So Much to Learn, So Little Time.
INT: COFFEESHOP DAY
Server: "Want a refill on coffee?"
Me: "Yeah, might as well."
Server: "Number three. I like it. The current record is seven refills."
Me: "...I might go for that."
And so, my over-caffeinated self continued typing. I was seven pages into my Google Doc containing notes on Donald Passman's "Everything You Need to Know About the Music Business". I've found that writing extensive outlines while reading textbooks helps me internalize information, an habit I did NOT have in college (which may be why these days it seems like a lot of the finer points of orchestration/counterpoint/piano performance/etc. went in one ear and out the other during those years). At this time, I have a Google Doc in progress for William Russo's "Composing Music", John Novello's "The Contemporary Keyboardist", a lynda.com tutorial on using Finale 2014, Graham Cochrane's mixing course "REthink Mixing", as well as a document for notes on my favorite episodes of Deane Ogden's "Rebel Creative" podcast . Turns out, I really like to learn. The act of ceasing to take notes and actually apply what I learn in the real world is a totally different subject.
It's a strange problem. I'm learning great skills. I have the luxury of feeling like I'm in college again (minus tuition, thank God). But there is no homework, no projects with which to immediately use the skills learned. There's no "F", no recourse for not applying this knowledge. How do I keep myself honest in applying this knowledge? To limit the time reading, and spend more time doing?
I looked at another part of my life - my fitness. For the last three weeks I've worked out six days a week. At the end of each workout, I take a picture and send it to my girlfriend, with the words "DAY XX" on it (today was "DAY 22"). Putting my progress out there makes me feel accountable for getting the job done, and after a few days, I REALLY didn't want to break the streak. That's why I decided to start this blog, dedicated to logging any achievements or cool things I experience in my composition career. I'm putting a public record out in the hopes that it keeps me on task, and maybe even help some other budding artist out there.
I didn't pass the record - I left the coffee shop after my fourth cup of coffee. But I did go home and finish writing that song I had put off all morning. Maybe I'll go for the record when I take that lynda.com course on "Monday Morning Productivity Tips".