I have a bunch of fun things I want to be blogging about right now, like my most recent trip to LA, summer plans, and my speculations on Pottermore, but I have to make a kind of hard announcement right now so those things are going to have to wait.
This is something I have been meaning to talk about publicly for awhile, but it's a difficult and kind of personal topic for me so I've been putting it off. Literally for years. But it has become more and more apparent to me recently how bad it's gotten, so I can't really hide it anymore.
The announcement, as much as it pains me to say this, is that I have to drop off of the ConTour this summer. I know ALL CAPS is only playing on it for less than two weeks, but I was super pumped about those shows and hate letting anyone down. And every time I've gotten an @reply on Twitter or an excited message in my ask box on Tumblr recently, I've felt really guilty as I mulled over what to do.
Basically, the long story short, is that I have vocal nodes that are increasing in severity. I first realized I had a problem with my singing voice back in 2009 when I went to the first LeakyCon and lost my voice there completely for no reason. It took me an alarmingly long time to get my voice back then, and once I did, I still found I couldn't sing for almost 4 months. I didn't really tell anyone about it, since this was around the time I was studying in London and didn't need to use my singing voice very much then. I didn't know what was going on and I had no idea that even continuing to talk as much as I do on a day to day basis was causing lasting damage.
Once I got my voice back in the fall of that year, I jumped right back into my normal routine. Luke and I were working on Bmin/E at that time, and I was gearing up for 2010's summer RoflcopTour. But there was a little piece of me that knew there was something seriously wrong with my voice, because tour was a struggle. I was raspy every night after shows, and there were stretches where I could barely play the shows at all. But I powered through, because touring and performing and making my fans happy is important to me. When I came home though, I finally went to a voice specialty doctor. They shoved a tube down my throat and told me that sure enough, I had nodes. Mild ones, but they were still there.
I went to a speech therapist for awhile, and they gave me all these tiny little things I could change to try and improve things (speaking in a slightly higher register, avoiding milk and citrus and spicy foods, no singing in the car, avoid talking over loud music in clubs/bars, talk less in general) so I started making changes in my life.
But how do you tell a YouTuber to stop talking? And how does one turn down going on fall tour with all her best friends? So I was irresponsible. I went on Triple Rainbow Awesome Tour. I did another short album with Luke. I continued to sing, and talk, and just hoped the little changes I had made in my life would be enough to make the nodes subside.
Things have only gotten much, much worse. The last few months have been really stressful amd hard for me. As someone who has been singing my whole life and has it literally affects my mood depending on if my voice is around or not, I've been crushed. I can't go more than a few days without getting raspy, and I can never count on my voice being okay for singing or performing on particular dates because it's so iffy. I've had to start turning down friends who invite me out to places that are loud, and silly as this sounds, one of the hardest parts has been not being able to participate in any sort of sing-a-longs with friends in months (road trips, campfires, etc).
It's a terrible cycle where the nodes stress me out every single day (I mean, what do you even HAVE without a voice? How do you communicate? It's a difficult concept for me to even grasp), but stress contributes to nodes, so hard or not, I have to start taking care of them.
It just sort of hit me recently that if I don't want to do any lasting damage, I need to stop being selfish and reckless now. I need to take care of myself NOW. So while I am going to be at LeakyCon and VidCon and will continue to perform there because they are important to me, I can't go on tour this summer. And I don't know how many singing related projects I will be able to do in the immediate future. This is a really good time for me to really focus on writing, and deal with the fact that silence might need to be a part of my life for a little while.
Anyway, I am truly sorry to anyone I have disappointed who was planning on coming to the ALL CAPS shows this summer. I'll still be around at both major conferences to meet and say hi to anyone who wants to, but I hope you guys understand that if I am ever going to be able to tour again in my life, I need to take a little break now to take care of myself. Even if that means cutting back on my favorite activities in the world - singing and talking.
I love all of you for being so supportive of everything I've ever done, and I'm not going anywhere. Just keeping my mouth shut for a little while.
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