Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Crashing Economy May Have an Upside

So, yes I’m a pretty high-intensity musician—but I also have a day gig as a Project Manager and Solution Architect (Business Analyst). Having a day gig actually improves my songwriting, I think. I stay more connected to what everyday people are going through and I write more relatable stuff.

Maybe I’m a little too in touch. On Friday, I was given notice that my consulting work is coming to an abrupt end. Like, pretty much, now. I’ll be wrapping things up for a day or two more, but I’m done. This economy is reaching into all the nooks and crannies, and now I find myself at the worst time in the last 80 years, and the very worst time of the year, looking for the next income source. I’ll bet a lot of people are right in the same place that I am.

I think we’re about to find ourselves changed as a society. There will actually be some significant upsides, although they may be found in tent cities, gathered around open fires. Get ready to connect with your fellow human.

If we have to take away our jobs, cars, houses, cell phones, TVs, and can’t afford to go out, what can we do? We can sit down and talk with each other. We can listen, sympathize, and empathize. We can still sing each other songs. And we can still write, collaborate, and create—maybe more than we have in a long time.

Our little songwriters club (Collin County Songwriters Association) may have to put its biggest plans on hold for a while. But the best part—creating, communicating, growing—is going to be even better while we’re waiting on the world to change (thanks for the phrase, John Mayer).

One of our members, Andy Howell, recently read that in times of financial trouble, societies tend to like longer songs with more feeling, and perhaps some storytelling. I’m sure it has something to do with our increased patience and a slower pace.

As long as we can keep our families fed, let’s see if we can enjoy the downtime.