Here's the deal - I love music (kind of a "duh" if you know me at all), but I struggle with creating music and can often feel directionless when it comes to my music career. I sometimes feel like I talk about wanting to "do music" more often than I actually work on it. A big lesson for me this year has been to focus on my actions over my thoughts/feelings/motivation (really great post on this topic here: https://markmanson.net/do-something).
I was having coffee with a new friend at the end of September (who is also a musician), and we were talking about the importance of organization and accountability when it comes to making music (or any creative endeavor) - especially when you have a day job and the time you can allocate to your craft is limited to non-working hours & weekends. As we were talking about this, I was nodding my head and agreeing with everything we said, but part of me knew I wasn't living up to that standard.
So on Saturday, October 20th, I texted that same friend the following:
This goal followed the "SMART" methodology - it was specific, measure-able, attainable, realistic, and timely. It was also outside of my comfort zone, and after sending the above text I definitely felt a "what the $#&@ have I just done" sensation.
For me, I found it was important to have accountability around this goal, otherwise I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done it. Accountable can be defined as:
I REALLY REALLY REALLY didn't want to part with $500, especially not to support a TRUMP or Republican campaign. This was a really great motivator on the nights that I just wanted to watch Netflix and melt into the couch.
And I'm happy to report that I didn't have to spend $500! I finished the last song last night (10/29). Now are these songs GREAT? I don't think so. Are they fully produced? No way - they are all just me and my acoustic guitar, recorded on my iPhone voice memo app. But they are DONE.
What did I learn from this experience?
- "Done is better than Perfect" (Saying that I think is attributed to Sheryl Sandberg). I literally wrote this out most nights before sitting down to write.
- "Clock in to work". Some nights I would set a timer and as long as I worked on music for 30 minutes, I could call that night a win.
- Having an Accountability Partner really lit a fire under my ass and helped me get this done.
Will I do this again? Probably - I'm enjoying the feeling of satisfaction of completing this goal, but I know it won't last long and that I'll now need to decide on the next set of actions that I want to take. Even in the planning, there's no perfection - I think it's just about picking a direction, seeing how it goes, and repeating.
I hope you enjoyed the post, and would love to hear any tips you might have in the comments below or email me at Kevin@Kevin-Eldridge.com