#reverb10 – December 18
December 18, 2010 Leave a comment
December 18 – Try What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)
I’m going to answer the second question first. One of the things wanted to try and I really went for this past year was recording a demo. Here’s what I remember most vividly about the experience:
- rehearsing for weeks and weeks and weeks
- having massive fights with both of the musicians I tried to work with and the sheer amount of emotional drama around both of these people
- not budgeting enough money for the project and feeling utter dismay at what I did pay in the end
- realizing I’d bitten off more than I could chew or even properly get into my mouth
- having the musician who did help out basically declare the effort sub-par in the end
- the anti-climax of finishing the demo and really having absolutely nothing come of it apart from the accolades of people who already love me
I could easily regret the entire experience of doing the demo. It was a huge drain emotionally and it was no drop in the bucket financially either. I certainly learned why people tackle one song at a time in the recording process unless they are absolute pros or they are backed by a label. I’m neither a pro nor was anyone else championing this cause. But despite all the negatives, it was a massive learning experience.
The biggest lesson that I learned, is that there has to be follow through. I got to the end of recording the demo and I think I was just so tired, and my plans afterward were so unclear, that things sort of ended there. The drive and the motivation that got me through the recording process died off in the face of such vague plans for the actual finished product. And so the demo has basically sat, fallow and useless, for about nine months.
So to answer the first question in the prompt: this year I’d like to try following through. I’d like to not have so many abortive experiences; something far too familiar to me. For example: get the demo done but have it produce none of the results I was looking for; write a short story but never make suggested edits or ever try to get it published; buy the supplies for a really cool visual art project and never actually do it; blog, but do so haphazardly and never market said blog. I just have to try my hand at finishing something this year. Going whole hog on any one thing.
Some of my problem is just lack of real planning. I have ideas but I don’t think about the end goal all the time and so I get about half way into a project and lose the plot because it was never written in the first place. I think I also get frightened that whatever project I”m working on is a waste of time and suddenly get swayed by the idea that there’s something else I need to be doing–so I switch gears. The end result is that nothing gets finished–there is never a sense of accomplishment. In addition, I never really know what’s working and what isn’t, because there’s never an end product to evaluate.
And it’s no small feat to start 20 projects, even if none of them ever get done. It still takes time and energy and emotional output to keep starting things, so it’s not like I’m at least living a life of happy sloth. I’m working my tail off to get almost nowhere.
I’m in danger of not following through as we speak. I have many ideas in my head because I really want to see some things change in the coming year, but not a lot of concrete plans. I haven’t settled on one or two tasks or focused on one or two goals. So that’s what I’m going to do–I’m going to decide on a goal, plan the hell out of it and follow through.