anyways, if you want to check out all of the 14 songs you can go to my FAWM profile page.

Now to get on with the rest of 2018.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Today (Thursday, February 22nd, 2018) marks the end of the third week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge for 2018 and so far I’ve managed to get ten songs on the board with three of them being collaborations with Amanda West from www.sheeaunmusic.com (two of them I’ve still got to finish the music to).

Unfortunately, my scratchy throat was still giving me grief into week three and I think the vocal recordings of my later songs show this. I’m not overly worried though as I can always re-record them after the challenge is finished.

Another element causing some havoc with my songwriting routine this week has been the unpredictable nature of my day job. Sometimes I think my day job was conspiring against my songwriting but at the end of the day, it is what it is and I need to be at peace with that.

Last post I mentioned that adaptability and flexibility were things I learned about on my FAWM journey. This week I want to throw “patience” into the mix.

Even though I’ve endured being sick, losing my voice and an unpredictable working schedule, I’ve still been able to chip away at the task at hand and for me to do that I needed a lot of patience.

I needed to have faith that whatever had got in the way of my songwriting was only a temporary thing and all I needed to do was to wade through the distraction and just sit and wait for it to pass.

I found this week that the more patience I was able to cultivate, the less frustrated I would feel and of course we all know that the path of frustration and restlessness leads to songwriters block.

And songwriters block is something you don’t want to be experiencing in the middle of a songwriting challenge.

Am I right?

Anyways, if you want to check out what I’ve done so far in FAWM you can go to my profile page or, if you still want to join in the fun you can also do that here.

One week and four more songs to go… Wish me luck.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

FAWM 2018 got off to a cracking start for me with two completed songs and a songwriting collaboration all lined up in the first three days then all of a sudden, I developed a head cold which completely knocked out my voice and sapped what motivation I had left in me.

It’s amazing how much a head full of snot can just suck the life out of you.

Thankfully I’m on the mend now but at this very moment, I’m working away from home for the next three days which means no recording. That takes me to the end of the second week of the challenge hence why I’m doing an update for weeks one and two.

In between times however, I did manage to get another six songs recorded ready for me to put vocals down to. Even though I couldn’t sing at all, my head cold didn’t prevent me from tracking the rest of the instruments so I spent my time working instrumentally as much as I could.

When I get back from working away I’ll be able to put down the vocal tracks for the rest of the songs and complete my collaboration with Amanda West from www.sheeaunmusic.com, and that will take my total to 9 songs which will put me back on track to complete the challenge before the end of February.

What I have learnt so far is the amazing power of adaptation and flexibility. Even though I got sick I was able to adjust my songwriting process to accommodate the illness and still get things done albeit in a slightly different way.

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs in your direction and you need to be prepared for that whether it be in songwriting or in anything.

If you want to check out what I’ve done so far in FAWM you can go to my profile page or, if you want to join in the fun you can do that here.

Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have some better news on the songwriting front.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m going to be participating in the 2018 FAWM (February Album Writing Month) Song Challenge hoping to replicate the success of completing it like I did last year.

Personally, participating and completing the FAWM Song Challenge has been one to the most rewarding creative experiences I’ve ever had. It has allowed me to shake off the shackles of fear and doubt and just get stuff done. It kick-started the momentum I needed to get my music back on track and it (most importantly) made my self confidence and belief as an artist go through the roof.

I believe that every songwriter should try this challenge out at least once in their lives and experience first-hand the overwhelmingly supporting community of songwriters, musicians and lyricists that reside within the challenge. It’s a great way to connect and possibly network and collaborate with other like minded individuals.

Each participant has a slightly different interpretation of what FAWM means to them. For me, it’s a chance to really give my home recording setup (SongMachine) a thorough thrashing and along the way, learn more about the recording process and how to get the best sound possible with the recording gear I have at my disposal.

It also gives me the opportunity to go through my archives and finish off all of the random song titles, half finished verses, choruses and voice memos that I have scattered on pieces of paper, my hard drive or, on my phone, but I also take pride on using the challenge to write songs from a starting position of having nothing prepared.

Those are the songs in which their existence always amazes me.

If you have any questions regarding FAWM that you want to ask, then feel free to contact me otherwise, just go to the FAWM website and sign up. It’s free to join but there’s only a couple of days to go before it kicks off for another year.

Oh, and I’ll be blogging about my progress again just like I did last year so watch this space.

Hope to see you in the challenge. Good luck…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Okay… Now that January is already coming to a close, I thought it would be a good time for me to start outlining what the hell I’m going to be doing in 2018 because I’ve had enough rest now, it’s time to get moving.

The most obvious change that will be made to my musical landscape for this year is the fact that I’m getting back into performing live again. I’m excited about starting over in a completely different musical environment then when I first started my tentative steps towards musical self-sufficiency more than 30 years ago.

I’ll be going down two paths this year. The first path is an acoustic singer/songwriter path which I’ll be doing a either solo or, as a duo with longtime partner in crime Darren Zaza.

The second path is a band oriented path incorporating bass, guitar, keys and drums which will expand on the acoustic song ideas I’ll be performing around the place or, adding new “band songs”to the whole mix.

I haven’t put an original band together since my “Seeing Stars” CD launch in October 2012 so I’m nervous but at the same time, very excited about this possibility.

In regards to the venues I’ll be targeting, I’ll be of course scoping out all of the venues that host original music but I’ll also be experimenting with putting together a hybrid gig showcasing my music plus reinterpretations of covers that I want to do.

I suppose I want to answer the question of whether covers (reinterpretations not replications of songs) and originals can really work side by side in the same gig.

2018 will also be the first year that I start touring my music in the country areas and then interstate. Why keep my music as a local thing?

I see this happening in the later part of 2018.

Moving parallel with my live performance goals is my intention to start recording my second CD. I’ll be wanting to record at home however, I’m not ruling out the possibility to collaborate with other studios when it comes to post-production.

I have the confidence to move forward in producing my second CD because 2017 was a year in which I really knuckled down and wrote a lot of songs specifically through entering online songwriting challenges like FAWM (February Album Writing Month) and 50/90 (50 Songs in 90 Days).

Now the songs created from those challenges plus the others that I had written will make up the base of songs I’ll be choosing from for my next CD and live repertoire. This would mean I’ll be starting again with new songs and eventually a new product to introduce to the world.

I promise I’ll keep you guys informed of any new CD news when it comes to hand.

As I’ve already established, writing songs is the backbone of my musical activity and in 2018 I’d like to extend that a little with the introduction of my home recording setup known as SongMachine.

This will make the recording of demos much easier and it will enable me to create more online content to further promote me and the music that I make.

An example of this extension of my songwriting activity is the introduction of a custom songwriting service for later on this year. I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there that would love to give to someone special or, to perhaps receive a bespoke song created by me specifically for them.

Obviously, SongMachine will come in handy for the creation of these gift songs but more details are to come later.

Another part of this extension to my songwriting activity is for me to start a song feedback service for any songwriter that wants unbiased, constructive and comprehensive feedback on their songs. I’ll be releasing more details on this initiative soon.

Of course I’m going to be getting stuck into FAWM (and 50/90) this year and with February 1st just around the corner, I’m all ready to tackle FAWM head on. I’d like to think that I’ll be able to write songs outside these song challenges and it’s my hope that the creative momentum created last year will follow me into 2018.

So that’s what I’ll be doing musically for 2018. It’s certainly not a definite list because anything and everything is subject to change however, the above list shows me that I’m up for a busy yet creatively fulfilling year. A year in which I can say with confidence that I am a proper performing songwriter/musician again.

What are the goals (musical or otherwise) that you’ve set for yourself in 2018. If you want to tell me what they are then let me know. If you want to ask me about the upcoming FAWM Songwriting Challenge then let me know.

In the meantime, 2018… Let’s do this,

Peace,

Corey 🙂

As 2017 comes to a close my thoughts now turn towards the coming year ahead and what my resolutions will be for 2018.

For me, this time of year is one of self reflection on the past/present and a renewed sense of purpose, vigour, enthusiasm and optimism for the future.

Here’s just a very quick summary on the year that was and what’s in store for 2018.

2017 was a challenging year personally but a very productive and prolific year musically.

2017 year saw major health issues take centre stage for both Mara and me which certainly got me rethinking some priorities in life but, it also had me writing and recording the most songs ever in a 12 month period thanks primarily to the FAWM and 50/90 Songwriting Challenges.

This health induced rethinking of priorities plus the creative momentum I’ve experienced this year will be serving me in good stead for 2018.

2017 was also a year where I concentrated on reshaping my finances and work my way out of some pretty hefty debt especially with the credit card.

Thankfully I’ve managed to rip up the card, pay off the car and consolidate everything else into something far more manageable than before and once I get my taxes all sorted out I’ll be able to breathe a little easier.

2018 will be the year that I get back into playing gigs again on a regular basis. I’ve been spending some time getting my online profiles all sorted out so it would be easier for bookers to find me online and get an idea of my music and what I can provide for them and their/my audiences.

I’ll also continue to write and record new material plus, the idea of participating in FAWM and 50/90 for 2018 doesn’t scare me as much as it did the same time last year.

I also think it’s about time I recorded another physical CD for release. I know I put out the FAWM and 50/90 releases online however, they are more collections of demos rather than something that I would formally release into the world.

I can see some songs from those online releases being re-recorded and making their way onto my second CD.

These are just some of the things I’ll be saying either goodbye or hello and of course I’ll be going into more detail about things in future blog posts but whatever happens, I’m genuinely excited about the possibilities that 2018 will bring for me on both a personal and professional level.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and that 2018 will be everything you want it to be… And more!

Peace,

Corey 🙂