Monday, January 3, 2011

Next Steps

I'm back from Asia, back from Ohio and done with all the holiday hooplah. There's a good word.

I have been thinking about music and how to get stuff done. I have dozens and dozens of songs that I liked at one point but never found the time to finish. Or even work on beyond the initial recording session that brought them about.

Some of them are probably too flawed to release, but some are not. So today I wrote down ways for me to get them into a state of completion.

1. Stop caring about perfection.

Perfection is paralyzing. After I wrote this down I walked to Border's and bought this book.

I first read it like six years ago. I forgot about it, then was somehow recently reminded and checked it out from the library over the summer. Now I finally own it. If you are an artist it will be the greatest book you have ever read. It solves everything. You just have to remember it.

2. Spend time.

This is always the hardest part for me. I work a day job. It sucks. Boom - there goes eight hours a day.

But #1 and #3 will help me make the limited time I have more effective.

3. Establish rules to limit freedom aka indecision.

I love this quote:

"The hardest thing in the world is to decide what to do when someone says, 'You can do anything."
-Damien Di Fede

I don't remember who Damien Di Fede is but I wrote down his quote for a reason. It's true. If I grab an old song that was never going to be released anyhow and decide 'I will only use my casio and a floor tom on this one' then the odds of me actually finishing the song go up 80%. If I allow myself to use anything then I never know where to begin because something must be perfect, and I fail if I can't figure it out. But Art Is Error, and imperfection is essential.

What usually happens is I decide to work on music but never know where to start. Too many options. I have a limited about of time to work on it so I procrastinate and run out of time. When I do sit down to work it takes an hour to get into the proper mindset. I fly through songs, listening to one after another until I find one that I can attach a clear idea to, then I run out of time. It takes so long to find a clear idea because I have so many options. It's paralyzing. So we'll see how this goes. I want to pull up a couple old ones, establish some rules and FINISH THE DAMN THINGS.

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