After the initial excitement of a new project fades, art making turns into a grind. Each breakthrough comes with at least twice as many failures. Each step forward can be a struggle. This is especially true for independent musicians and artists, who have more responsibilities than creating.
Everything that you see from us, we've made: The concept, the writings, the songs, the lyrics, the website, the album design, the daily posts, and the music video. If you purchase our album, it's us shipping it to you. We touch every order. This do it yourself approach requires us to grind it out, to hustle every day.
The reason we don't hire others to do our development, design, posts or shipments, is because we view it as a privilege to be able to maintain a direct relationship with those willing to take the risk to enter into a conversation with us. We are lucky to have the opportunity to connect with you!
The amount of care needed to grind it out regardless of the outcome is what turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. If you're tired and feel like quitting, remember how important your efforts are to others. Even when your not aware of it, they mean the world to someone.
Mixed Messages / Reflections Day 10
What's a good deadline for our albums? What should be the budget? These questions will consume my thinking for the next week.
I'm a big proponent of deadlines and budgets. Though often overlooked by the community as not part of the process of creation, both are signs of being a professional. True professionals finish before the deadline and under budget. It's not just musicians that struggle in these areas: most projects in organizations take at least twice as long and twice as much money as is planned. That's a lack of discipline, and it's a lack of discounting, looking at the world and not projecting setbacks.
Each is a boundary, a positive constraint that fuels creativity. When making Talking to Myself, we had no money to hire a web-developer, so I taught myself front-end design and development, and am better for it. We also had a deadline for when our album needed to be finished. It prevented us from rerecording parts until we gave up. It prevented us from asking endless questions at the end as a way to delay, which would have stopped us from finishing. Sure, our album is less than perfect, but it's done and in the world. We get to move on with lessons learned. If we didn't have a budget and a deadline, we'd still be endlessly polishing, not moving forward.
By the end of the week, I must finalize both a deadline and budget for Mixed Messages and Reflections. As soon as each is set, it will garauntee that we will finish our double album, that it will be released. Both deadline and budget constraints will become positives, acting as inspirations to keep moving forward.
What we will have the opportunity to learn because of the constraints?