The risk of inaction

We finally got one of those family photos where everyone looks pretty good in a beautiful destination. Now I know why they are a popular thing to share:

They’re costly.

There’s a lot of risk represented in the picture. It was taken on our first family tent camping trip. (“Tent camping” has possibly scared you away already.) So much could have gone wrong. Our boy could’ve gotten sick. Our van could’ve broken down (this happened before and canceled a vacation). Our never-opened tent from Aldi could’ve unfolded in shreds.

We braved the trip because the risk of staying home was greater. A heat index of 110+ was the local forecast. Oppression and bugs outside. Cabin fever inside. We had to go.

Travel was optimistic but anxious until we walked under the tree cover of the campsite. “Wow,” breathed our ten-year-old, and the breezy, quiet, clean air hushed all our disquietude.

Worth it. 

Vandalia River is costly. Publicizing new original music is humbling. Vulnerable. Inviting friends and strangers to sit and listen to your music can feel risky. The most expensive part of sharing music - the record - is what folks expect to consume for little or no cost.

But the risk of covering up and not cultivating the art or skill or talent that one has is greater. Admittedly, it’s an ambiguous risk. No one specifically misses the stuff you never produce. And you have to produce shoddy stuff on the way to getting better. But once you’ve been able to pull off something that truly enriches people’s lives — ahhh.

“Wow.” Worth it.


There’s this whole deal about new year’s resolutions. While Vandalia River has goals for 2020, it will follow this wise productivity tip: "Tell what you've done, not what you will do." You probably won’t hear about new music until it actually exists in some credible form.

Meanwhile, do tell: what music do you wish existed? When you turn on your app or radio, what do you want to hear? Comment here. 

Thank you so much for reading today. Happy New Year!



By the way, if you want to do more to help Vandalia River to keep chugging, consider one of these cost-free actions:

  • Create a Facebook video or Instagram story with a music sticker. Type in your favorite Battlescapes piece as the song. 


  • If you’ve liked any of the music or blog posts, forward to a friend or share a link on social.

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