Everyone has a song that hit them at that perfect time. Encapsulating what they were going through, helping them understand their world. Kyle Bylin explores these issue with his new book Song Stories. A collection of essays on how music changed our lives.
Kyle is a long time friend of the New Rockstar Philosophy and we talked to him about his new book. More specifically about the process of writing and keeping a creative project like this going.
“We don’t talk enough about the importance of music in the business conversation. We discuss the significance of the artist and the evolution of technology, but we don’t explore the impact that music has on people’s lives… I decided that the focus on the technology product over the listener’s story no longer made sense to me, so I edited this book.” -Kyle Bylin
NRP: Why did you create a book, not a podcast or video series, etc?
KB: I spent several years thinking about the best way to capture this idea. It could’ve been a podcast or video series, among many other things. I didn’t want to create Song Stories one episode at time. I feared that someone else would see the potential of the idea and create their own version before I could hone my vision for the project. I worried that any music publication with a sizable audience could solicit stories from their readers more quickly than I could gather them from my friends. Ultimately, I created a book because it’s still the best way to collect and curate stories. I’m not committed to creating a new episode every few weeks for the next year.
NRP: What was the hardest part about making this book?
KB: I had to wear many hats throughout this project. One day, I’m a book editor and publisher. The next, I’m a marketing strategist and publicist. I didn’t always know how to juggle these roles. Most of the time, I had to teach myself the best practices in each role before I could finish a task that required a specific expertise or skill. And then, I had to do each task good enough and move into the next one. There were many times where I got stuck. But I had faith in my ability to figure things out. Almost nothing went as planned. I had to fail dozens of times and make countless mistakes in order to finally succeed.
NRP: How do you maintain enthusiasm for such a long term project?
KB: I loved the stories. Each time a new essay arrived gave me hope. It showed me that people had incredible stories to share. I’ve read each essay dozens of times. They still surprise and delight me every time. I couldn’t be more proud of what my book’s contributors helped me accomplish. I also refused to quit. I decided early on that I’d finish the book no matter what. It cost me more than time and money. I lost the ability to pursue new ideas. I couldn’t get inspired and decide that I wanted to work on another project. Any idea that didn’t directly apply to the book had to be written down or simply forgotten.
Some interesting thoughts about the creative process and the energy that it takes to follow through on a project. Even more kudos to Kyle for doing this all solo. A truly impressive feat! You can find Kyle’s book on Amazon. And read more about it here, and here and keep up with the evolving work here.