The Social Freelancer: Media + Music

Latest from The Social Freelancer and Trace Relations Music

The Freelance Life: Hitting the Reset Button

“In taking stock of ourselves, we should not forget that fear plays a large part in the drama of failure. That is the first thing to be dropped. Fear is a mental deficiency susceptible of correction, if taken in hand before it gains an ascendency over us. Fear comes with the thought of failure.” – Douglas Fairbanks

I am taking stock of myself this morning. This quote from Douglas Fairbanks reminded me of the mentally crippling nature of fear. It is the root of all inactivity, a sign of regression instead of progression.

It is important for me to take a step back, take stock of all I am doing, examining what’s working for me and what’s not.

Merging "work" with creative

Merging “work” with creative

I reached a point of overload at the end of 2014. Multiple projects have been started, some pieces complete, others needing more time and work. This blog, while rewarding to me on a psychological level, is only moderately successful in reaching larger audiences.

I struggle with the ups and downs of my production business TraceProductions.com as I have for 20 years now. The video and television production business has been rewarding. My career has taken me all over the world and given me a (mostly) steady income and incredible experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But it is a changed business. For too many reasons to go into here, there is nothing but downward pressure on pricing for many of the services I have traditionally provided for my clients. I stay busy and am grateful for the work I have but it is less profitable than ever before. I have grown and moved on, learning and developing new skills that continue to enrich my life’s experience. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in marketing,Opinion,Psychology,social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Writing and have Comments (5)

“Vanishing Texas” Photography and Jazz: Finding Beauty in Decay

Old abandoned buildings. Rusty stuff. Forgotten roads. Burned out roofs. As a photographer, I’ve been drawn to places of past dreams, forgotten ambitions, lives lived and gone. When I see them I think of what may have transpired there. And I find beauty in the decay.
Vanishing Texas:
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Like this?
Help me keep the wheels on the road with a small donation, here:
Vanishing Texas Photography at Gofundme.com

Every little bit helps, and donors receive a free copy of the debut Trace Relations CD “Prosperity Street”
“12 tracks of Texas Groove guaranteed to improve your mood.”
Thanks, Trace

The unprotected scene
There are plenty of buildings designated as “Historic Sites” by the state of Texas, that are preserved and protected from demolition. What intrigues me are the OTHERS. In small towns and in the cities, there are thousands of other buildings, that may not have any protection. They are pieces of America left to be weathered by the elements, eventually to be destroyed or simply disintegrate. These are the places that are vanishing from the landscape, slowly, over time. Whenever I pass them, I think “Who lived (or died) here?” “What dreams and aspirations did they have?” “What drama unfolded here?” And I know that the next time I pass by, these spots may no longer exist. These are the scenes of “Vanishing Texas”. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in history,Music,Photography,Texas,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Video Production,youtube and have Comment (1)

The Creative Quandary: When Finances Battle Art

The Creative Quandary is just a fact of life for most who have a bent for creative endeavors. It’s the struggle of keeping bread on the table while making music, writing, painting, acting or any form of “art”.

I’ve been deep in this one lately due to a number of client projects booking my schedule tight (a problem I am happy to have). You may have noticed a reprint of some previous articles on this blog in the past couple of weeks, it’s just my effort to keep content moving, while providing good service to my paying clients. But certainly I would rather have the time needed to produce fresh articles multiple times every week, but that’s not my current REALITY.

Managing "work" vs. creative

Merging “work” with creative

What to do? Keep Going. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in The Social Freelancer and have Comment (1)

Four Tips for Surviving Social Media

What to do with Social Media? Be careful, but have fun… Here are four quick tips for surviving social media, hope you find it helpful.

1. Use common sense. Simple. Don’t put your home address anywhere on your websites, blogs, profiles, anywhere. I keep a business mailing address that is posted on my sites, but it’s no one’s business where I live.

2. Avoid personal attacks. Follow the age old advice “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is sometimes hard to do in life, and on the Internet, but it is vital to your social networking efforts. Having conversations online about things that you are passionate about is great for building your reputation, but watch your words! If you take issue with something someone has posted, respond with fact and supportable opinion, do not attack the person who posted it. Likewise, as soon as someone launches a personal attack against you, restate your qualified opinion on the subject, then let it go – disengage from the conversation. I have seen many instances of people getting involved in a “tit-for-tat” argument online that quickly dissolves into juvenile name-calling antics, resulting in all parties looking like fools.
Read this -> Social Media Smart Move: Be an Aggregator, Not an Aggravator

careful about the kooks

3. Remember, the Internet is full of kooks, but plenty of sensible people too. Sometimes its hard to tell who the kooks are at first, but watch what people write about on a regular basis, and soon their true colors come through.
READ ON, Post comments at bottom of this page, I love the feedback. What do you think of this post?>> Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer and have Comments (11)

Beware of the Dangerous Facebook Assumption

Danger is lurking on Facebook.

Actually, no. Facebook is just a thing, a bulletin board we can all post to in a virtual space. The danger is lurking in your head.

We’re all making assumptions about each other and the world around us, everywhere, all the time. Along came Facebook, a breeding ground for bad assumptions. The old joke becomes painfully true:

To assume makes an ass out of you and me. (ass + u + me)

Facebook: The Social Freelancer

Facebook: The Social Freelancer

What’s the story?
Recently I was talking with a very good friend and colleague, who I have known for more than 30 years. We live in different cities, but keep in touch via email and Facebook often, less often via phone than we used to. My friend tragically lost his brother several months ago, and he was referring to his brother’s death in a phone conversation, and I had no idea this had happened. I certainly would have sent some condolences, or gone to visit my friend during this time, had I known.

We both made unfortunate Facebook assumptions. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in social media and have Comments (13)

Facebook is Your Newspaper, Twitter is Radio

November 21, 2014: “I first published this in 2011, just revisited this morning. I think the concepts still hold true. What do you think? I enjoy the comments, please place yours in the section provided below the article. Thanks!” – Trace

Facebook and Twitter are like cousins, one’s a city slicker, the other is more of a bumpkin. You may be surprised that I think Facebook is “old school” but here’s why:
Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in Communications,Internet,marketing,Psychology,social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer,Writing and have Comments (23)

16 Quotes on Politicians from American Humorist Will Rogers

“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.”
– Will Rogers

2.) “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
– Will Rogers

American humorist, writer and actor Will Rogers

American humorist, writer and actor Will Rogers

It is fascinating to me how Rogers’ quips, written in the early 1900’s, resonate so soundly today. His biting wisdom and humor held both Republican and Democrat feet to his sarcastic fire when he felt they deserved it, which was often.

3.) “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
– Will Rogers

How appropriate for today! Think of the influence that John Stewart and Bill Maher (comedians) have on the voting public.

“William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world’s best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s.” via Wikipedia

Read on, more Will Rogers humor and wisdom >> Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in Humor,Opinion,Writing and have No Comments

…and that’s why I love to sing.

“Have fun while you can ’cause fate’s an awful thing. You can never tell what might happen and that’s why I love to sing.” – T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)

T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)

This quote from T-Bone Walker, one of my heros of the blues, sums up life for me. I enjoy my life and career in television, video production and photography, but before all that I was, and continue to be, a singer and lyricist. It’s an integral part of who I am. I don’t make a living at it, but I will continue doing it as long as I am alive.

When I am singing I can suspend everything else in my mind, all the ups and downs and rocks in the road of life, and just be “in the moment” with the song.

It calms me and makes me happy to be alive at the same time …and that’s why I love to sing. – Trace

What about you?

Trace. Photo by: Rick Moore

Trace. Photo by: Rick Moore

What takes you to a place where you can feel alive and “in the moment?”
I would love to hear about it, please comment below. Thanks.

Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in creative,Music,Opinion,Psychology and have Comments (2)

Starting from a place of humanity

Someone angered me on a job. Now I’m driving home, seething. Someone cuts me off on the road. I boil some more. I walk into the house and discover dog poop on the living room carpet and a tail wagging dog demanding my immediate attention when all I want to do is sit down and have a beer. I yell at the dog, then feel guilty about it. A suck-y day.

Taking a look within

Taking a look within


Sound familiar? It should because “that’s life”.
I have succumbed to the anger spiral way too often, but I think I am getting a bit better.

I started by reminding myself that everybody has issues. The person who initially pissed me off could be going through an incredible emotional upheaval; a divorce, a death in the family, a problem child at home or an unreasonable boss. Starting from a place of humanity means understanding that there is another thinking, feeling human being on the other side of the equation.

So what?
My own cycle of stress stemmed from one altercation on the job. Once I realize that my adversary is probably suffering in some way too, I can stop feeling angry about the squabble. I feel some compassion and understanding, putting me in a better frame of mind when I hit the road. The person cutting me off doesn’t bother me as much, and the dog? Forget about it, I’d love him and feel sorry for him anyway.

One change in perception can alleviate a whole day of tension and wasted mental energy (anger).

What say you? Comments invited and appreciated in the section below. Thanks!

Related Posts – click the titles to read on:


Focus on What You CAN Do, Not What You CAN’T

Remember Moments that Matter

Trace Ready "The Social Freelancer"

Trace Ready “The Social Freelancer”

Trace Ready is a Director of Photography, Writer, Producer and Vocalist based in Dallas, Texas. His band Trace Relations has released their debut studio CD “Prosperity Street”
Connect with Trace: TraceProductions.com

Like this? Help Trace keep his wheels on the road for the photo series “Vanishing Texas” and continue posting to this blog while juggling in “the freelance life.” – HERE:

Vanishing Texas Photography by Trace
Supporters receive my undying gratitude and a free copy of my music CD, “Prosperity Street” by Trace Relations Band

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posted by Tracy Ready in Opinion,Psychology,The Social Freelancer and have Comments (3)

Road Trippin’ the South this Summer, Come along?

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
– Martin Buber, Philosopher (1878 – 1965)

My wife Lauren and I love a road trip. It suits us. I have flown thousands of miles in my career, and much prefer driving the back roads than sitting in an airport, any day. She is in total agreement. We enjoy the time together, stopping where we want, when we want; the adventure of being on the road, with only a brief outline of the trip planned. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in Photography,The Social Freelancer,Travel,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Writing and have Comments (2)
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