In my monthly schedule for July 2020, I said that I was going to begin to let you know some of the other ventures I have going on, in addition to Get Fit On A Budget. Well, the first one is that I write and sing praise and worship music!
Now, you may be wondering why on earth, on a website about fitness, I would be writing about this. Well there are a couple of reasons.
The first is that I always want to share what I am passionate about and integrating my faith with music is certainly high on the list!
Secondly, though this post may not seem to have much to do with physical fitness, I think that having creative outlets is incredibly important to a person’s mental health, which in turn, can truly affect your physical health! You see, according to mental health.org out of the UK, the two are actually inseparable.
Therefore, one thing that I hope this post inspires you to do is to make sure you are doing things that fill you and help with your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. A healthy mind and spirit leads to a healthy body and vice versa.
Thirdly, and least importantly from my perspective, is that creative outlets like music can lead to monetary gain, which I will go into in a little more depth later on.
If you have been following the site for the past couple of months, the first post of each month is one about giving you ideas on how to make money beyond your regular job (some of which can even become your regular job!).
I’ve said it before, but my reasoning for doing this is that times are tough right now for so many. You all have been so helpful to me in your support of this site, that I wanted to find a way to give back. So, each month I take a one article break from fitness and try to find you legitimate ways to make some money.
If you are curious to check those methods out, please feel free to click any of the links below to go directly to the reviews I’ve written about them!
If you are looking to make a little extra cash while sitting on the couch, check out Survey Junkie.
Maybe you are an avid online shopper and want to save money while earning points toward free gift cards. If that is the case, then the Honey Browser Extension is definitely a must download!
For those of you looking to turn a passion for fitness (perhaps that passion is why you are here in the first place) there is a potentially lucrative career in personal training! I recommend reading my post on ACE Fitness’s certification program for that!
If you want to turn your hobbies or interests into a blossoming online business from your own home (like I have done here), then you simply MUST take a look at the training offered by Wealthy Affiliate! Click the link for all the details!
I bet when I mentioned my other ventures in the schedule post, you weren’t expecting songwriting and singing! Interestingly enough, neither was I!
How The Journey Began – The First Song
Writing songs was not something I wanted to do all my life. In fact, it wasn’t until about 11 years ago (when I was 23) that it was even on my radar. Actually, I didn’t start to write creatively until I was in high school, and that was in short story form.
When I went to college as a Literature major, I took a couple of creative writing courses that really influenced me in developing a style all my own and got me into poetry. From then on, after graduating, I always kept a notebook with me to jot down the poems that I would write.
Then, out of the blue one day, I had some new poetry pop into my head. However, this time it sounded more like song lyrics because it was accompanied by a melody. I quickly wrote it down and it became my first worship song. I don’t really remember it now, but I am sure it wasn’t all that great.
That wasn’t the important part, though. What was important was that it became the beginning of a new chapter in my life. One that would hold my hand and even at times, carry me through some of the darkest moments I would ever experience.
Fast and Furious – The Next Steps
That first song was a crack in the Hoover Dam for me as far as songwriting was concerned. Except there was no trickle of water. Instead, with that one crack, the dam burst. Over the course of the next several months, song ideas began to flood my mind.
There were days when I was writing 3 or 4 complete songs, with lyrics and melodies flowing freely. What an amazing mental and spiritual boost it was that after years of searching, I finally was blessed with my own unique way of communicating with God!
There was only one problem I could see. I didn’t (and still don’t) play an instrument. I was writing lyrics and knew exactly how they should sound in my head, but had no way of translating that to the page. It’s like having a beautiful painting in your head, knowing exactly how it should look, but lacking the artistic ability to make it happen on the canvas.
That’s when I started seeking friends who knew how to play and write the music portion. It was incredible to hear the work come to fruition. I had no idea where it was going, but was content to enjoy the ride.
Then writing situations changed for my partners and I was again, on my own…for several years. Still writing, but once again, not having a way to translate it. I attempted to learn guitar, but realized that my brain and hands did not have the coordination to make it work.
Getting Serious Knowledge – Honing The Craft
That was the way it went for a long time, until my brother told me that his church was starting a songwriting group. The head pastor had previously played in all kinds of bands and had background and experience in musical engineering. Another member of the group had been writing songs for decades.
I took a shot in the dark and decided to attend the first meeting…and then the next…then the next. They really liked my stuff and found it easy to work with. I started learning a ton about effective songwriting and tried to apply it to the best of my ability, all with the desire to grow personally and help myself and others to worship with truth.
I would get together with the pastor in between the meetings, bringing my lyrics and melodies and he would help me write the music. It was, and is still, going great! Some of the songs we wrote together, I was able to sing in the church I was attending and people were giving good feedback.
All the while, I was trying to learn how to write the music portion. With a little help from technology (thank you GarageBand), I was able to start figuring out how to write chords and do more of the work on my own (that’s where I currently am today).
However, before I learned that, something happened that I never thought possible.
The Storm And Sea – The EP
I reconnected with an old classmate and good friend of mine, who was in a signed Christian metal band (Wolves at the Gate, in case you want to check them out). He saw that I had put some stuff online (incidentally also seeing that it was very low-budget) and offered to help out.
I chose 5 songs and he used his incredible talent to put full instrumentation to them. Then I went down to his home and recorded vocals. He edited, mixed and mastered the songs and I couldn’t believe it. I felt so incredibly blessed to hear what was really the culmination of an 11-year journey!
I signed up for digital distribution (which I will get to in a moment) and soon saw the worship EP that we had worked on pop up on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.! Talk about a mind-blowing experience.
I started contacting Christian radio stations and got airplay at some small ones around the country and some popular online stations as well. One song came in 5th place for a Christian song competition and that same song was even played over in England!
Now, do I have thousands of listeners on Spotify and millions of plays on Apple Music? Not even close! I’m just floored that it’s on there and people have listened. To me, the money is not the important part. If one person heard my songs and either came to Christ, recommitted to Christ, or grew in their faith, I would be ecstatic and consider it a success!
Take A Listen
In case you are interested, the name of the EP is “The Storm and Sea”. When praying through what songs to choose for it, I came upon ones that reflected my own journey. These songs have seen me through hard times, mental illness in both myself and family, loss, and times of great triumph.
They have renewed and bolstered my faith and it has always been my prayer that they could do the same for those who hear them. So without further delay, I’m going to post two of the songs on here for you to sample. If you like what you hear, I’m going to follow them up with where they can be downloaded.
A couple of the songs are actually perfect for your workout playlist, while others are good for those quiet, reflective moments that we all need in our lives. Check them out if you have a few minutes:
Your Love: The first single from the EP and a celebration of all that God’s love is for us.
The Storm and Sea: Possibly one of my most personal and favorite songs I’ve had the privilege of writing. It was born from tragedy and pain and has continued to be a reminder of God’s faithfulness through it all again and again.
I hope you enjoyed those! If you did and wish to download them and check out the others, you can find them at the following:
If you have a different music service that you use, please let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be glad to try to provide the link for you! Add the songs to your playlists and let others know about them! I really appreciate your support.
How Can You Make Money With Music?
I know I can’t be the only one who has written music, but doesn’t have any idea how to get it out there. What I am about to tell you is not because I am an affiliate with this service. I’m just really pleased with their work! I get no compensation for pointing you toward them.
To get my music distributed, I chose to go with CDBaby. It’s basically a one-stop shop for digital music distribution. If it offers music to download or stream, chances are CDBaby will get it to them. In fact, it can get your music on the platforms mentioned above as well as YouTube, Pandora, Facebook, Deezer, and over 100 more!
They take care of distribution, royalty collection, and payment. They also offer dozens of resources to help you get ahead in the music business and partner with merchandise and physical distribution companies.
While you may think this probably costs hundreds of dollars, you’d actually be wrong. Their pricing breaks down into two categories, Standard and Pro. The Standard will definitely get your music out there, but the Pro will do that and take it several steps further by getting you affiliate with a performing rights organization and totally monetizing your music.
Pricing is as follows:
Standard Single: $9.95
Pro Single: $29.95
Standard Album: $29.00
Pro Album: $69.00
When you consider all you get in the Pro packages, it is an incredible buy. The best part is that unlike some distribution partners where you have to pay a yearly fee to keep your music online, CDBaby’s charge is one time only and your music is up year after year. No recurring charges! They take 9% of whatever you make.
That means that they really only make money if you do, thus giving them incentive to help you out in any way they possibly can!
I have been so pleased with my experience and any time I have had a problem or a question, they have been super helpful in answering it.
If you are someone who makes music and is looking for a place to get it out to the world and make some money, CDBaby is definitely the way to go! Click the link to check out their website in more detail.
Praise And Worship Music – Still Going With No Plan To Stop
Like I said earlier, it took 11 years to go from first song to EP. There were ups and downs, challenges and high points during the whole journey, but it was and has been all worth it. I’m excited to see where it goes from here as I am still writing and learning!
In many ways, I guess it is a lot like a fitness journey. Sometimes you get discouraged, you hit obstacles, but you keep pushing through because you know how rewarding it is going to eventually be.
For me, writing and singing music for the church is healing, inspiring, and faith-building. It restores my soul and mind, helping me to focus on what truly matters: Christ.
We can get so caught up in the rat race that we forget to slow down and take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. However, if I have learned anything, it’s to slow down, appreciate what I have while it is here, and place my focus on what is most important. Writing praise and worship music helps me to do that.
Now, it’s your turn! Were you surprised at my other venture was? What did you think of the music? What do you do for a creative outlet or to keep yourself fit mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually? Let me know down in the comments below!
If you have any questions or, like I said above, want information on where to download the songs, please feel free to ask! I hope they are as much a blessing to you as they have been to me!
Coming up on Friday, I will be getting back to our regularly scheduled fitness-related posts, but I hope you have enjoyed this short aside! If you have please consider becoming a subscriber in the top right corner of this page to receive notifications on any new content.
Additionally, if you want to share this story or the music in it, please feel free to hit the social icons and tell everyone you know! Thanks so much!
That’s all for now! As always, God Bless and take care of yourself in all ways!