Time seems to fly when you’re having fun, or at least when there’s a billion things going on at once. That’s what it feels like to me most days, and my to do list continues to grow instead of shrink. One of the things on my to do list for some time was to write a new blog entry. And since I’m just getting to it now, it must have slipped down the list time after time. That’s the excuse I am going with at least! Either way, I’m here and making a promise to myself to do better at keeping everyone informed of what is happening, and hopefully also sharing some interesting information along the way.

Where to start, where to start? It often feels to me like I can’t remember who I have told what and when, or if I have even told them at all. So if anything I am about to say in the coming paragraphs is overkill to you, then I apologize in advance. However, I feel like most of it might need to be reiterated anyway. I often feel bombarded with so much information that I probably don’t see the links, articles, and posts that I really want to see, just because of how much information is out there and being posted at the same time. I would have to think the same goes for those of you who are “following” me. Many times I’ve noticed that after posting a video to youtube I may only have 1000 views on that video, even after months of it being there. However, I may have 7000 subscribers who were supposed to get that video in their feed and know that I posted a new video. Did they not see it in the feed? Did they not want to watch? I really have no way of knowing, but the same goes when I post links or new announcements to my twitter and facebook feeds. According to a few different studies I read recently, it would take me posting the same link more than a handful of times before the majority of my followers would actually notice it was there. And just because they notice it doesn’t mean they will actually click on it. Such is the uphill battle I face when using the internet to promote myself and my music. You can now see how it’s possible that even four months after my album was released, I still have people who don’t know that fact, or who will tell me they didn’t know about it. So if you find me repeating myself or posting things multiple times, I’m not trying to bore you to death, I’m really just trying to make sure everyone knows. Now that all of that is out of the way (whew!) let’s move on.

Probably the most exciting news for me recently has been my involvement in a couple of different competitions. In the late summer months I entered the Subway Fresh Artists competition through Ourstage.com. This competition had a grand prize of an opening slot with the Goo Goo Dolls. The first rounds were regional in which I competed against artists from the upper midwest states. When the regional rounds were finished, I was honored to have placed 8th. From there I moved on to the national competition where I would now be up against 500 artists. There are still a couple days left on that portion of the competition and I have been hovering around the 25-35th place range. Out of all of those entries I again find that to be an honor and something that shows I am on the right track with what I am doing with the music.

One other competition I entered was the Tyler Ward USA Live Lounge Competition. Tyler is a youtube artist like myself, however he has gathered an outrageous following in the last year. Last time I checked he had over 250,000 subscribers and about 56 million video views. Huge numbers! With this competition I had to upload a cover song that was currently in the top 100 on the iTunes charts and wait to see if the judges picked me as a finalist. I recorded a cover of a Sara Bareilles song called “King of Anything.” I like it because the lyrics are very sarcastic and I felt I could sing it well and identify with the song. Out of more than 500 entries there I, along with 9 others, were chosen for the final round. This has done wonders for me in terms of exposure to new fans and listeners. If you happen to be on facebook you can head over to www.facebook.com/tylerwardsusalivelounge and click the “like” button under my video. The most “likes” at the end of this month will be the winner and will get to record a couple of songs with Tyler at his studio in Denver.

As for the business portion of my update, I’m think that is all for now. I’m sure there are more items, but those were the highlights. I wanted to shift to something that is a lot more personal. I don’t think I share a ton about my personal life with all of you, but there was something that I did want to share. You may or may not have noticed that I was slightly absent from my usual routine lately. In late September my brother-in-law, who was only 36 years old, passed away after a battle with brain cancer. He left behind my sister-in-law, and 3 children who are all under 13. Now, knowing him he wouldn’t have want me to tell you that for any amount of sympathy, and it’s not the reason I am sharing that news either. The reason is that I feel it’s important for everyone to remember that life is short. It’s sort of a cliche phrase, and it’s overuse has lead me to believe that many people might not take it very seriously. But throughout my life I have already witnessed too many instances where that phrase couldn’t be more true. As for me, I spend almost every waking hour of the day thinking of my future and how I can continue the pursuit of my music career. And although that thinking is taking for granted that I will have more time here to fulfill those goals, I feel like if that weren’t the case, then at least I have lived knowing that every day I pursed the one thing that I believe I was put on this earth to do, and that is to share my music. So many times it would be easier to quit and give up on that dream, and just become a “normal” person again. But even the times when I have literally wanted to quit, I just couldn’t do it. Somehow and someway I pick up my guitar again and want to sing my songs. So for any of you out there who are just floating along, thinking just maybe one day you’ll get around to the thing(s) you’ve wanted to do the most in life, I’m telling you that now is the time. Why is that when we learn we are dying, we only then begin to live? If you really think about it, we’re all dying right now, so what are you waiting for? I know it’s a heavy topic and most people would rather put it to the back of their mind than face it head on, but heavy topics are what seem to inspire me the most. Some of my new material will definitely focus on some of these themes and I hope to share that with you when the time comes.

Now that I’ve probably made the mood quite somber, if you are still with me up to this point, thank you. As I mentioned, it’s hard to face the realities of life, but that is the way it is. I hope to have given you at least something to ponder for a few moments. Thank you for sticking with me on my journey and I hope to have much more to come. Take care all.

Ryan