It’s Always a Good Day to Restart

First Snow – Photo by Dan Steven Erickson

It’s January 1, 2024. With each new year, we can restart. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I’ve had a lot of restarts. First, let’s get something straight.

It’s always a good day to restart.

There’s something to be said about having definitive plans. We all know someone who knows exactly what they want and how they intend to get there. It’s not so simple for most of us mere mortals. Let me tell you a little story about my own crooked path.

My goals have been moving targets.

Ever since I was a kid, there was one thing I wanted more than anything. Don’t laugh. I wanted to be a rock and roll star. Songwriting came natural to me at a young age. Music became my fortress during my childhood in an abusive cult. It helped me to cope with the anxiety of long hours of abusive slavery.

I whittled away most of my twenties hoping for a big break. I recorded songs and sent out demos. I travelled to Nashville and Los Angeles and knocked on doors. I didn’t eat very much because I was making very little money working minimum-wage jobs.

In 1993, at age 30, I decided to restart. It was as good of a time as any. I enrolled in college and started an 8-year journey to becoming a college professor. My original plan was to work in radio but I wound up teaching by default.

Soon after graduating college, I got married and started a family. So much for my rock and roll dream. But it’s not so easy. If you’re a creative, you know that the dream never really dies. It just changes.

Moving from songwriting to books.

I’ve written a crapload of songs in my life. I lost count years ago, but the number is upward of 1200. I love music composition and songwriting. Songs are often short stories, and in the early 2000s that led me to start writing a novel based on my own history of being a child victim of a cult.

It took me ten years to write my first book, A Train Called Forgiveness. It’s been another dozen years since. Writing has taken me on a strange and never-certain path. Here are just a few of the restarts I’ve made since I started operating websites in 2012.

  1. In 2012, I started my first site It started out as a site to support my book. I went on to write a trilogy, but I started running out of ideas for the blog. I grew bored with what I was doing.
  2. Hip Diggs was created in 2013. I’d always liked the idea of living simple. I decided that I needed a niche for a new blog. I chose minimalism. After about six years of writing about minimalism, I realized that it was writing itself that was more important to me. I returned my focus to
  3. I’ve had nearly a dozen other websites and ideas along the way. Simple Writer, Simple Blogger, Anderhill Music, and Cowboy Zen are just a few.
  4. I returned to focus on music and songwriting in 2018.
  5. In 2021, I decided to stop blogging. Instead, I’d have this single website to support my writing and music. I let all my other sites expire and started this one in August 2021. My first post was called Restart.

I’ve done restart after restart.

Even so, I can’t seem to be quite satisfied. I started this site with the determination to NOT blog. I’d burned out on trying to practice all the strategies needed to operate and monetize a website. I just wanted a place to share my music, poetry, and books.

I soon discovered two problems.

  1. I was getting almost zero traffic.
  2. I couldn’t stop writing.

It’s my nature to write. Call me self-absorbed and foolish, but I’m a writer. So this site, the one that I swore wouldn’t become another blog, has begrudgingly become something like a blog. Argh!

I’ve written five posts called Restart because I keep trying to justify whatever it is I’m doing here.

So WTF am I doing here?

It goes back to the rock and roll dream.

Here’s the truth. Everything goes back to the rock and roll dream. No, I don’t see myself on the stage in a rock and roll band traveling around the country in my 60s. But dreams can change and grow as we grow.

Here’s what I know about what I want to do.

I know this might sound pathetic, but more than anything else, I want to be recognized as a writer, a poet, and a songwriter. I’ve spent my life practicing the art of writing.

I don’t want to be a life coach, a guru, or sell you self-help programs. I don’t want to have to post on social media five times a day in an attempt to get five people’s attention. I’ve already worked my butt off for years. I want my big break.

But it’s not just for me. I want to help others.

Here’s the thing about stories and songs. They move people. Writing is powerful. Writing can help people to heal and grow. That’s the goal. I want to share stories and songs that touch peoples’ hearts and change the world. If you’ve read this far, you either support me, or you want to do the same thing.

It’s time to start focusing on goals.

This is the year I’m going to really focus on getting my work out there. If you’re a writer, I’m asking you to join me. Let’s restart and focus on our goals this year. Here are some things I’ll be doing to move in that direction.

  • Work with other writers to improve my first memoir
  • Send out query letters to literary agents and publishers
  • Contact music publishers to get songs and music placed
  • Collaborate with other musicians and writers
  • Play music live and speak about my experiences
  • Keep writing new songs and poems
  • Work on a couple of potential book projects
  • Shape this site into a place that shares my journey in a helpful way
  • Use some tried and true methods of gaining traffic to the site

It’s the first day of 2024. I know how these things go. I restart today and fall behind tomorrow. That’s okay. You don’t have to be a superman to be successful. Your drive will wax and wane. But in the end, it’s always a good day to restart. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.