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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

gratitude


I'm grateful for my life. I have lived a thousand years. I've struggled. I've overcome. I've achieved. I look at my life and I realize that LIFE (l.i.f.e) is more than just an accolade.

It's the journey. I sometimes think I'm a broken record when it comes to discussing the importance of the "journey", but in essence it's the truth. We need to live more in the moment of our lives, rather than what the outcome may bring. For, how can we secure that outcome? We have no control over it. All we can control is this moment.

I have spent this past year raising a boy and a girl, my twin babies. In an ordinary world, that is ALL I should be able to muster, but I have somehow also found the capacity to generate an income for our family, come close to finishing the recording of my 7th album, coach approximately 10 artist clients a month, run a monthly showcase residency featuring awesome songwriters each month and perform myself, project manage several projects with a leading digital/internet fortune 500 company on a weekly basis, host the childrens' first birthday party including having family visit from overseas, write several articles including this blog, and run a 501)c)3 non profit organization for songwriters. Yes, i have done all this. (I'm sure I missed a few things).

I am grateful for my life. For my achievements. For my CAPACITY. For going through the motions; the process of my life and DELIVERING.

Even in my darkest times (and believe me, having had twins and raising them in their first year there are many), I SEE THE LIGHT. I am so ever grateful for having the opportunity to be WHO I AM and discovering life in a NEW WAY with my children to show ME the way.

Thank you humble universe for enlightening me once again.

to leave you with
I cannot tell you how amazed i am at our babies each day. you may think i'm all creative with music, but honestly, the most creative i've ever done is produce these little wonders. my time is spent with them mostly, but yet i am in the world producing, recording, project managing, creating, coaching and being. still, my world revolves around them until they know how to be independent. it will take some time and meanwhile i will love every second. i do not regret one hour spent in the middle of the night nursing, or one hour in the day where food is spilled all over them or me. i continually pick up toys off the floor and i do each pick up with glee in my heart. i am in love in love in love with natalie and jackson, and of course my husband and partner for life, jeff (j.) walker.  we are a great quartet.



~ gilli

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Artists, Light and Horses

One of your thoroughbreds is biting at the bit at the starting gate. She’s really testy, and wants to start the race. Salivating at the mouth, eyes zealous, mind going a hundred miles an hour. But the gun has not gone off. There is no start.

She realizes she’s not alone. There are six, maybe ten, other horses also at the gate, desperate to start: hooves kicking the dust, rump hitting the sides of the barrier, leg muscles twitching.   

Restless…

Then you realize, all of these thoroughbreds are yours. You own all these horses, and they are all ready to go, as soon as the mark is heard. They’re all biting at the bit, ready. A few false starts, and back into the barriers. Still, it’s a waiting game.

Do you ever feel like this? Do you ever feel like the thoroughbred inside you just wants to get out there and on with it? Are you feeling restless, frustrated, anxious, and yet: full of energy, desire, passion and ambition?

Do you have too many horses at the starting gate? Are all your projects/desires/dreams at the forefront of your starting gate ready to be unleashed? Do you feel like you have false starts and then you’re back at the starting gate, once again kicking your hooves into the dirt?
You are not alone.

The conundrum of the new creative entrepreneur is that we are not only passionate and ambitious as the ‘creator’, but also carrying the load of the ‘business startup owner’. You have to do it all, don’t you?

You may also just be that A-type personality who has so many ideas, and you want to do them all. Now. Or, you just know that inside you, your artistic light just wants to shine and it deserves to be heard.
Ambition is a curse and a blessing. It provides a wonderful kick in the pants to make you not only believe you can “do it”, but gives you impetus to get on with it. But it can also be a detriment. Because you want your light to shine so much, you can get frustrated if the opportunities and successes don’t come fast enough. That thoroughbred of yours kicks its hoofs in frustration, eyes jealous of the next one next to you “making it”.

I have often wondered if my life had turned out differently. If, at the age of 18, when I felt the ambition rising in my soul, I was “discovered” by a record company, developed and marketed to the point of, perhaps, top 40 hits, number one songs, Grammy awards and worldwide acclaim. I mean, my ego could easily accept that, right? My ego’s ambition certainly saw it that way. But my road was very different. I couldn’t wait for someone to come along and determine my fate: I took the ball in my own hands and created my own record company and distribution channels, thereby circumventing the “system”, using guerilla marketing tactics and making a go of it on my own. I call it my “warrior path”. Success? Damn right. It’s my definition of success. Honestly, if I’d waited around thinking I could be “discovered”, that artist light inside me would have been extinguished.

The artist’s light is always there. Your creativity, your inner talent, your mission, your essence. While you are waiting for that long term goal to realize; while you are working on your big opus, don’t forget to continue to nurture your light. In fact, artistry is a life long journey – it’s about the day to day process. Let your light emanate on a daily basis, even if, in your heart, you’re waiting for that “big thing”. Getting to that big dream takes a while, to do it right. And often it turns out differently than you initially expected, which is OK. Maybe, just maybe, you might discover that the little things you achieve, are way cooler than that vision of what that “big thing” may be, or never be.

Many artists who get the Grammy, or actors who get an Oscar, ask themselves, “what next?”

You see, once you get some kind of recognition, or reach a milestone, you’ll only want MORE. What’s next, what else? And even worse,...”is this all there is?”

Don’t be deceived by the Holy Grail, that magical destination you’ve set your sights on. Yes, the grass is always greener, they say, but let’s just imagine the grass is green right where you are, right here and now, right with what you have in your hands.

Take a look at your thoroughbreds right now. Go pat your favorite one, and give it some hay and water. Give it the love and power. Focus on that talent of yours, and find little wins you can appreciate on a daily basis. They are the ones you’ll look back which will create a sea of wins in your life, and that is a life well lived.


Go shine your light!

~ love and light, gilli moon

Want more? Get gilli's books, "I AM A Professional Artist - The Key To Survival and Success in the World of the Arts", and "Just Get Out There - Achieving Abundance, Self-Empowerment and Professional Success as an Artist Entrepreneur"

Friday, August 30, 2013

The End of the Beginning

The following is an excerpt from gilli moon's book JUST GET OUT THERE. Own it today.


Here is where it’s at folks:
Live your life like you are at the beginning of the road, and let go of the oars and flow…

If my only priorities were to sell CDs, make tons of money and get everyone to love me, I will make myself sick, stressed and deeply unhappy.

If my priorities are to enjoy my journey; tell a good story whether on a CD, live at a show, or in my writings; enjoy the creative process; learn and discover the world; and INSPIRE others along the way – then it’s a different life, a GREAT life, a REAL life… my life. I know that I’m an Artist for life. I have much to say, and I am going to have a great time “having a go” and making it all worthwhile. The CD sales, radio play, Grammy awards and Newsweek interviews come and go. The JOURNEY of being the Warrior Artist, and the savvy successful Artist Entrepreneur LIVES ON.

*        Continually step back and take a broader view of your life and your dreams.

*        Have a broader mission that isn’t just about you, but how you want to inspire others.

*        Lead your life with dignity like a good Warrior Artist Entrepreneur does, knowing the universe will provide you all the freedom you deserve.

*        Don’t sweat the small stuff: let go and let it come. Allow it to unfold.

*        Trust in yourself, your heart, your passion and the universe.

*        Patience is key.

*        Don’t take yourself so seriously. There’s way more fun in laughter and it’s quite entertaining.

*        Don’t take it all so personally. Other people’s stuff is their subjective view on reality. The less you emotionally take things personally, and listen more to your own advice, the better off you’ll be.

*        Know you have to have climbed t
he mountain, and really feel the rocks and stones along the way, to understand what it truly feels like to succeed, and get to a place of joy. It doesn't happen overnight. It’s a lifelong journey of becoming.

*        You are the actor in your play. You created your play called “your life”. Enjoy it.

*        Who has the gold? You do. Be the creative explorer in your life and know you are the master of your destiny.



It’s not going to be easy. It’s challenging and uncomfortable. But you will feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction every step of the way. You will always be moving forward.

And now, a little personal somethin' somethin'.... my newborn twins... Now, look who's enjoying the journey....

art is life, life is art,
gilli moon

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Art of detachment



Real stuff happens in and around our lives. But it’s how we respond to it that makes the difference; whether I attach to it or detach from it.
- gilli moon
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I have painted my first canvas in over a year. This is a major breakthrough. The flow has returned. Strange that I say this? No. It’s actually quite a meaningful point I want to make.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a remarkably busy year. Busy, busy, busy. Productive, busy, creative, busy. Get the picture? Busy.
I’ve conquered many mountains, and been victorious in my endeavors. It’s been “business as usual” and I’ve written songs, performed songs, recorded songs and done many other things in between. But have I also had quiet time to just sit, reflect and ponder the universe? Not much. When I can do that, my favorite way is to pour a glass of merlot (I can only average one glass of wine in a blue moon), and with a white, blank canvas inviting me, imploring me… I splash a multitude of colors on it and my mind is able to drift into another world.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Connecting the Social Dots: Integrating all your Social Networks and news feeds to spread your music word


Connecting the Social Dots: Integrating all your Social Networks and news feeds to spread your music word
By GILLI MOON

This article is not for the fresh beginner to the Internet. It’s for those artists who have been dabbling with various sites on the internet to promote their wares, but just need some clarity on how to navigate, what is best, and what has changed.  I was originally only going to write an article on Tumbr.com (and the demise of Posterous.com) but instead I kept writing and decided to write an entire article on Social Networks and connecting the social dots for your music. I will begin by saying that before you dabble in Social Networks, you NEED a website first and foremost. Your website is your HOME BASE where all good fans and links should start, and return. This is your hub, and your place you alone can control. Social Networks come and go. Don’t rely on them as your only source of self-promotion. I also highly recommend you read my book JUST GET OUT THERE as I have a lengthy chapter for the beginner or expert on Self-Promotion, Marketing and being the Artist Entrepreneur. Get it at www.justgetoutthere.com, or Amazon. Or just Google it.

Also my final caveat is the advice below is based on what I like, what I’ve tested, and what I use. I’m sure there are other ideas and ways. But I’m sharing with you my idea, and I want to keep it simple for you too.
Ok, let’s get started…, or at least, let’s pretend you are already dabbling online…. So let’s start in the middle: Enjoy the read. 

Connect my website news page to my social networks, so I can post all at once.
Goal: When posting in one place, you have it land on Twitter, Facebook, AND as a news feed on your website.
Twitter
YouTube
LinkedIn
Foursquare
Google+
Tumblr (and you know how THAT can connect!)
Vimeo
Blogger
And of course, Facebook



What if you have all these online social networks and you have to update your status in all these different places. Wouldn't it be nice to update one status and it spreads to all of them? How about tag on a news feed for your website? In working with artists and their self promotion, I’ve been a big advocate of Posterous.com as a blog for you to post your latest news, which in turn publishes/syndicates to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) all at once.  It also has been great as an RSS feed on your website, (your NEWS stream). However, Posterous.com died an unfortunate death (absorbed by its new owner Twitter). By end April 2013, it’s “bye bye’.

Welcome a long tried and true blog network (but least buzzed about): Tumblr.com

Tumblr is not only going to do what Posterous has done before, but goes one step further: it is a well respected social network blog in its own right, so a lot of what you may do on the web may connect to Tumblr (like you may connect Facebook and Twitter).
 Also in posting through Tumblr, you can share music, video, photos and of course, text. It’s super sexy.  You can also share things you find on the internet, on tumblr.  

How to get this going:
1.          First, I’m going to assume you are already on Twitter and Facebook as a good start (see further into this article about the benefits of those.)
2.          Go to www.tumblr.com and create an account.   Once created, and while logged in, click on your new “blog” on the left.  (1 account can have several blogs)
3.          Create url - I recommend you use your artist name as the name you choose in the url. Eg gillimoon.tumblr.com and songsalive.tumblr.com
4.          Find the Post By Email setting on Under “Account” (click on your blog from there)– they provide an email address that you can email to, from you email account, when you want to post to Tumblr. It will be really weird but it works. You can also post within your Tumblr account online. I like the email route as you can forward anything you want (your newsletter for example) to Tumblr via email.  Later you can read tips on sending via email here: www.tumblr.com/docs/en/email_publishing
5.           You can change the theme within your Blog. They have many to choose from. (Also in this area you can change the name of blog. It may be called Untitled”.  Rename that to your preferred blog name. )
6.          Importantly, connect to Facebook and Twitter . You can choose what to connect to on Facebook. Doesn’t have to be your profile (as we often keep that as personal friends area). You can share to your Facebook Fan Page. (If you have a Facebook Group, you can connect Tumblr to NetworkedBlogs (search it within Facebook). Another cool system to syndicate your blogs.)
7.          LOG OUT and go to your Tumblr url to see what it looks like. Copy the RSS feed by clicking on the “Subscribe to RSS Feed” . For example the Songsalive Tumblr is songsalive.tumblr.com/rss
8.          Now, go to your website. I have recommended many of you to design your website through www.weebly.com. You can drag an RSS feed box to any of your page (I prefer home, and News page) and insert the above RSS feed. Voila, your website is also showing your latest news. If your website design management doesn’t allow you to insert an RSS feed, you can use www.feedburner.com to create a digest of your Tumblr feeds, and then give you html code to insert into your website.
9.          Go to www.tumblr.com/apps for more suggestions. You can even share things you find on the internet, on tumblr (which in turn spreads through your network).
10.       Create buttons for your website www.tumblr.com/buttons
11.       Other apps/social networks:  you can share Flickr with Tumblr (go to your Flickr account). You can also surf the internet and share on Tumblr cool things you find.

IN SUMMARY: Post to the Tumblr email anytime (Your Newsletter, Your status, Your fun bits and pieces). This goes to Social Networks AND shows up on your website as latest news.

 How to connect to other social networks too?
That’s easy: through TWITTER.   They will then be synced to Tumblr vicariously through your Twitter/Tumblr API connection.  For example, link Twitter to Facebook here www.facebook.com/twitter/ (obviously you need an account at both places);  Link your Myspace to your Twitter within MySpace. Link your Reverbnation profile to Twitter through Revbernation (more on these social networks further down).

What’s another alternative to post to all my social networks at once?
Ping.fm used to be the best way to post to all your social networks at once. Then they were bought out by Seesmic. Then they were bought out by Hootsuite. So, Hootsuite.com is a nice site, however if you want to post to more than a few, you have to pay. So I found a free one: Alternion.com. Little is published about this site, but I’ve started using it and I really like it. You have to post through the website from a computer though. Doesn’t seem to have a mobile app. I just posted to my social networks all at once. They are:
Since my Facebook is connected to my Twitter, I tend to exclude that from the posting as Twitter posts on its behalf.

Of course they have a TON more social networks you can multi-post to. AND you can read all your social network statuses, posts and messages all at Alternion.com. You can even read all your email inboxes there too. Pretty neat. Still in beta, so tread lightly.

OK, tell me more about Reverbnation and why it’s important to my music promotion?
Reverbnation.com is a unique social network site that I’ve loved since they started. Similar to MySpace, you can create a profile that includes uploaded songs, photos, a bio, and some press. It’s a pretty solid place to promote to the media as your “press kit” (though I like Sonicbids.com better for that, although that one I wouldn’t call a Social Network). Reverbnation is a lovely place to gain fans (they just come and find you without too much fuss). You can rise in the music charts, and send fan mail (newsletters) to your Fans who “Fan” you. Interestingly, you can create html Widgets of your music player, Tour info/Gigs, Press quotes and your whole press kit, to insert into your Website.

OK, tell me more about Twitter and why it’s important to my music promotion?
It just happens to be the best medium to promote your music and build followers.  I know you all love Facebook, but Twitter attracts fans/followers without you having to accept them as friends. It’s an OPEN space/playing field. Also, as above, you can link your Twitter to Facebook to update status simultaneously.

OK, tell me more about Facebook and why it’s important to my music promotion?
Facebook is like my online Pub. I go there to hang out virtually with my friends online (through my personal profile, that is). I can decide who I am friends with, and through my privacy settings, I can be strict about who sees what. The latest on personal profiles is the Friend requests you deny, they will be automatically “subscribed to your public posts”. So in essence, your Fans (who you really don’t call Friends) can follow you too. When you post, simply choose your audience. If you make it “Public” Friends and Subscribers will see it.  I still think having a FAN PAGE (or Business PAGE) is essential. Set a Page up within your Profile and create a URL for it. I tend to only promote my fanpage ie facebook.com/gillimoonmusic, to avoid too many friend requests from people I don’t know on my personal profile. Notwithstanding, you can make it harder to find you through Facebook (Friends of Friends only).  Why is Facebook important? Well, it’s your Soap Box, your ability to talk any time of day, intimately, or publicly. The fact is, many now use Facebook as their preference for communication (yes, beating emails and phone calls). That is why it is important to be on Facebook. As for Music promotion, you can link your Reverbnation, Sonicbids and similar music sites to your Facebook Fan Page, so that people can listen to your music through Facebook. Nice stuff.

Other sites I should look at for promoting my music?
Just put .com after all those listed below
I’ve mentioned some above in my paragraph about where I linked my Tumblr account to. I think it’s worthy to mention that MySpace is making a comeback and so I wouldn’t delete your account with them yet.  It was recently bought by Justin Timberlake (amongst others) and is going through a revamp. You can migrate your old site to the new. There are a few kinks still, (that is that your old friends don’t transfer over unless they also migrate their accounts), and the one pet peeve is all the new music news is all about Justin right now. Go figure!

YouTube is idea to showcase your videos. You can create Channels, Playlists, find subscribers, network, AND create revenue (if you hit a certain amount of Views).
Vimeo is an alternative to Youtube. I don’t use it as much. I like it to share private videos with people and at Songsalive! we use it for our Songcraft videos as you can add a password.
Google+ didn’t get a huge rating for me. Hence I didn’t dive deep. But they are trying. Their “circles” at least helps you compartmentalize fans into different groups. Businesses seems to like it (at least that’s Google’s selling point). I’m still on the fence. To access, you need a google or gmail account. It connects within your logins for that.
Soundcloud is the perfect solution for sharing songs (whether full or edited, though you have to edit inadvance before you upload). You can find fans, and they can even post their favorite parts of your song, comment, and even remix your song with permission. Soundcloud is linked sometimes to other social networks too.  They also provide a music player html code for your website.
Blogger is not a social network. It’s a blog. Write and express yourself, and then syndicate/publish the feed on your website through feedburner.com and to your social networks through Alternion.com.
Bandcamp seems to be a nice place to sell music directly from your site, and connects with other sites. But it’s not a social network. You can also sell your music on Reverbnation and Soundclick.com (the latter is also a social network and you can create a music player for your website, plus all sales go to You. Actually Soundclick is my favorite site for showcasing music. Like the old mp3.com, they also have Charts. You may see yourself in the top 10 one day.
LinkedIn.com is not a social network in the true sense, but it is an online networking community where you can upload your “resume” (Jobs, Education, Expertise) and then connect with others in the biz. I love it for doing and expanding my “business as an artist entrepreneur” and people take you way more seriously there, than any other social network that is generally seen as “fun”.

I’m no guru on Social Networks. I’m an Artist, and I run my own business. I coach other artists in their careers too. It may seem a lot to connect the dots, but if you follow my tried and true methods above, you’re thre-quarters there. The rest is actually promoting (Status updates, writing, networking) and creating GREAT music.

-and putting it all together at gillimoon.tumblr.com and songsalive.tumblr.com