Will You Take The "23 in '13" Challenge?

3 new songs.  I released 3 new songs in 2012.  That's it and that's bullshit.  

Yeah, I released an album and a few E.P.'s, but those contained songs that were originally released in 2010 & 2011 along with a bunch of remixes.  In terms of brand new original music, I only released 3 songs.  2013 is going to be different, but I need your help.  

Will you join me for the "23 in '13" Challenge?

Some great things happened in 2012.  I opened for Paul & Storm, Molly Lewis and The Doubleclicks.  I traveled to Salt Lake City, Dallas & Baltimore to perform at events like Nerdtacular.  By the end of the year though, I felt really unhappy.

In my ideal life, I'd compose music all day and share it with you.  While I haven't figured out how to make a living doing that yet, I realized that I'd be a lot happier if I composed every day.  This is how I arrived at the "23 in"13" challenge.

I'm going to release at least 23 new pieces of music in 2013.  

Much of it will be instrumental, as I'm interested in composing music for webshows, video games and independent films, but there will be vocal songs too.  

I was going to announce this just to make myself accountable, then I realized...

You should do this with me.
  
You can create 23 short stories, songs, blog posts, podcasts or pieces of visual art.  You can submit a story to 23 different markets.  You can read 23 new books.  Adapt the challenge any way you'd like.

As the weeks go on, I'll blog about the piece that I'm working on and you can tell me about your progress.  In addition to my music, I'm going to feature other creators work here too.  If you're taking on a new creative challenge this year and making cool stuff, let me know.

So, who's with me?

Are you going to take the "23 in '13" challenge?
 
Reply in the comments.

74 comments:

  1. 23 pieces of art of some kind. Yes, I can do this. I will do this. In.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! Looking forward to seeing what you make Paul. Photos?

      Delete
  2. I know you said that we can adapt the challenge any way we like, but would it violate the spirit of the goal to mix and match things?

    For example, if I write/make/build 3 poems, 2 short stories, 1 XBMC media center, 1 song, 7 blog posts, an Android app, a non-fiction article, 3 submissions of writing for publication, and upload 4 recorded versions of my band playing other peoples' music to YouTube, does that count? Or am I stretching it to far?

    I know, I know. The goal is to be creative. I get it. And when it comes right down to it, numbers are arbitrary as long as creativity in general does not go dormant.

    For what it's worth, I already submitted one poem for possible publication in a print magazine this year, my first poetry submission in ... uh ... seven years, almost exactly. If it doesn't get accepted there, I'll shop it somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fantastic Stace!

      Yeah, do whatever you'd like. The idea is to do stuff and not spend time worrying about what you should be working on. So that breakdown of projects would be just fine.

      Best of luck with everything and keep me posted.

      Delete
  3. How did you come up with the 23 part?

    Like Stace, I'm probably going to mix and match a few things to get the 23 new things this year.

    It will involve some creative writing, learning a few songs on the guitar (I'm still at the very early stages of playing though) and some programming and electronics projects. And I should probably do something with a blog to keep track of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured that I could do a piece of music every two weeks. Minus one for wiggle room gets it to 23. Plus 23 in 13 is catchier then 24 in 13. :-)

      If you have any guitar questions, please shoot me an e-mail or a line on Twitter or Facebook. Always happy to help in that department.

      Best of luck with everything!

      Delete
  4. This is a great idea - a support group for nerds. I am so in. Need to think a bit about how to adapt it... or maybe just 23 groups of 23 things would work? No no... lol, that's begging for failure. Wonderful idea, John, can't wait to see and hear what everyone does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ingrid! Public accountability is always a great motivator to move ahead with your projects.

      Can't wait to see what you create Ingrid!

      Delete
  5. I'm game. Boffo Yux Dudes probably won't get 23 new songs, but we'll come close, since SpinTunes kicks off this month. I'll say 23 blogposts at boffoyux.com, with most pointing to new material.

    And John, you now have no excuse to avoid signing up for SpinTunes - it'll be 4 of your slots if you shadow. http://spintunes.blogspot.com/2013/01/spintunes-6-sign-up-page.html

    I wish everyone luck and success!

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great Tom!

      I shall give Spintunes some thought. Don't I say that all of the time? :-)

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Since it's been a year, I thought I'd take a quick look back and sum up what I did over the last year. Not as much as I would have liked to, but it seems like a decent amount of things got produced, with a lot more on the front burner for 2014.

      BYD got 16 songs out the door for Nur Ein, SpinTunes and Song Fight. There's a few others that could count but since they're not released yet, I'll put them in 2014.

      I hosted 16 listening parties for Nur Ein 8 and SpinTunes 6 & 7, which premiered about 200 songs to the world. That was quite fun to do.

      I videoed a bunch of concerts including The Doubleclicks, Sarah Donner, Wil Wheaton, Paul & Storm, PaxEast with MC Frontalot and Jonathan Coulton, Sam Hart. My daughter draged me to see Watsky, Wax, BCap, and Dumbfounded, and I became a fan. I got to see some new material for Paul & Storm and Marian Call that was quite special.

      I tried to enter another film festival with a few friends, but this one didn't quite make the cut, tho I think it was quite funny in a restrained way.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-fdsH6DJuo

      I had thought I had an OK year production wise, but it looks like I got more done than I expected. This year BYD has an ambitious slate including 2 albums due soon because I set an arbitrary deadline that will bite me in the ass if I don't hurry up.

      So while the year wasn't a 'Failure', I did feel I neglected BYD output yet again by having fun and covering friends materials and events instead. And that's not a bad thing. Now I have to convince John to enter the next SpinTunes to alleviate his own guilt at 'Faliure' in 2013.

      Delete
  6. Count me in.

    23 new creative things in a year.

    Challenge Accepted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! What types of things will you be creating?

      Delete
    2. Mostly Writing. Poems, Short Storys, Blog Posts, Etc.

      Delete
  7. This could be just the kick in the pants I need. I'm in. Will likely fail miserably, but what a way to go... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent Hobart! Will you be writing fiction?

      Delete
    2. Yeah, fiction. Maybe dabble in creative non-fiction if I have a chance, but that sounds like a lot of hard work :)

      Delete
  8. I am in. Now I just have to decide on what I need 23 of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool. Let me know what you come up with Terry.

      Delete
  9. Write 23 short stories. I was only going to try for 12, but I think I can be more ambitious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the spirit Jazz! Keep me posted on your progress. Hope all is well with you.

      Delete
  10. John, this is really cool. I love that you have invited others to join you on this. I plan to draw, and publish on a website, 23 pages of a comic book. Best of luck with your songs, and I look forward to reading about you creating them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dan! I'm psyched to hear that you'll be doing 23 pages of a comic book. I'd love to help spread the word about that.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  11. I've actually already come up with my own creative resolutions for this year; like you I based them on improving over what I did last year. I've committed myself to adding at least one new thing to my online jewelry shop every week this year. Last year I fell short by about 10, but without my computer this past week and a half, I've already made a jump start for this year. I've also committed myself to publishing at least one new book this year, hopefully two. Maybe I'll do 23 chapters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 23 chapters is a great idea Trina! Best of luck with it and your jewelery. What kind of stuff do you make?

      Delete
    2. I do earrings, bracelets and necklaces, plus beaded bookmarks. The styles range from simple bead strings to more constructed, industrial/steampunk style stuff. So far this year I've done two bracelets, a pair of earrings and two necklaces. I still need to get cracking on that writing though!

      Delete
  12. I'm in. 23 submissions or queries in 2013! The first one is just a solid half-day's work from "send" and I'll have 22 to go. I'm glad I drafted a half-dozen shorts in NaNoWriMo 2012. Now I'll have things to submit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent Darin! Please keep me posted on your progress. Good luck!

      Delete
  13. I don't know if I can accomplish 23 things because if Gwyddion meets its campaign goal, that will hog up a lot of my time for the first 7 months of the year...so here are 23 things I am going to work on accomplishing this year related to the arts:

    1. Gwyddion, obviously! First big step is funding (campaign launches Jan. 15 on Indiegogo).
    2. Finish my BA in English (Bachelor of Arts, lol).
    3. Get back into acting.
    4. Write Season 2 of Gwyddion.
    5. Knit 10 guinea pigs (part of the Gwyddion campaign).
    6. Finish the medieval cross-stitch sampler I started years ago.
    7. Sew myself a new dress when I'm done losing 70 pounds (62 to go!).
    8. Make a Baked Alaska, because hey, ice cream and fire!
    9. Master knitting with double-pointed needles.
    10. Finish that stupid t-shirt quilt I started years ago.
    11. Write a song.
    12. Write another song.
    13. Writer yet another song.
    14. Master that %$#*ing F chord on the guitar. It's hit or miss with F, sometimes I can play it, sometimes I can't! Hold me to this one, John. I've been playing for 8 years now and this is ridiculous!
    15. Ditto for all the B's, except for Bm because I can do that one.
    16. Learn mandolin (I got an awesome mandolin DVD for Xmas, yay!).
    17. Write a screenplay that's not related to sci-fi.
    18. Learn more about film production.
    19. Improve my nonexistent film editing skills.
    20. Sew a summer dress for Nora.
    21. Design a homebrew recipe by myself without help from Paul.
    22. Design and decorate Nora's bedroom.
    23. Write a short story.

    There you go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's it? :-)

      Some awesome stuff on that list Heather. Good luck with it all.

      Delete
  14. This sounds like a great idea. I was just telling a friend that I'm ready to get back to work now that the most recent health crisis is over. I've got a new print and some found tatting packaged and ready to mail to her gallery to be installed for February... but then what? It's time to make a plan.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yeah! I'm in. 23 short stories or chapters of a larger work in 2013.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic! Keep me update on your progress.

      Delete
  16. John, I'm in! I don't know if I will mix n' match, since you're allowing us to be Gumby, or if I will truly challenge myself and give myself the gift of 23 written pieces. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either way is fine Alexis. The idea is to just keep making stuff and not worry so much on what you're making. Good luck!

      Delete
  17. I've already emailed you about this John but here's my website where I will be posting my challenges http://www.dovesandbullets.me.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! Be sure to tweet or e-mail me your progress from time to time.

      Delete
  18. Sounds neat, John. I'll try to join in. Lord knows reading 23 books, submitted 23 stories, and such shouldn't be difficult. Writing and producing 23 songs, though--I don't envy that challenge. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I don't know, 23 books would be a big challenge for me.

      Delete
  19. I just said the other day. I need to post to this blog.
    I haven't done it in a long time, and now is a good time to start.
    I'm going to do my first brief one now.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Having trouble with the above post. It should not have been anonymous. My blog is http://kattales.typepad.com/blog/

    ReplyDelete
  21. I replied via twitter but I'll make it official. Your challenge dovetails nicely with how I've adapted Write 1 Sub 1 to suit my goals this year. As far as W1S1 I'm committing to writing a story a week and to submitting two per month so that is 21 stories submitted, I think I can bump that to 23 short stories submitted without too much pain. I'm looking forward to hearing how everyone does with their goals this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic Rebecca! Good luck and please keep me updated on your progress.

      Delete
  22. I'm in! 23 blog posts is too easy -- I generally do anywhere from 1 to 3 a week. Submissions is also easy, assuming short stories get rejected and go back out -- last year, I had almost 40, and I had almost no new written work. So I had to think about what I was going to do.

    Craft projects? Ummm . . . I'm good at working on those at the beginning and end of the year, but if I get a dozen done, that would be excellent, since they tend to be things like queen-sized quilts and knitted sweaters for my kids (who get bigger every year, thus requiring more time for me to work on said sweaters).

    Which means I have to dive in for the real challenge that's doable: 23 short stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent Erin!

      Psyched that you're participating. Good luck with the stories. Keep me posted on your progress.

      Delete
  23. I'm in for 23 short stories, too. Some of those might be collaborations, but I don't know if I can do 46!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great idea - I'm up for this! After a couple of years writing songs and stories, I'm spending some time this year focusing on just instrumental music, particularly using some of my more obscure and under-used instruments and gadgets.

    My wife set me a challenge to come up with 10 new pieces in as many weeks, blogging about each one, but I'm enjoying it so much that I will be continuing on past those 10 initial challenges. 23 seems as good a number as any!

    I'm releasing them all under a CC-BY licence, so I'm hoping that a few folks will be inspired to take what I produce and spin them into their own creations.

    More info at http://www.mickbordet.com/2012/12/10-weeks-10-sounds-a-challenge/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent idea Mick! Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, John. I ended up with 46 usable pieces of instrumental music in a range of styles, from folk and blues via ambient to modern classical. It's available as a full album (including a novella that draws a narrative around the various instruments used) at http://mickbordet.bandcamp.com/album/obscurities

      Delete
  25. I'm down for the challenge. Sounds like fun.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was in much the same boat this last year. I've mainly been working on projects I wrote a few years ago, and my production of new pieces has been way down.

    I did a similar project in 2008, where I wrote a new song a week and posted it. I only got halfway through the year (the arrival of daughter #2 had a lot to do with that), but having a set period of time in which to finish a piece did wonders for my output, and my creativity...kept me from sinking into the neverending cycle of revision upon revision....and telling people I was doing a weekly project kept me on it. It surprises me that some of my personal best songs came from that "churn 'em out" project.

    In short, I'm in. A piece every two weeks sounds much more manageable, as well...."Songs From the Dumpster" sort of ate my life for a while. I'll post at my blog.

    www.centralbatterymusicworks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet!

      Just commented on your blog post.

      Delete
  27. First time blog post here. Just listed to the Talyn Sonata and it was beautiful. I have added it to my favorites on my iPod

    I could write some great stories to the Sonata. I take you up on your 23 in 13 challenge!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by! Glad that you enjoy the Sonata.

      Would love to read your story! Please send it my way when you complete it.

      Delete
  28. congrats on The Talyn Sonata! If you remember I recorded 12 whole CDs in a year last year (www.12cdsin12months.com)and really don't feel like recording music for a while, SO...I told you I would launch a new podcast and produce 23 episodes (two a month, one in January). I am working on episode #1 and it's scheduled to be released tomorrow, so wish me luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK I did it, the first podcast is up, check it out at http://shouts.at/GNc or on my new music marketing web site at http://musicmarketingmind.com/Kids_Music_Marketing.html

      Only 22 more to go!

      Delete
    2. Just listened and it sounds great Billy! I'll be sure to tweet out a link this week. Good luck with it!

      Delete
  29. Love the Talyn Sonata....very pretty.

    I also replied by email .... and I am working on a non-fiction bit where I want to do 23 non-fiction blog posts in a single series called "Backing into Eden" which discusses the tools we will need to care for the Earth -- I bought the url yesterday and I did the first post on my blog (where it will all live until sometime in the spring). I also did the intro post - which is one down of 23. I am contemplating turning this whole bit into a non-fiction book eventually.

    http://www.brenda-cooper.com/2013/01/13/new-research-series-backing-into-eden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brenda!

      That's a fantastic idea Brenda. Read the first post and it's wonderful. Good luck with it and keep me posted on your progress.

      Delete
  30. As for my 23 stories in 2013-
    One flash down, one longer in progress. If I get time to do some edits on the flash (it's pretty awful right now!), I may post it on my blog. The other is going to a specific market, so no posting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Looking forward to reading it Mary.

      Delete
  31. I'm super late responding to this but I've been giving it a lot of thought. I love the idea of this challenge, but most of the projects that I do are either so large that I average 10-15 per year or so small that I average several per month. At first I couldn't think of anything suited to doing 23 in a year.

    Then, upon re-reading your original post, it came to me. Blog posts. I don't do nearly enough of those anyway, and this challenge is good motivation for me to stay more on top of it than I normally do.

    So thanks for the idea, thanks for sharing it, and best of luck to all of us as we make our collective, creative way through 2013.

    ReplyDelete
  32. That's great Edi!

    I fall behind on blogging all of the time. That's one of the reason why I'm doing 23 pieces of music this year. It means I'll write a blog post for everyone one of those! :-)

    Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  33. All right, John. I've been staring at this web page for days on end, fearing to comment and throw my hat in the pot (see? so nervous I'm mixing metaphors). But, you're right. I hardly made anything myself last year despite a strong start the year before.

    23. It's not such a large number. With a whole year, that's a little less than one every two weeks. I'm jumping on the bandwagon a bit late, but it's still totally feasible.

    I will create 23 new creative works this year, and see each one at least to a state where I don't mind letting other people see it (finished enough). I'm currently wrapping my head around in circles on a novelette series, and I think I'll let each entry into that count as 1, but I'm also working on launching a webcomic. Should each comic count as 1? I guess I'll have to gauge that as I see how much effort I put into each strip.

    23 comics, novelettes, short stories, etc.

    Let's do this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Psyched to hear that your joining us Jon. Good luck with it. Keep me updated on your progress.

      Delete
  34. I have just found this and I am joining you ;-)
    Already started my new blog for 2013 and about to publish my first Podcast, but I am going to join you in the 23 new songs. I write and perform shows - mix of comedy and cabaret so I have written one song on Thursday and intend to catch up if I can on the 23 songs in 2013.
    Great idea and thanks for making us all accountable !!

    ReplyDelete
  35. So an update on my creativity this week
    I filmed a short film (actually took my uke to write a song during downtime but as I was the lead I had no downtime!) I did manage to work out iTunes and Stitcher Radio for publishing my first podcast, I made 2 VINE videos, wrote 2 blog posts, booked a voiceover, a pop up theatre gig in London and have been asked if i would be happy to sing thru a megaphone as a kind of Pied Piper of music at the Royal Fest Hall and the Southbank Centre for a special concert they are doing.
    Plus I used a track of mine that being remxed for release later in year as my podcast music ;-)
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/love-your-creativity-podcast/id633181477
    So not a bad week - but WILL write a song and record it this week a la your challenge
    Thanks John for the Challenge - hope u producing songs u happy with ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Busy, busy. Sounds great Marysia!

      Delete
    2. yep all creativity no downtime but got to enjoy these times ;-)

      Delete
  36. I realise the year's almost half done already, but I thought I'd join in the fun, and announced my intent to do so over at my blog: http://lostzeppo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/i-accept-your-23-in-13-challenge-john.html :D

    ReplyDelete