Taking a 40 Hour Sabbatical is simple.

Diane L

Company: Think Creative Inc.    Occupation: Creative Director    November 9, 2015

Making Music

I love music, and I've always been a little in awe of musicians and the musical process in general. In fact, my first career aspiration was to be the manager of a rock band. So, for my sabbatical, I originally set out to learn to play guitar. As time went on, my goal evolved. I'd just started watching the TV show Nashville and my favorite character was Scarlet–a shy waitress with a dark past who wrote these wonderful poems that her friend turned into songs and they formed a band together and got discovered and became big-time country music stars. Which is a lot to accomplish in a week. So I set my sights a little lower. I would write some poems and enlist the help of a few musician friends to turn them into songs, and maybe, just maybe, learn guitar well enough that I could play those songs myself. Perhaps the stardom would come later. 

What I Learned

I learned so much it's hard to know where to start. I learned that writing poems as an adult is harder than it was as a teenager. I learned that I have unbelievably talented and generous friends. I learned that the music-making process has a few rules in common with the brand-making process. Be honest. Find great talent to work with. Stay critical of yourself. Have fun. I learned that a B-chord, while easy for me to sing, is really, really hard for me to play on the guitar. I learned that the perfect truth is more important than the perfect rhyme. 


This process opened my eyes in a few ways. First, it made me see my own abilities in a whole new light. As much as I loved music, I'd always thought of it as something that other people–more creative, more talented people–made. The sabbatical put a whole new realm of possibility in my reach. And, it made me rethink the reasons why I should do or try things in the first place. Will I ever be an amazing singer or a guitar virtuoso? Probably not. I have neither the raw talent nor the practice time to reach that level. But just the very act testing my limits and doing something that I'd never done before was great. It was fun. It felt good. It made me proud of how I was spending this life. In fact, it was so rewarding that it inspired me to launch Operation Goosebumps, a personal quest to do 40 daring things during my 40th year. And of course, should a big-shot agent or label exec discover my tune on Soundcloud and invite me on a skyrocket ride to superstardom, I'm ready.
Listen to my song here!

About the Author

I am a New Yorker living in Florida. I write for a living and for the hell of it. I'm a wife, a mother, a home maker and a thrill seeker. 

"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful; yourself."

Alan Alda


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