Facebook, Crowdfunding, Music and More…

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I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a little while now, but tonight just presented me with the perfect opportunity.

First off, if you haven’t already heard (chances are, if you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you have…) I’m making a record. It’s gonna be a 5-song EP, and I’ll be releasing it this spring. We start recording tomorrow and after last night’s pre-production session, I can confidently say that I think it’s gonna be pretty amazing. Unlike anything else I’ve ever put out there before, thanks to the help of the musicians/producers I’ll be working with.

This is a pretty big deal to me for a few reasons:

1. In a week or so, I’ll be participating with a select group of artists in the launch of an online digital marketplace. I believe it’s set to revolutionize music and art in Charlotte and beyond.

2. This is the first time I’ll make a project like this that I think I’ll really be proud of. I’ve been in and out of bands over the last few years, but I was never really sure where I was going, what I was doing, or who I was doing it for. I’ve recorded some songs, but none that made me sit back and say “wow.” This might be my first wow. I guess we’ll see, but I hope that’s the case, due to reason #3….

3. I’m investing a lot into this project. Being a musician isn’t cheap. That’s why I’ve set up an IndieGogo campaign to help raise funds for the EP.

And this is where I start to get really honest.

That online digital marketplace thing I mentioned in reason #1 — without going into too much detail, I don’t think it’s coincidence that I happened to meet the guy who’s starting it. I’ve written a bunch of songs since 2009 when I first began songwriting, and they’ve all been waiting to find a home. They’ve been in and out of foster care, and gone through countless changes as a result, but this EP will give them a sense of permanence they’ve been lacking for a while.

When I found out about this online opportunity for artists, I got really excited. I also felt a tugging on my heart, like God was saying to me, “this is what you need to be doing.”

People who know me know I’m a workaholic. I have a full-time job that consumes about 40-45 hours of every week. I also have a husband, a family and friends that I try to spend time with. When I’m not doing all that, I’m usually doing freelance projects or looking for other ways to supplement my current income. I’ve been working so much lately that I’ve neglected my art. I can’t remember the last new song I wrote. And when I found out the cost of this EP I knew I was going to need to work even more to help pay for it.

When I launched the IndieGogo campaign, I wasn’t really sure what it would yield. It’s been almost a week, and so far, I’ve raised over $200 — less than 1/10th of my final goal. I’m not gonna lie. I was hoping to raise a lot more than that in my first week. I haven’t given up, and I won’t, but every day that goes by without another contribution leaves me a little more discouraged.

So tonight I sent a mass e-mail to all of my Facebook friends. I have more than 500, so even if half of them gave me $10 I’d most likely reach my goal. I sent the message from my Gmail account, not realizing that it would send as one group message to over 500 people. Whenever you send a message to a group of people and someone replies to it, every person in the group gets notified of the reply. The only way to avoid that is by leaving the conversation. Unfortunately, everyone is also notified whenever someone leaves the conversation.

So one person left the conversation and Facebook sent an autogenerated message to all recipients letting them know he had left. That triggered a domino effect. One by one, more people started to leave the conversation, resulting in auto generated messages to all recipients. Before I knew it, I had people asking me left and right why they were getting “a bazillion” emails from facebook letting them know that “so-and-so had left the conversation.”

My attempt to ask for help was ruined.

Doubt set in.

Call me overly dramatic, but at that point I started to question this whole thing. I started to question God. I started to doubt whether He really wanted me to pursue this. I began to stress over the fact that tomorrow I owe my producer/drummer $1500 that I wasn’t able to raise in the first week of my campaign.

In the midst of all the Facebook chaos, I signed on to my bank account and looked at the funds. I had an extra $575 in savings that I had gotten from a freelance project, and I’m expecting to receive another check for $500 in the mail tomorrow for another freelance job. So there was $1075. All I needed was another $425 and I’d be set for tomorrow’s recording.

I navigated over to Paypal to check my balance. Some of the IndieGogo donations had come in through PayPal so I expected to see a little bit there. But when I saw the exact amount I almost cried.

$489.

Way more than I had expected.

The lesson?

God provides.

Okay, so yeah, I had to work for it. More than half of that $489 was money I had also been paid from freelance work. But still. God provided. He gave me freelance work. He gave me a wonderful friend named Roland who produced my awesome IndieGogo promo video.  And he gave me those first few campaign contributors.

Basically, God provided in the way He saw fit to provide. It might not have been my plan, but really, when do things ever go the way we plan?

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