Lisa Robbin Young

January's over, and I'm about 5% of the way toward my BHAG of recording 300 songs in 2013. That's 21 songs toward my ultimate goal of 300. Only 279 to go!

Anyone else would say "Holy crap! you've recorded that many songs!?! That's Awesome!"

Me? I have to remind myself to not be all "meh" about it.

Because I want to be at 300 - like, yesterday.

Welcome to what Seth Godin calls "The Dip".

This is where it gets hard, and why so many people fall off the "new year resolutions" band wagon by the end of January. The novelty of the project has worn off. There's only so many times you can share what you're doing with people. And since I'm in earliest stages of the project, it's not like I have a huge catalog of music to point to so that I can say "Hey! Look how awesome I am!"

All that comes later - as we near completion of the project. After the hard work of DOING the work is complete (or at least much farther along). It's one of the downsides of living in an instant gratification economy.

I chose to record 300 songs because it's a point of deliberate practice for me. There are so many songs in the world, and this will broaden my musical horizons both as a composer and as a performer. Frankly, it's been way too long since I've spent focused time working on my music (8+ years, to be more precise), and it's a necessary effort for my development as an artist. Sites like would definitely incredibly beneficial for my musical growth.

In order to excel in anything, there comes a time when you've got to put in the hours and do the work.

thomasedisonIt can be lonely, grueling, thankless, grunt work as you go along. No one celebrates your do-overs.

I'm pretty sure Thomas Edison wasn't saying "Hoo-ah! That's attempt number 907 for an incandescent bulb that didn't work! Guys, this is freaking AWESOME!"

No, I'm pretty sure it was more like this:

"Attempt 907 didn't work. Let's get on with number 908."

And on life went in Menlo Park. No celebration, no fist-bumping, no toasting the talents of the insanely brilliant team working to make electric light possible.

Just doing the work. Until that 1,000th attempt (or thereabouts) when light was finally stable and constant.

No, I'm pretty sure before the sustained light brought raucous celebration, there were grumbles about quitting, wives that wondered what their husbands were doing all day in that lab (and if they were ever coming home for dinner), and a lot of head scratching as they were working through their problem.

Just the daily grind of trying to create awesome.

We don't often celebrate the process of creating awesome, just the awesome itself, once it's been created.

Yet, without the process, there's never anything awesome to celebrate!

And it can be pretty lonely when your awesome creation takes time.

I try to remind myself that I have all year, and that I'm actually right on track to achieve my goal. I celebrate my "small wins", and then I come out of my studio and back into "the world".

It's here that I'm struck with the overwhelming loneliness that comes with doing great work.

I'm not complaining (much), really. It's more of an observation that I've seen a lot of creatives go through. We put our heads down, impassioned by the task of our great work, and then time flies. We're "left behind" in other areas because we're so intensely focused on what matters most in the moment.

Watching friends chatting on facebook about some song or another that I haven't heard yet because my head's been down, working on this project.

This is where it becomes important to have a support network.

I was blessed to have my friend Jen Harris join me in the studio to record "Edelweiss". It was such a breath of fresh air in Michigan's wonky January weather to have another pair of ears in the room listening, singing, and suggesting our way through the song.

It was a creative revival for me that lasted just long enough to get a lot of joy, and hardly any frustration. My studio's a nice place for folks to visit, but I don't want them living there, if you know what I mean. Jen came in to rehearse on Friday, and we finished up on Saturday. Smooth like buttahh!

Then, something fascinating happened. Not only was I reinvigorated, but there was a positive "disturbance in the force" so to speak. People were talking about the work we did together, and that got other people excited about coming into the studio later this year.

Suddenly, everything "old" was "new" again.

Gone was the old ho-hum of recording songs. Suddenly, there was a freshness to the work I'd already done, as well as the work I was setting out to do. No longer was I feeling "meh" about anything. I'm wondering if Jen kind of planned it that way. She's a pretty smart cookie, I gotta say, so I wouldn't put it past her.

When we put our heads down and get focused, it can be easy to lose sight of everything around us. It's easier still to get mired in the daily grind of the creative process. The countless rehearsals, the re-touching, the practice sessions ad infinitum, ad nauseum, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

We forget how important deliberate practice is, and how we need to bring ourselves to it fully.

Even when no one else is watching, when no one else is celebrating, when no one else seems to care an iota.

Because when all the practice is done, and it's time to perform, they ARE watching, and talking, and loving what you've done.

You've just got to put the work in first.

We now return you to your daily grind of creating awesome!

It won a Grammy for Best Disco song - and then the category was promptly removed. I guess you could say when they made this award-winning song they broke the mold!

Put on your platforms, and don't be afraid to get a little goofy - I certainly did!

Have a good laugh and enjoy this week's song of the week.


Allegedly the last song written for "The Sound of Music", this duet features my friend Jennifer Harris. One of what I hope will be many guest appearances throughout the year on this #300songs project. This is song number 15 in the can!


One of my favorite songs of all time, I think it is one of Billy Joel's most underrated pieces. It's a powerful, melancholy, yet hopeful tune. You kind of yearn to know how it's all going to turn out. I sang this for an audition once with an Irish accent and it got me the part in a musical. It was also the song I auditioned with for "Duets" - but Lionel Richie backed out of the show, so I never heard back on my audition. *sigh* Such is life, I suppose.


This week in rehearsal, the most enjoyable song, by far was this one. No, this is not the Selena Gomez version with the new lyrics. Ahem.

The original song was written by Mel Levin around 1961 for the animated Disney film 101 Dalmatians. This is a bluesy big band arrangement written by Dr. John in the 1990's when Glenn Close played the title character in the live-action version of the movie. Enjoy!


[Editor's note: when we migrated to the new site, a lot of great posts got lost. Slowly, I'll be digging them out, updating them, and reviving them for your inspiration. So if this post feels strangely familiar, that's why.]

This past year, I've been not-so-covertly working with Karl Staib on his twitter parties. He's been helping best-selling authors like Danielle LaPorte and Jennifer Louden sell more books and reach new audiences through a blend of teleclass and tweet chat that he calls twitter parties. My role is to manage the conversation on twitter and award prizes to the participants at intervals throughout the party, while he handles the interview and conversation on the phone.

Basically, I get to play fairy Godmother, talk to people and give away free stuff. Tough job, huh?

A while back, he did a twitter party for Barbara Sher, author of "Wishcraft". On the call, she was talking about a client who wanted to sing. Barbara told her to sing. When the client expressed her concern about her weight being an impediment to her singing success, Barbara simply told her to "sing fat". She followed that revelation with this comment:

"There are a lot of fat singers."

Indeed. (more…)

How could I not sing this song as the end of the year approaches?

Reminder: These are my "audition" videos -meaning they're meant to give you a tastes of what I'm working on. They are NOT the final recordings.

This is the last video I'll post before the 300 songs in 2013 begins. Wish me luck! Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas!


I don't watch much television and rarely, if ever, watch the news. I had just finished my certification in Reiki training and a favorite song of mine jumped into my head. So I got a wild hair to start working on it in my studio. About an hour later, I was taking a break when an internet friend posted about the crisis in Sandy Hook. I felt compelled to record this for everyone that's hurting right now. For everyone that needs some peace and healing.

My songs are my prayers. This is my prayer for peace.