The Grand Canyon was carved by a relatively average river over the course of millions of years. Mount Rushmore took 14 years to carve. The United States spent 10 years to complete the Panama Canal. France had started the project 19 years prior to the U.S getting involved. The King of Spain had started discussing the potential project 347 years prior to France beginning the operation. Massive and world changing projects get done a little bit at a time.
If you want to get in shape, start by doing one pushup everyday. Consistent, daily practice is the best way to see improvements. Massive projects get done a little bit at a time.
I have tried to implement daily and weekly disciplines to my art. It works to an extent. I try to write everyday, at least a couple words. It’s a grocery list, or a blog post, or the verse of a song, or a short story, or a script, or novel, or another long to-do list of things that I want to write. I also try to read everyday because that is the best way to become better at writing,
I have tried this approach with my musical productions. It doesn’t really work. I tried a project that involved a new recording every week and pumped out somewhere around 16 new recordings. You can read about it here and here. It wasn’t sustainable. The time requirements for this approach don’t allow for anything else, including sleep or food. I spend small, daily chunks of time in the studio. As soon as the microphones are set and everything is ready to go, I am out of time. I have enough time to get ready. Before I get started, I jump straight to the try again tomorrow phase. Small nibbles can be great for cookies and specific aspects of the Artist’s Life but you can’t actually finish a project with nibbles.
There is nothing more satisfying than achieving the magical flow state and running with a project for hours. It can seem like minutes. That is what I miss most about my current time requirements. I need to carve out more time for larger chunks so that flow state can happen.
I have a lot of big projects that I want to do. They aren’t massive undertakings but they are projects that can’t be done in small daily chunks. I have recently realized that I am going to have to choose what to do first. I can’t do them all right now. I have to use my best judgment and pick something to do next. Then I must trust myself and finish.
You can stop reading, the good stuff is over. The following is a list of projects, purely for my satisfaction, to help me define my options. If you choose to read my self indulgent list, don’t judge me. I have no idea what will be next.
Rerelease all my old albums: I guess this isn’t a new project but I have been obsessed with getting the old stuff out of the way, to make room for the new stuff.
Make a record with the Lost Cause: I think I have been working on this project for three years. When I say, “working on this project,” I mean that I have not started yet.
Start a new video series: Video is the new audio. I have two ideas that I am working on. 1) I want to start with a five episode series showcasing storytelling and songs. It is similar to Breakfast with Brother Jack but a different character. 2) A cover song series would be a popular, crowd pleasing choice. I could incorporate all the amazing musicians that I know. This is more about community building than anything. Both of these projects require me to learn a lot about video and probably invest in gear.
I have always wanted to write a novel. I started a couple times but never got very far.
Write a musical: I am currently reissuing my Princess and the Hero album. When I initially wrote it, I intended it to be a visual, physical production. I have always wanted to turn it into an actual musical. I don’t know the first baby step to take on this project.
Play more live shows: This might not sound like a new project but I don’t get out much. Honestly, this is not an easy endeavor for me. It is really important and I am working on it. If you want me to play in your living room, let me know.
Start a new podcast series on songwriting: Podcasts are still popular, right? There is very little overhead and it would be easy to get off the ground. It would be cathartic to discuss the evolution of specific songs and how the soup gets made. If I include the other songwriters that I know, this could be another great community building project.
Start a jam: This would be a self-satisfying weekly hangout with the local scene.
Make records for/with other people:
I am pretty sure I am forgetting something. I will check my other lists and get back to you.
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