Ideas into Things

Funny how ideas can turn into things.

About a year and a half ago, I was sitting on the floor in our living room playing with our two cats. That’s always a good “idea” time for me. Something about being relaxed and slightly unfocused seems to welcome creative ideas. Only vaguely before had some loose idea of this blog arisen: sort of amorphous and globular; not quite a solid thing. But that day the idea really started to take shape: What I might want to focus on and why, who I might start talking to in order to flesh it out, and why anyone might want to read about these things.

For some time I held onto the idea, kind of tossing it around like a ball of Play-Doh in my mind. When I finally felt like I could somewhat explain the idea aloud, I told Trevor about it. And to my delight, he liked the idea and had some ideas of his own about content and artistic direction. His support and feedback steadied and enhanced the idea of the blog. Our discussions about it were exciting and inspiring. No surprise there. After all, it was intense talks with Trevor about music that were a major inspiration for the idea of the blog and the blog itself. In our discussions about music – without fail – issues of emotion and intellect and psychology and philosophy would trickle (or more often pour) in.

Then began the hard work of cementing story ideas and interview questions, designing a website, and figuring out how to get past the intense fear of putting ideas and words out into the world without foreknowledge of how people might respond (or how we might feel after putting them out there). Ideas started to pour in fast and furious. We reached out to people and they were both reluctant and ready to share their stories and talk about music and the mind. We met with people, interviewed people, took photos, researched, wrote, edited. And then we pressed “publish” for the first time. We didn’t know what to expect.

Fast forward to a bit over a year later. Our blog isn’t popular. Our content isn’t shared that much. It’s exciting when we get any “likes” on WordPress or our Facebook posts. And after awhile, the ideas stopped pouring in; in fact, they dried up completely a couple of months ago. It got harder to dedicate time to writing and working on pieces for the blog for lots of reasons, mostly good ones. But, yet…here we are.

We succeeded in creating this blog and keeping it going for a whole year. We’ve met new people and learned a lot from them. We’ve heard from people that this content is needed and helpful, that they appreciate its sincerity. Everyday (to our complete surprise) people visit the site and spend some time here. It seems that there’s something positive coming from it beyond just the fun that we have with it.

So, recently, after a creative break, we decided to put our minds to the grindstone. We reworked and refined our original idea, molding it in a new way. We have new story ideas, new content ideas, and we’ve expanded our focus to not just Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas but as far as we want to go. The idea has taken new life.

Funny how ideas can turn into things. Not just a blog… but a sense of purpose, a sense of community.


 

Trevor and I sincerely thank everyone who has been a part of Of Music and Mind in our first year. We’ve done in-depth interviews (including photo or video shoots) with 12 musicians, song analysis with 10 bands, surveyed close to 100 musicians and music lovers on various subjects, shared our thoughts with words, images, and playlists on lots of topics like the difficulty of being a musician, depression, coping, creativity, survival, the Pittsburgh music scene, yoga and meditation, and more. We’ve received genuine support from people – so thanks to those of you reading this now, and to those of you who ever have read or watched our pieces. Subscribers, followers, supporters, occasional readers – thank you for your encouragement and feedback.

In this new year for Of Music and Mind, look forward to new topics, media, and content. We’ll continue to interview musicians, analyze songs, and deep-dive into topics that relate to both music and the mind with research and analysis. But… we’ll be doing a lot more videos and in-person interviews, we’ll premier new topics and series that focus on stage presence, the musician zodiac, tips and advice for musicians, musician resources, and more. We’re excited about it and we hope you like it and benefit from it in some way.

Be well!

 
Of Music & Mind Cupcake
Photo and cupcake by Trevor Richards