Day No. 13 of the 2015 Ten Ideas A Day Challenge.
I'm titling this "Sub-Entrepreneurial" because I think this list would exist beneath my Levi The Poet project. I can't say for sure, though. I'm still having a difficult time deciding what things should exist as LTP vs [out]side projects. This blog is an example of that because, frankly, I'd like to drive a lot more traffic to the Levi The Poet website. The reason I separated the two in the first place was for the sake of clarifying what Levi The Poet actually is, as a project, and the fear of ostracizing people who might not want to hear about 10 Cereals That I Think Are Alright. Then again, when I end up writing about things that actually hold potential for polarizing audiences, like my open letter to Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church, I end up sharing it through Levi The Poet channels anyway. So, I don't know. Part of me feels like, in the name of growing or organizing the LTP audience, I completely misread them. I don't know what I'm going to do yet. All of that to say, whether these end up being "sub-entrepreneurial" or just plain old "entrepreneurial" (or neither, if that word means that you have to make money off of whatever the idea is) - here are ten thoughts that I have for future projects:
- Weekly Guest Blogs - I've mentioned this before, but I'd love to host a guest blog once a week. A few friends and family members already wrote theirs out for me months ago. I suppose they're probably outdated now. But I love the idea of whatever platform (or both) that I continue to use being a place to curate conversation. I want to get better at conversation. Thinking through the ways that BadChristian and XXXChurch have done this more and more recently is interesting to me. I blog for XXXChurch now and again, and I definitely don't agree with what the rest of the bloggers have to say, nor (I assume) do they all agree with me. Insofar as the ministry goes, we hold fundamental and essential beliefs in common, but there is a lot of surrounding conversation about the ways those belief manifest themselves, practically. I like the idea of doing something like that, but in an even broader way that extends to artists, creatives, businessmen, pastors, students, musicians, poets, etc., in a way that encourages people who follow the blog to treat it more interactively, like a discussion board.
- Chapters Tour - After doing the Ugly Sweater Tour in December with Red Sweater Lullaby, I had the idea to take my friend and video guy, Drew Schrimsher, out on the road for an eleven-day tour of homes, where he would film one chapter from the new Levi The Poet album per night, along with b-roll from that night, and at the end of the tour we'd compile the videos for a YouTube or digital download of the whole story, with each chapter being told from a different living room in a different city.
- Storytelling Course - Any time I've thought about bringing this up, I just get worried that it'll be perceived as a ripoff of Donald Miller's far more capable (not to mention successful) Storyline or Storybrand. That's not what I want, though. I'd love to create a type of curriculum / resource that would be available for writers, performance / touring artists, etc. as an online course that can be subscribed to, and offered as a live event - perhaps for colleges or schools. Something that would be more appealing to an academic market. Maybe it would look like going in for a day's worth of workshops and an evening Levi The Poet concert, I'm not sure.
- Artist Collaboration - For the longest time, I was scared to share LTP with anyone. I never believed that anyone else could (or would) care as much as I did, so I never wanted to risk the terrifying thought of putting what I do in someone else's hands. To be fair, I've watched a lot of artists and bands fall apart when they do that. To be reasonable, though, I am finally starting to understand that I'll stifle myself / create a god out of a job if I don't open my hands up. Correspondence (a fiction) has acted as a humbling example of what artistic collaboration can produce, and it's made me all the more excited to keep creating with other people. Some specific ideas for that are:
- Poster series w/ painters / illustrators
- Remixes w/ Alex Sugg
- Hip Hop Side Project
- TWLOHA - I don't know if To Write Love On Her Arms would be interested in letting me connect with them a little bit more officially on some level. I know that guys like Anis Mojgani work with them quite a bit (he's also got a resume 100x thicker than mine, and is incredibly gifted in ways I don't understand). But the idea originated when they covered my family's story of suicide, and resurfaced on Monday when the BadChristian podcast went live and elicited quite the response from folk who related to our story of loss, so maybe it's worth reconnecting and throwing some ideas out there.
- Creative Writing Specific to Individuals or Organizations - The idea surfaced when a church asked me if I would be willing to write something specific to a new series they were getting ready to start. I was supposed to write something for the video that would be played before each service. The original idea was for me to write it, and come out to "perform" it on camera as an actual part of the video. It wasn't going to be a Levi The Poet thing, though. With that, and other inquiries about guest spots elsewhere, it made me think that perhaps I could put creative writing to other types of work. Almost like a person would license out a song through the Music Bed for a wedding video or commercial, but with writing and performance.
- Snob Blog - I started an Instagram hashtag called #MySnobJourney so that I could track the new coffees I try. I've made it pretty clear that I hope to become a coffee snob (not, like, a mean one, or someone who snuffs his nose as "the lesser folk" - but someone who can hold his own in a conversation and understand the hows and whys of coffee). Frankly, I'm not very far on my journey, and I'm slightly afraid that I don't have the pallet for it, but I'm told that, like anything, it takes time. Eventually I'd like My Snob Journey to extend to other things, as well - craft beer, etc. My friend Greg Mays does something similar (though more educational) with cocktails that's pretty awesome.
- Brandi's Crossfit Goals - My wife got her Level One Crossfit Certification about a year ago now, and I'd love to see her build up a strong clientele. She loves fitness. At the end of 2013, I started to feel like I needed to invest in Brandi's interests more and more. She's such an amazingly supportive wife and friend to me. I want to be the same for her and see her flourish in her giftings. As soon as I finish #9 & #10, I'm going to create a flyer for some of her first Olympic Lifting classes that start up in February.
- Psalm Readings - People have been asking me to do a series of performance pieces through the Psalms for years. I've definitely thought about it, myself, but that's a whole lot to memorize. Maybe if I take it in chunks? Or maybe it will be more of a reading. Will it be through Levi The Poet or something else? I love the idea, though.
- Red Chair Reading Room - So long as I'm talking about reading other works, the Red Chair Reading Room is something that's been on the backburner for years. I recorded a few of these audiobook sessions and posted them about a year ago, but I really do think it's such a fun idea. Thus far, I've only read a few Dr. Seuss books, but my goal would be to read through different genres - books large and small. Break them up into a video / chapter series that you can put on for your kids, or listen to by the fire, or something like that. When I posted How The Grinch Stole Christmas, I got multiple emails from parents who loved having it as a resource for their children to sit and watch / listen to, and a few teachers told me that they had begun to play the videos for their elementary schoolers in the classroom. I love that. I think the idea of a book / reading tour sounds like so much fun - just getting to sit and interact with people in what is usually a far more relaxed environment than a regular show.
Anyway, if anyone reads this and wants to put these ideas to a vote, or let me know which of them you think should make the top of the priority list, feel free to comment below. Or, if any of these inspire spin-off ideas and you've got input, great. Or whatever. What are some of your ideas for yourself? This took too long, but I think it was helpful to get down.