« It’s unlikely you’re only going to make just one record. If you keep adding and taking songs off the record you will only make one record and it will take years. There is a time stamp to a group of songs. Let that be an era. Box it up and send it out. The next record will document the next phase of your life. » — Mark Marshall / TheProAudioFiles.com
Sup mate? Vincent here.
This week’s article is made with Dan Comerchero’s permission to use quotes from http://theproaudiofiles.com for the good of today’s topic.
Today I want to introduce you to a topic that is one of my favorites and particularly the one that has been driving me on a day to day basis: Getting started.
We all have idols. People that basically impress us and make us grateful for sharing such a tremendous dose of talent, love, discipline or whatever those special folks are doing. But truth is that, in fact, we just tend to idolize too much while we could ourselves become maestros or at least quite good in our field as well. It just takes you to get started and aim for constant improvements. Where do you see yourself in 3, 5 or 10 years? Can you remember the last time you said « I want to make this happen » but quickly forgot about it just because it would have taken a very long time to achieve? Does this type of decision made your life more comfortable? I’m pretty sure that the impact of such a decision, the tribute of earning nothing new because you chose not to get started, is causing you more trouble than actual fences you would’ve had to crush on your path by starting, whatever your thing is.
Giving up can’t be the answer unless you’ve made your legate as I enjoy saying it (= unless you’ve given the shit a damn try for good). No-one is godlike. You can totally become the type people you used to call demigods (or whatever divine-olympic-crap is the adjective you’re used to employ). What we do when we choose to postpone our dreams is that, as a matter of fact, we’re squashing them. A tree certainly won’t grow if you decide to grind it with your feet. But think about how majestic it could become if you decide to give it proper nutrients and steady loads of water, on a daily basis. It is as simple as it looks like: feed and nourish your dream, do not kill it in the cradle or else that is 100% guaranteed it will never rise.
Keep releasing, keep posting, even when it’s imperfect. Because your best way to improve is to keep releasing and facing the world’s feedback. Then there will be time for you to take new things into considerations and adjust your processes. It’s not about your technics and many talents, it’s about what you’re actually capable of showing off. Go full naked.
« Forget about whether your music may be judged as good or bad. Or how much it will sell. Or if you will land a record deal. In the end it doesn’t mater — it’s art. Somebody will always have something bad to say about everything. They tend to not matter. Art isn’t a competitive sport. It’s about expression. Say what you need to say. » — Mark Marshall / TheProAudioFiles.com
Excuses? There can be a lot. Pick up your favorite one and bury yourself with it if you want, it makes no difference.
We’ve already reviewed the top notch excuse for not getting started, the fear of failure. Now one of the most other common ones is the pace of improvement. We want things to happen fast but in reality we’re just too much addicted to speed and this will be the subject of another upcoming blog entry.
Visualization of your goals can be truly healthy if it triggers you like an engine or something that truly rises your hopes up. On the other side, we can easily get discouraged just by visualizing too much and figuring out that we’re not growing fast enough. That’s a very subjective approach and also most of time the biggest mistake you could make, and I’m guilty of it too. But yeah we learn together, we grow together. I want to be honest with you and full disclosure also implies that what I’m writing on this blog is not only advice or the typical tutor-student template (i hate it) but also weaknesses and points on which I should work on and confront.
I’m not ready yet / This is not the right time / I still need to learn more!
Don’t get me wrong, you should totally acquire knowledge and train yourself in order to produce and release what you want to do in life. You certainly must do that, but not before getting started. You have to keep improving everyday AND getting shit done at the same time. Look, you might be wise and well documented, full of knowledge, that’s great… but if you’ve been creating nothing out of your amazing skills yet, then what are you doing bruh?
Nobody cares about how many hours, days, weeks or even years it took you to get to the point where you are at this very moment in your head if nothing was released yet. It’s like you’ve been on a mock up forever and, thusly, nothing exists at all apart your head. The people out there can’t value what they can’t see. We need proofs of what you’ve been up to lately if you do claim that you’ve somehow mastered something.
« No EQ or compressor is going to deliver your idea any better. (…) You will forever be adding to your collection of instruments and gear. Always find a way to make things work with what you have. » — Mark Marshall / TheProAudioFiles.com
Yeah but I need this $1,500 amp to record quality tracks!
No, forget about that. First of all you’ll get nothing but average-good results with a 1k5 amp considering this is just a tiny detail of your workflow chain. Believe it or not but I do know people who can rock the hell out with only $150 digital amps out there and even though their production isn’t as good as the last Periphery they are actually doing great WITH WHAT THEY HAVE until they can scale for something bigger.
Secondly, unless you’re actively in a quest of consumption/possession – which I cannot truly comprehend but genuinely respect – you’re much more likely to feel guilty in the middle-short term if you realize that you’ve accomplished nothing out of your fancy expensive gadgets (because let’s get clear: if you’ve bought something high priced that isn’t really useful for you in a workaday routine, this has basically became a gadget).
There might be no direct benefit popping in front of your eyes in about a week, a month or even a year, but be sure that if you take the chance to believe in yourself in the first place and in your thing afterwards, you’re already qualified to scale like crazy and eventually reach your target.
What’s more, seeing yourself getting started will make more people around you getting prone to execute their own tasks and improve their daily habits because advancement is addictive.
Ignore nagging people (even relatives) telling you that you won’t succeed because, if you’re already on the trails of your personal race, you’ve already won. You’re making the difference because, at the gates of death (yeah let’s become dramatic), you would have given the best out of yourself to reach your goals and become a better self, while they would have just been pointless arrogant pricks doing nothing but criticize and trying to put you in the dirt.
« Don’t keep negative people around you. If someone gives you bad vibes, don’t hire them. Don’t work with them. Don’t bring them into the safe place. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. » — Mark Marshall / TheProAudioFiles.com
Now to end this post, this particular quote hits me hard because I can connect this statement to a previous entry I made on this blog regarding toxic relationships and also to Hal Elrod’s book ‘’The Miracle Morning’’. This book was recommended to me by my ex-girlfriend who not only is a successful employee for an AAA+ gaming studio but also a great entrepreneur herself. And… at that time I was very unconfident about myself and already too much conscious of the goddamn down-lifting effect I had on people. Like you may think you’re a cool guy for being sarcastic and edgy but in the end you’re just an asshole.
You know what? I want you to do something for me. Well, not directly for me but let’s say for mankind in general (yeah again, you’ve got to know i’m a drama queen). Next time you witness someone trying to put you down for no solid reasons – that I won’t define here, I rely on you for the consistency of this part -, ask him/her why the fuck (s)he’s doing that and make him confront his own fears because that’s honestly what these people need and I wish someone had the balls to make me in this position back in the days. In the worst case you’ll loose a friend (but who needs a friend who constantly bashes your opinion and never supports you?) and in most cases you’ll find out that the root of such a behaviour lies in the fear of getting started themselves.
I leave you there with this ultimate quote:
« Make sure to have fun in the studio everyday. Don’t take yourself or anyone around you too seriously. Enjoy the process and let your imagination soar. We all do this for the love of it. Being too harsh on yourself or others around you is a real buzz kill for everyone. » — Mark Marshall / TheProAudioFiles.com
• The Miracle Morning: http://amzn.to/2vSZBro
- Uplifting song of the week: Asgore The Shogun Of The Mountain (thank you Seb)
- Yo! I’m also accepting requests & suggestions on Twitter! Did you like this article? What should I write on next? Send your tweets to @haarasnc with hashtag #StayResilient