So here it is, the first entry into this blog. I've been thinking about this for a long time, and even visualizing it. I've done everything except the very thing itself, which is incredibly ironic for the the theme of this post: doing the work. If you're a listener to the show, then by now you have heard me mention Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art lots and lots of times. There's a reason for that - it's good. It's not good because it's entertaining, or because it's funny. It's good because it has a lot of truth in it, especially with regard to how human nature is so prone to make excuses and procrastinate. I want to say just one simple thing in this post, just one simple idea: do the work! You want to get better at writing, songwriting, photography, graphic design, videography, mixing music, etc., then I have a single solution for you, and that is to do your work. I mean practice, and practice consistently. Completion of a project will do volumes for you in your quest to refine and perfect your craft. Much more, in fact, than if you start many little ideas and then leave them partially finished and forgotten. I do this all of the time. I'm so guilty. But the good news is I need not fall on my face and beg for forgiveness from this. I'm already forgiven, and I have permission to forget about the past and start fresh today.
You will face Resistance. Yes, I capitalize Resistance on purpose here because (again, from Pressfield) Resistance is a force that works against us in our artistic endeavors. Actually, it works against us in virtually any endeavor that challenges the status quo, but for our purposes we focus on the artistic. Resistance has a litany of attacks it can unleash on you; it will constantly and continually work to find new and better ways to thwart you. You must always be vigilant against these attacks, and believe that they are very much defeatable. Resistance will come at you with persuasive and reasonable sounding thoughts, like, "You don't like how that sounds, do you?" "It's not good enough yet. You need to keep working on it." "How many people are even going to know about this anyway?" You see the picture? These are just a few examples of how Resistance is going to attempt to sway you. How do you fight back? Again, you do the work anyway. Is it good? Doesn't matter - put the pen to the paper whether what comes out is good or bad. The truth is, there are no shortcuts to producing good work on a consistent basis. It takes consistency and skill, and both of those things are developed over time. But don't let it be a discouragement; This is an equalizer. Talent is great to have, but you can only go so far with it if you don't pair it with a work ethic, and that work ethic is what develops the talent into skill. Skill means you can do it consistently, that it's not a fluke for you to put out good work.
Don't worry about how good your work is right now. Indeed, that will come with time. My work (my music) isn't all that great right now, but I'm not looking at it that way anymore. I'm already thinking about that 100th song that I'm going to write, and how I'll be so much further along in my abilities at that point that I am right now. In fact, in order to get there, you have to take that long path of writing 99 songs that come before it (fewer in my case because I've finsihed some songs). Here's my public commitment to you: 2017 will be a year where I will release music. My goal is 5 songs, and to get 5 quality(ish) songs out there I'm going to need to write 15-20. Yikes! I better get started! Talk to you next time.
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