I played a gig in Mississippi a few weeks ago with an amazing cover band called Downtown Band. We showed up to the gig and started unloading as usual when someone realized that the trombone player Eric was gone. We figured he was in the bathroom, and kept setting up.
Before We Start…
This is by far one of my favorites in this series. It’s something I wish I had read when I first got here. So if you are a Nashville Wife or a Nashville Mom – whatever that means to you – please read this one! If you don’t read any others, just don’t miss this one. These ladies have some seriously valuable advice here.
PS: This does NOT just apply to the music industry. If you have moved somewhere new for someone else, this could easily apply to you, too!
Now, let’s begin…
Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…
I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.
That is what this series has been about.
Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.
These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.
Part II ended with Being Brave and wanting to deal with Adult Issues. Needing our own purpose and space, despite how much we love our kids. Making our loved ones a priority by making sure our needs were being met, so as to not create resentment or jealousy within ourselves.
Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.
“If you had one piece of advice for someone moving to Nashville because their spouse is a musician, what would it be?”
[Spouse could also be anyone
with whom you move for]
Here’s what they had to say:
“SUPPORT. Sometimes it feels like they get to “go out” and have all the fun, but it’s their job- and they can only do it well as long as you have their back. Encourage them to go out. See them play as often as you can. Ask about gigs, auditions, band mates, etc. Just like you would a day job. They’ll be more successful and love you more for it.” – Martyne Palmer
“Embrace it. Moving comes with new adventure and even though there might be some hard times it can be really empowering as well. Starting over in a new place can be refreshing. ” – Heather Abbott Burback
“Make sure you’re also pursuing something important to you because a relationship isn’t always about one person’s big dreams & goals. We have dreams and goals, too. ” – Allison Klein
“Enjoy the perks! Gratefulness creates immense patience.”
My follow up question: Would you be willing to elaborate? Such as what perks are you referring to? I love what you said, Gratefulness creates immense patience. I feel like this comes from something learned. I’d love more elaboration on it if you don’t mind? I know I’m asking a lot of questions
“Bob Goff says that gratefulness creates immense patience. 😉
I guess it just means that the more you think about how grateful you are for the things you have, the more patient you are [when] those things frustrate you. By perks, I mean all of the fun stuff! We get cool tickets to concerts, events, and dinners. We get to rub shoulders with some pretty cool people and we get to have a lot of date nights! We have so much fun together when my husband is in town and we miss each other like crazy when he’s traveling! It works for us.” – Vicki Mason Brown
“My one piece of advice would be to save money. We had moved here and had originally saved a good amount of money but as we were both unemployed for a couple months and moving into a new home it was more expensive they we originally intended. However, once we both started working it evened back out but it was something we were not expecting as we were always so stable financially and neither of us wanted to rush into a job we were unhappy with. It all worked out but it does take time to get working, settled in a new home and making new friends.” – Jamie Angsten
There hasn’t been a question answered yet that has THIS much diversity in the responses. I. Am. LOVING. this one! I feel like each one could potentially be it’s own blog post! I’ll say this, as I was reading their responses, it reminded me a lot of what I wrote about in The Nashville Wife (or Husband). I truly wish I had seen their responses first! (It sure would’ve been nice to write a blog based on what I learned through them verses what I learned through experience haha!)
So what have we learned from this? Some key points that, I think, is the best way to end this blog. So many little words speak in such a loud volume… theres no need to fill this space with more sound.
We have dreams & goals, too.
– Allison Klein
An article that really rallied me and got me going was “19 (More) Strategies for Finding Readers” at ProBlogger.com. I feel it is extremely important to read this whole article top to bottom. There are a ton of links to other pages that you really should check out. I, personally, have not made it to all of them yet – there is THAT much good content. However, I’m also impatient so I read a lot of it and jumped on the blogging train. That is fine to do of course, but you have to make it a priority to go back and really work hard. Read the whole thing, go step by step and do what is necessary.
Here’s what I’m going to talk about today (and most of them come from the article):
– Canva (don’t miss this one!)
– Twitter, Instagram & Facebook
– E-mail signatures
– Content + being unique and useful
– Linking to others + Blogger Projects
– Participation (don’t be a hermit blogger)
The first point this article makes is about time. It takes time. What an understatement.
A lot of people want to rush in and write day after day and are shocked when 2 months later, they still have 20 or less followers /subscribers. It takes time
But something that goes untouched is talk about ENJOYING the time building your blog. Learning and growing. Climbing the ladder is so important, so vital. It will provide the means to make you the blogger you want to be in the end. So please…
Do not rush this process. Enjoy it. Find ways to enjoy it.
One thing I did in order to enjoy it was to allow my artistic expression to come out not only through writing but in every detail of each post. The fonts, the formatting, and best of all, the pictures. I have so much fun finding just the right pictures that portray what my words cannot. With this, I have started using an app called Canva.
I have recently been creating my own blog graphics with this and have also used it to create promotions for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. A free tool that will be your best friend – but also your achilles if you’re not careful. You can spend a very long time tweaking and editing your graphics so be careful. Do this part of your blog post LAST. Write your content, paint your canvas and then create your graphic(s). You’ll feel accomplished in the end, guaranteed.
TIP: always label your graphics with your title (i.e @tnashvillewife or The Nashville Wife… however you like)
Speaking of Twitter, Insta and FB…
I want to briefly touch on a few things that I did because of the article I shared with you. He never actually comes out and says to promote specifically on these 3 sites but it goes without saying. With Instagram, I have my own account for The Nashville Wife and it’s an all-in-one deal. I can post to my Twitter account and to my Facebook account as well as my pictures showing up on my actual blog, too. Great promotions!
(PS: you can do this on Pinterest, though I haven’t tackled that too much yet).
With Twitter, search for bloggers. Something I found was a HUGE community of bloggers but not just that. Twitter accounts where their whole purpose is reading blogs and retweeting them to help build a huge community. My absolute favorite RT blogger is @bloglove2018 and their blog is Family By Choice. This person is the sweetest, one of those people you’d love to meet someday. Please check out their account and let them feel some blogger love!
I’ll keep this one plenty short of words. Just create and save an e-mail signature. Every e-mail from every account you send out (that you’re allowed to edit) should have your link on it. Easy.
(…this was another article tip.)
Content + Being Unique and Useful
You’re likely to think “Well this is my own blog so of course it will be unique.” That is not necessarily true. Depending on the type of blog, it could be mildly unique (as maybe something seen from your perspective or something of your own taste) but overall, it is the same content as another blog. I love what he said above ^^^ “usefulness”. That is exactly why I started my blog. I mean sure, it’s a great outlet (haha – making a joke here! If you’ve read When Hearts Bloom you’ll understand..)
… but I want to help people.
I want my blog to be USEFUL.
(if you want examples as to what I mean by “useful” or “unique”, please shoot me a message because I have MANY and I don’t want to make this a 2000 word blog! lol)
Link to Others + Blogger Projects
“Participate in the linking to other blogs and you’ll find that many benefits come. For a start you’ll be participating in the conversation, you’ll be getting the attention of others and your readers will appreciate that you’re interested in helping them find the best content out there.” (ProBlogger)
(#12 is also similar to this) I recently collaborated in a very fun poem-writing adventure with the bloggers The Floating Thoughts. You can find the blog HERE. It was totally different from what I normally do but extremely fun writing alongside of a huge group of people and seeing someone make something beautiful out of it. I highly encourage you to not only check it out, but also participate! Say hi to Roy & Dee Kay for me! These are some wonderful people.
“#5 Participate in other people’s conversations”
What he says is exactly how I feel, too. It has to be genuine. I’d rather have no likes on a blog than likes “just because” or to get my attention. I won’t do the same to others. If someone comments on my blog, I will always respond but I’ll also make it a point to check out their blog and find a post that I find interesting to me. I will then also comment on it – but seriously, only if it interests me. I’m not a jerk – I just want to be genuine. I won’t leave their blog page till I find an article that I can honestly like and comment on.
My own musings on this one…
I think you’ll be surprised and even offended (or maybe you won’t) at what gets hits and what does not, especially if the content is close to the heart. But you can’t go there – especially when you have a low count in followers. You’ll get there but it’s hard. Give it time. Your followers aren’t cold and they’re not uninterested. There could be many reasons why you aren’t getting likes or comments so don’t let it unnerve you. Keep going! Keep bearing your soul!
I would consider evaluating your tags. As you get going, about a month or two in, start reviewing what blogs get more hits.
– Is there a pattern?
– Are there more hits when a certain tag is inserted?
– Did you see more hits when you started using more pictures?
– Oh! And bullet points (haha) are much more enticing for a reader than gobs of paragraphs. Break up your content! [did it help here?]
Anyways, again… Please read the article (Strategies) + all the articles within. As always, comment or send me a message if you want to talk, brainstorm or just tell me I have no clue what I’m talking about. [Please don’t. I already know this. Ha.]
Thanks, lovelies and PLEASE let me know if there’s any tips you can add!!!
(quote by William Leal)
Well, isn’t that the truth. I wouldn’t have my life any other way. Sometimes it’s neat and orderly. Sometime’s it’s a chaotic disaster. Funny days and lots of laughter. Tears and sadness and pain. All of that makes it grand, makes it epic and full of life. There is little joy without sorrow. This won’t be a wordy post. Nor will it be a thought-provoking one. This is just a fun recap of my story for the week. My life, my mess, my adventures. Enjoy.
*PS: hover over the pics to see captions or click on them for better viewing*
- I enjoyed some serious blogging and some Instagram posting!
2. I enjoyed this glorious sunset while eating at Culver’s with my family. This day every month, this particular Culver’s sponsors the local Hendersonville, TN American Legion Post #290 by donating a portion of each purchase in order to help local veterans. Great cause and we were honored to be served our food buy local veterans. Thank you for your service. ♥
3. I enjoyed an amazing 3-day trip with my husband, sans baby!!! Thanks to my amazing mother for driving to Nashville from Missouri in order to watch him (AND our two Siberian Huskies, Willow and Coda!)
4. And…I so thoroughly enjoyed coming home to my little boy. So So much. My messy haired, messy little-man life, messy tantrums and messy faces. I missed this.
I hope you enjoyed! I’d love to know what you all did this week. Any trips? Any exciting events? Please feel free to leave a comment! Thanks so much and have a great week!
As you all know, I moved to Nashville because I made the choice to follow my husband’s dreams. I quickly found my dream job and started working at an animal shelter, to which I eventually became the Assistant Director there. I had my purpose and I was happy. I hadn’t planned on ever quitting my job, not even when I had my son. Truthfully, I didn’t give it much thought (who would? It’s your dream job. No giving up on that!) But then it happened.
I passionately, deeply loved that little boy. A love that grew so quickly that it took my heart by storm and my work was no longer my driving force. It was still my passion but it wasn’t enough for me anymore. It was harder and harder to swallow the thought of leaving him behind and then one day, the decision was made, and I would no longer work at the shelter.
I was so blissfully happy, but as most of you can imagine, the fullness of love couldn’t always fill the emptiness of solitude.
The constant stretch of days with no other human interaction, no getting out of the house, no me-time, was starting to wear me down. There were days where I felt like I was suffocating. Clawing my way out, I knew I needed something; I needed an outlet. That is when The Nashville Wife was born and so was the flame that ignited the kindling and set my world on fire.
I knew I wasn’t alone in this. I knew I couldn’t be the only mama that felt that way. Starting life in Nashville with no real purpose, finding your own and then letting it be taken away. Every road is traveled differently from person to person whether our stories are similar or not.
We can let our different stories separate us or we can let them build us up. So I started this quest to share the stories and the voices of so many beautiful women who came here, to Nashville, either as a mom or not yet one. Women who came here with a purpose and those without one. Some that have struggled and some that have had the greatest adventure. These ladies wanted to let their words and experiences be available to those that may need to hear them. I needed to know I wasn’t alone. I needed to know there was a community out there where I belonged. So I might not be the only one.
I’ll end this with the first question I asked:
What was the hardest part of moving to Nashville for you?
Here’s what they had to say:
“Probably leaving family, because everything I knew and loved still lived in Georgia. I was lucky that my sister decided to move here too about the same time- she was (and is) a lifesaver.” – Martyne Palmer
“Moving to Nashville has been hard only because we moved with very little. We sold everything we owned to move here and it’s been a harder transition for my husband. We are very excited to be here and to see what this city has to offer for us. I think once we get settled it will make everything more of a smooth transition.” – Heather Abbott Burback
“Leaving California & the ocean. I grew up surfing on the beach my entire life…..And yeah, working for me is important. Also childcare is so affordable that moms can have careers and not hand over 85% of their paycheck to their childcare. It’s important! Many other countries have childcare priced similarly to Nashville (vs. let’s say, california) and there is a very high rate of happy moms with less post partum. I found staying home all day and breastfeeding made me sad and getting out for a few hours made me happy!” Allison Klein
“Leaving the only state I’ve ever lived in. Texas….I was leaving my sister which was really hard, but I knew Nashville was what God was calling us to do!” – Vicki Mason Brown
“I had a similar experience as you did with regards to working. I found a job that I liked and was happy with the friends I met there, but once I became a stay at home mom I lost those friends as we were in different chapters of our lives. My one piece of advice would be to save money. We had moved here and had originally saved a good amount of money, but as we were both unemployed for a couple months, and moving into a new home, it was more expensive than we originally intended. However, once we both started working, it evened back out but it was something we were not expecting as we were always so stable financially and neither of us wanted to rush into a job we were unhappy with. It all worked out but it does take time to get working, settled in a new home and making new friends. ” – Jamie Angsten
I look forward to next Monday, The Nashville Mom (Part II), where I will continue with more questions and more answers from these women who want you to know you’re never alone. As always, feel free to comment or to send me a message through my Contact page. I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories!
Take care, lovelies.
A lonely beginning
Nashville, in a lot of ways, is a community like no other. Imagine as a professional blogger (or whatever your current field is in), moving to a specific city where everyone you meet seems to blog professionally. Every store, every cafe, every park you visit, someone you talk to is either already a pro or is aspiring to become a pro in your field.
That is how it feels for me, The Nashville Wife, to move from the midwest state of Missouri (Go, Cards!) – where the work is ALWAYS different from person to person – to a state where you can’t go 10 feet without running into someone employed in the music industry.
“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”
– Howard Shultz
To me, that was very isolating. Everyone here seemed to have a purpose and a direction. This town is full of people who are from all over the world. Just about everyone I’ve met has moved to Nashville for a purpose (usually for the music industry). So where does that leave me?
→ Where do I fit in?
→ Am I always going to be “the musician’s wife”?
→ Will I always live in someone else’s shadow?
Three and a half years later, I’ve come to realize that this is only the beginning for me. I came here with a purpose: to support my husband and help him reach his goals; to help him become someone that inspires greatness in others. However, I never intended for that to mean I couldn’t be somebody, too. And so “The Nashville Wife” was born.
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.”
– Nelson Mandela
You see, it took a while for me to see that this town is not just a town for musicians. It seems to be coming alive with young entrepreneurs. The town itself might seem like a music city, and it is, but there’s also a sense of a greater purpose here. This town has a heart and a passion for working together – no matter what your expertise is in – and building a community based on that. (I touched on this a ways back when I wrote The Nashville Wife (or Husband)).
I was immersed into the field of music because my husband lead us there. We chose to eat, breathe, sleep music and it was suffocating me.
So… it was time to set MY soul on fire. And THAT is what I believe this city ultimately wants to be known for. A place where Hearts Bloom and souls come alive. Nashville won’t hand this to you on a silver platter. If you come here? You need to want it. You have to push and work and fight for what you want. But above all, and this is what is most inspiring to me… you have to believe in yourself.
My hope is to shine a light on all the places and all the people here that I can find that have helped shape this town, that have helped build this community into what it is…
My first starting point is a place that hits very close to home and that is with all the Nashville Moms. These women are the driving forces in this town that most of the time, remain hidden. There is so much knowledge, so much beauty and expertise in the voices of these women and I am so excited to share the experiences I have had with them. Get ready for my blog next Monday, When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (part 1). This series is going to be fantastic!
PS: One thing I want to point out is how important it is for those of us in the artist genre of the workforce to remember that we are not the backbone of this great city. It is the workers with (as one of them put it) the “normal jobs” that make this city stay alive. And you are absolutely correct. Without the police, firefighters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, those in the public office, animal shelters, garden/lawn industry, homeless shelters (I could go on and on) – Nashville wouldn’t exist.
I see you and I don’t forget you. I don’t know you, but I thank you.
So let me ask you, have you or has anyone you know had this same experience? Does Nashville feel this way to you or is there a side of Nashville you think I still have yet to see? I’d love to hear your voices. Feel free to comment or go to my Contact page and send me a message.