Firstly I feel I must apologise to you faithful and wonderful readers, for the lack of a post over the weekend. I have not planned my time well this week, and as such have committed much of it to a different project. There is an explanation below of what I’ve been up to. No finished product as yet, but by the end of the week there will be!
Now, the crux of the matter, knowing where we’re going, and seeing how close we are to getting there. How far ahead do you like to know what you’re going to be doing? Do you like being able to see when you are achieving something? Or is simply knowing you are achieving progress enough? This post seems apt as I type it out a couple of days after my self-dictated schedule says it would be published. Something in my mind encouraged me to leave it to for a while to germinate, to figure out what type of progress helps keep me going.
This holiday season I have committed to recording a song as an entry for a project being run by one of my favourite YouTubers. A competition of sorts. His name is Cobus Potgieter and he is a very talented drummer from South Africa. Check out his cover videos if you haven’t, they’re a lot of fun. His latest video is of him drumming to a song, but he has only included the audio from his drumming. He has then invited people to write a song to this drum track, and send it to him. After which he will publish a video talking about the different songs he liked, and let his audience know which one he thought was the best. This winning song will be played on his channel as part of the video. Pretty cool, right? This is the reason I have not been as onto it this past week with writing projects; I have been spending my time writing the different parts of the song, and then recording them. After I finish all this recording all the different parts I will still have to mix and master the song before it’s complete—all before the end of Christmas Day!
So far, as of Monday evening New Zealand time, I am a third of the way through recording—and I haven’t yet finished writing all the different parts of the song or finished writing the lyrics! It is going to be a close run thing but I have a deadline I can see, and it is one I believe I can meet. While recording in my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation; try saying that five times fast) I can visually see which parts of the song are yet to be recorded. Each different track in its own handy row. Where am I up to with the bass line? The guitars? Vocals? I haven’t started the vocals recording yet, but my mind is hard at work on finishing the lyrics even if I’m not actively thinking about them. And though finishing this song is a seemingly trivial thing, especially in the year that has been 2020, I’d appreciate any luck and prayer you’d like to swing my way.
It has only in the past few days have I figured out I like to be able to see the progress I am making with a particular project. Recording this song has been one way I’ve discovered this. Another is while I’ve been doing some repetitive data entry work. While I do quite enjoy data entry on the whole, it can seem never ending at times. With this particular work I can check the total number of entries yet to be completed at the beginning of each day, and I can compare that with the number at the end of the day. It’s a simple thing but helps my mind know I’m making progress. These are parameters provided by a system external to myself. This makes it easy for me to turn up each day, knuckle down and work at them, knowing that when I come back tomorrow I will have my new goal already laid out in front of me. On the other hand, if I have to set the parameters myself this has traditionally been more of a problem. Either I set targets too large that progress seems painfully slow, or I don’t set any targets at all and simply drift along hoping for success.
Both of these becomes a problem when writing books and making music. Up to now I have not set any album or EP release dates, so I have yet to release any music. I have not set any publishing deadlines so I have yet to publish any books. I’m making progress, but at the moment it’s more along the lines of “If I finish” rather than “When I finish” which has proven to be a dangerous precedent to set in my mind.
I am happy to say I’m working on finishing things. Setting deadlines and being mature enough to stick to them. I hope you feel capable and confident in planning when you need to, so you can spend more time doing the things that give you joy, too.
Be good, sleep good, and keep good. Peace.