It’s one full week of what I call “things gone to shit week.” On Monday, my website went down. To me, my website is like my living room, and now someone is denying access to it, I can only hang around in the bedroom or the bathroom. All the signs pointed in the direction of this being a server problem. You see, I have a good friend who has some server space, that he has in the past several years provided me for free. It is hi-tech stuff, super secure, due to the fact that his company is in the business of internet security. So it is always up to date with all of the latest threats. But this also means it gets updated very regularly. And once in a blue moon the updates does not see eye to eye with the existing site.
Now to be honest with you, in the past five years, this has only happened few times, and always we had it sorted in a matter of hours. So for me this has been a small price to pay for a top notch server space 🙂 This time, though it was a case of the worst possible timing. I had scheduled two days off. And there was no way of cancelling these two days. So I tried to figure out as much as I could of the problem away from my computer. And when I finally got back home on Tuesday night, I was burning midnight oil, until the small hours of Wednesday morning. When I finally gave up and lied down on my bed, I could feel an army of hamsters in their running wheels bouncing ideas around my brain, and even though I was exhausted, it took me an hour to fall a sleep.
On Wednesday it was time to take my house guest we had visiting for the past four weeks back to the airport. Goodbyes are always a bit of a downer, but we’ll see him in few months, so it’s not too bad. And from the airport we made a quick breakfast pit stop and then I was back on my computer trying to get to the root of it all.
It seemed to be a case of one step forward, two steps back. All along the way I was trying to see all of this as an opportunity to learn, but inevitably the frustration was creeping in…
To my delight, the response from people have been amazing. People offered to help with their expertise, gave their time generously. The encouraging messages kept pouring in, and while I was starting to feel dow, they really kept the fire going 🙂
On Thursday and Friday my frustration got to the level, that when Rory from Melosity asked me to help him out with few things, I was more than happy to take a break from the website problems. Having someone else problem to concentrate on, was a breath of fresh air. You see when you are wrapped up trying to solve a problem, you can get bit too caught up in it. This can cause you to look at the problem with tunnel vision, when you actually need to look at the bigger picture.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday I have regular gigs with Sliotar here in Dublin, and as everybody who was helping me were out of office for the weekend, I had the sense in me not to stare at the computer screen looking for a solution that more than likely was out of my reach, and I headed out. I did two long walks on Saturday and Sunday, my iPhone step counter clocked 25km 🙂 And as a result, I slept very deep.
Today is Monday, a new week and I am waging my options. For the past year and eight months I put a lot of work in to my website, and one week it not working properly is enough. It is time to get this baby sorted. Also I did notice my self getting not only frustrated, but also stressed to a certain extent. And I hope we all know how harmful the bad kind of stress can be to our health? So it is time to get it sorted one way or another.
But even in the middle of crisis, there are lessons to be learned and there are opportunities to improve things. I am definitely going to simplify certain aspects of my website. But even more so my experiments with Bandcamp in the past few months have been so encouraging that I am going to utilise them as my main shop for downloads in the future. And also I will be testing out the name your own price system on all of my albums, at least for a little while to see how it would work out. Check out my Bandcamp page HERE
You see, to me if someone wants to have my music, I want them to have it. I don’t know what is going on in your life. I don’t know if you struggle in a minimum wage job, while trying to keep up with the bills. Or you have been saving for a trip around the world, and all of your money is going onto the plain tickets, I’d still like you to have my music as part of your soundtrack for that journey. And if you do have the resources to pay for the music, then you are one of those amazing people who make all of this possible. You are the lifeline that keep the songs and the blog posts coming. You are the power behind me bringing all of this into new levels and new formats.
I am also getting close to introducing a new way for you to support me. The thing is, all of this does cost me money. I am not moaning about how the record industry is broken and the artist can’t make money anymore. I look far past all of that. But a year and eight months into this beautiful journey of ours, I’ll be honest with you, I have financially invested a lot more than I have made (and I am about to drop another pile of cash to sort out this website situation for anode and for all). But at the same time, I know in return I got a lot more in many other ways. Sure the finances need to make some sort of sense somewhere along the line, but that is not the driving force. The driving force in the beginning was my desperate desire to write music and share it. Now the sharing part has taken on a life of its own. When I hear from you guys how a particular song of mine touched you, it fills me with more gratitude than you could ever imagine.
So once again, thank you 🙂 You are the force that keeps me going.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE