Today I read two interesting articles that I want to share with you. I like to constantly bombard myself with self help dribble whether it’s fluff or full on therapy. Part of my homework is to read Lifehacker every morning with my coffee. It’s a blog of self improvement tips with a strong does of tech mixed in to help with the taste. Today, one of the writers at Lifehacker, Kevin Purdy posted a piece titled, “Why Your Self-Handicapping Excuses Don’t Work (And How to Fix Them)“. It’s a short commentary on another article written by Benedict Carey in the NYTimes.com titled, “Some Protect the Ego by Working on Their Excuses Early“.
Basically both articles talk about how many times we create exuses in advance of something we want to avoid. We set ourselves up to fail and we have an excuse all packaged ready to open with the time comes. An example would be, “I stayed out too late last night so no real music making for me today.”.
“If you’re a regular self-handicapper, though, you can grow too attached to whatever you use without knowing it, whether it’s alcohol, rule-defying, sleep-deprivation, or whatever convenience you cling to.” – Lifehacker.com
“This is one reason that genuine excuse artisans — and there are millions of them — don’t wait until after choking to practice their craft. They hobble themselves, in earnest, before pursuing a goal or delivering a performance. Their excuses come preattached: I never went to class. I was hung over at the interview. I had no idea what the college application required.” – NYTimes.com
These two articles remind me of my most important music making tip. Many people ask me where I get my inspiration from. This question has a two part answer. The first answer is obvious: You have to get out an live a big life… Fall in love, fail, win, hurt, crash, run, etc… Only then will you have anything worth writing about. There are many incredible producers out there with nothing to say. The second answer relates more to the two articles I share above: Don’t ever wait for inspiration to start work. Get in the studio are start making music.
There are only rare moments where you will feel the fire of a great song coming on and get into the studio fast enough to get it down. However, all your great songs are inside you anyway. Whether or not you’re hot or cold they are there. You have to get into the studio and warm yourself up. Sit and make a crap dull song, erase it, get frustrated and then viola the good one starts to creep out.
I can’t tell you how many times I went into the studio with a sterile mind and came out with a song I was proud of only because I stayed long enough to make it happen. I also am ashamed to tell you I wasted too much time in life waiting for inspiration, full of self-handicapped exuses instead of sitting in front of Ableton Live.
photo credit: TheTruthAbout…