2012 Gratitude Blog

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So, the world didn’t end on 21 December and I for one am pretty grateful for that. I mean on one level it would have been pretty neat and symmetrical, not requiring certain things to be worked out. But I have big plans for 2013 so, all in all, I am really pleased to still be here. If here is HERE if you know what I mean, and we aren’t just the damned left behind while the 144 000 where lifted to the mothership very, very quietly….

2012 In Review
So, what DID happen in 2012? Short answer is a shed-load. 2012 saw the conclusion of my very first ever 5 year plan. Included in this plan was the publication of 3 books, the launching of a public speaking career and the establishment of myself as a full time writer.

July saw the launch of For You Or Someone Like You, my debut poetry collection of which I am massively proud. As a serious bonus the book came with a ten-track CD on which 9 musician friends and myself created and recorded musical versions of ten of the poems from the book. This was an amazing project that came together really fast. I owe huge thanks to Hedwig Barry for designing the book and overseeing production and editing. Also to Rory Bester for his amazing input on the editing. Then to Bill Botes for being the main instigator on the musical side of the project and for building and hosting the website.  Check it out at www.foryouorsomeonelikeyou.com You can order your own copy of the book and the CD from there using PayPal.

Of course thanks also to Jay Bones, Shotgun Tori, Paul Riekert, Rob McLennan, Trenton Birch, Shannon Hope, J-P Myers, Anton Marshal and Matthew van der Want for their music.

As a further unexpected bonus, I also started writing music for more of the poems myself and now have ten song set that I have been playing around the country. From 1 July I played a total of 18 gigs around South Africa in 2012. Not bad for a guy who has never played guitar in a band and who had no plan to go back on stage solo this year or any year really! Thanks to everyone I performed with and to all of you who paid good money to see me play. I started off a bit wobbly but now I am pretty pleased with my progress.

Part of this activity also saw me taking part in the 2012 Boekbedonnered Festival in Richmond, Northern Cape, the Melville Poetry Festival and the 100 000 Poets For Change global event.

With the poetry book out, I turned my attention to starting to write the novel I have been researching and planning since 2010. It is to be called Johannesburg and serves to explore my passion for this crazy city and unpack some of its magic for others to enjoy. As you read this I am nearly half way. I had hoped to be finished, but the many, many other amazing things going on in my life kind of derailed my meticulously planned writing schedule. However, by end of February 2013 it will be complete and I am already seeking out a publisher for it, both in SA and overseas.

In many ways, my plan to launch myself as a keynote speaker has mutated under the influence of a disparate array of opportunities. The one I never saw coming was training. It was my father, David Chislett Snr, that suggested I develop and host workshops for musicians and manager using my 2010 publication, 1,2,1,2: A Step By Step Guide To The SA Music Industry as a text book. In 2012, I managed to visit several cities again, presenting various workshops and giving talks and seminars. I even got to do my first international talk when I travelled to Swaziland to do the Bushfire Festival with a day-long music business workshop. Thanks Dad.

Almost as a direct consequence of this training experience over the last 3 years, I was then offered a massive training job by the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) to do a digital multimedia training contract for a large media group. This took up 8 months of this year and I am still amazed at what else I got right WHILE this was going on!

Unleash Your Inner Rockstar
At the end of 2011 I got together with martin Schofield (Wonderboom, Flash Republic, Martin Rocka and The Sickshop) and together we created a corporate keynote address called Unleash Your Inner Rockstar. We’ve presented this 3 times in 2012 to clients, in between Martin being musical director of the Loeries, The SAMA’s and the last season of SA Idols. No mean feat! It has been really well received and we look forward to doing more in 2013!

A big thank you to Martin for being a part of that journey. I couldn’t have done it without him and it has been amazing working with such an upbeat, professional and gifted individual.

I am massively grateful for all the opportunities that came my way this year and to all the amazing people I have had the chance to work with. Promoters in CT, DBN, PE and PTA, musicians, other writers. I always say to people that this world is never short of opportunities, no matter where you come from. What WE are often short on however, is the ability to recognise an opportunity and seize it. I like to think that in 2012 I became a lot better at that skill and in 2013 I will continue to grow.

My first ever 5-year-plan has borne amazing fruit and I am very, very happy, Happier than I have ever been as an adult. I don’t have a new five-year-plan though. I do however have some immediate and powerful goals for 2013 that I am targeting and there will be a coherent plan for the year by the time I go back to work on 7 January. I hope to get to know you, my readers of this blog, a bit better in the process and share more of my journey with you all. Thank you for reading in the past and hopefully in the future. I hope to hear more from you in the comments in 2013!

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