My cat is sitting in my lap, my grocery delivery was missing coffee creamer, and it’s dark an rainy out. Quiet Sundays are okay.
“This is going to sound hella snarky, but it’s true: Most successful people are too busy (the cause/effect of their success) to wander around an audio app teaching business success lessons,” @amahnke
“There’s no reason you need to react to everything. But it’s human nature. This is the social contract of the social media era. If you dare to shout your opinion or publish your work to the masses, the masses can choose to shout back,” from American Idle.
“who knew living an entire year during a global pandemic would completely destroy your mental health,” @kitvolta
For 58 days this has been an excercise in opening up a program to nothing but a blank template. This how I usually work best, because I know the magic isn’t in the building, or the writing, or the creating, it’s in the editing. Now, after making 100+ of these over the past few years (going back to 2008 or so) – these snippets, these loops – I know the real work comes after the idea is laid down. After something is written, painted, photographed – then the work begins.
Because at every step each note feels off, every track could have a little more reverb, it’s all rubbish compared to the 13 music streaming apps filled with music already created by people far more talented than me.
If that’s the case, why get up? Why get out of bed? Why go to work? It’s all a capitalistic march, make money, pay bills, and after so many decades die peacefully with friends at your side.
Fuck it. This in-between time is short, so this sort of nonsense will keep happening.
Streaks, loops, new habits, whatever – shit is hard. Just got off the phone with my best friend. We literally talk a few hours a week on the phone. Have for years. We live close to one another, too.
I think we hung out four times in the past year. Socially distanced, of course. Safely. We hung out in our separate cars, in a parking lot with the windows rolled down. I visited his back yard. Shit like that.
Then I look at my recent posts here – maybe they’re not informative enough, they’re not kind to new readers, or packed with enough actionable measures for “creators” to take and apply to their own craft.
Well, fuck all that. This year I capped off a 70 day run streak. And I’ve posted a new loop – as a video – everyday on this site this year. I’m pushing my creative energies up a hill, and I’m exhausted.
It’s Friday night. Wrapped up some good work stuff, got in a five mile run, had a nice phone conversation, and now… I’m back on the computer.
An hour. Make my coffee, set myself a goal of being “at work” by 9am, and see what happens. In this case, a random kick, a bass line off the top of my head, some weird sounds, than a sample from a butter commercial found on YouTube. Then maybe a few silly clips of me for the video for good measure? Why not?
Just make shit.
“POD Save America should really be a reality show following a Christian metal band from San Diego spreading the words of Jesus Christ through down tuned guitars and rapped vocals,” @hateupton
Wake up at 7am, do some work, eat some toast, then crack open your heart into whatever art form you want. I’m on a time crunch today – got a big important thing to do for 11am, but hey… it’s 8am, let’s see what we can make today, and get it posted and finished in around an hour.
“An editor said to me the other day, “we are not working remotely. we are living at work,” @erinblogan
This is why you just keep putting ideas down. Keep recording, keep writing, keep knocking, keep yelling. I barely remember this musical clip, but when I cracked it open on a cold, February morning with some luke warm tea, it clicked.
It’s mysterious. Dangerous. The backdrop to a sinister plot. What sort of clip would do this justice? The idea of the mysterious folder came to mind. The mouse. The bewildered look (not quite on par with Neo’s “knock knock” scene, but still).
“An underdiscussed aspect of modern capitalism is that most low-wage jobs tightly regulate what you’re doing at all times while you’re on the clock and most high-wage jobs consist of hours of unstructured time in front of the computer during which you can do whatever,” @jfruh
Each day I put up a Daily Loop I include a bunch of stuff I “liked” on Twitter and Instagram. Great quotes, photos, design, that sort of stuff. Then on Saturday’s I sent out my “Weekly Loop,” which is a nice round up of those items. You can sign up for that here.
Maybe you don’t care as much about the likes, but you’re interested in my music making process – you’re in luck, because now you can subscribe to TAKE ME TO THE BEEPS (subscribe here). Join me in my journey as a third-generation musician trying to get back into making music, with the hopes of releasing official music in 2021.
Both of those are prompts to start your own email lists! Your fans aren’t always going to see your updates on social media (HAH!), and maybe they don’t visit your site everyday. Keep in touch with the people who like your stuff with an email list.
“Ah, yes. time off. when i move the computer from the desk to the couch. luxurious,” @mikerugnetta
“‘Grief is not a problem to be solved. It’s a presence in the psyche awaiting, witnessing.’ Can we all stop pretending now?” @JessColumbo
It’s Monday. This week freshen up your social media bios. Make sure your links are pointing to good things. Consider setting up a Lnk.bio or Link Tree (I made a list of links here via my WordPress set up) for your Twitter and / or Instagram. Link to stuff that matters, and ask people to click.
Link your shit. Put the link to your thing (your shop, your course, your album) in the first Tweet.
Fuck hashtags. I want to read your words, your thoughts, your ideas. Inspire me, radicalize me, sell me, push me. Hashtags take up space and their only purpose to attract “more,” when in fact there are people in front of you who already signed up.
You got them – now what?
“Never feel bad for not being “productive” when you read about 500,000 people dying. Soul anguish is what happens when grieving rituals are replaced by normalcy rituals. Don’t “power through” the heart of your humanity,” @FaithfullyBP
“It seems obvious, but the solution for a family suffering poverty is to get them money. Not a tax credit, not a program, not something they need to qualify for or jump through hoops to access, just give them money,” Steve Albini
I was awakened at 4:30am to the sound of my cat terrorizing a mouse (the cat won), and the morning followed suit. Worked most of the morning hours, though made my coffee extra strong, which was a treat. Played around with new tools for my day job (Close Mondays), then got busy making this loop.
This loop is not as fully fleshed out as I’d like, but it’s something. You’ll notice (maybe) that there’s actually bass on this one, as I got inspired by by the recent “Precious Metals’: Starring Les Claypool & Robert Trujillo” video that was uploaded a few days ago. Weird being a bass player since 1991 and hardly ever playing it with any of these.
“Breaking NBC: The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has topped 500,000,” @kylegriffin1
“People want to work with individuals whom they enjoy and can see themselves working with. Skill can be built, but personalities stick,” @jelfish67
“Why do bands say that they have a rhythm guitar and lead guitar? Just say one only knows power chords and the other is a narcissist. It’s fine,” @Amygdalatx
On the weekends I avoid making social media assets for these videos. One, because I need the break, but two, hey, if you’re a fan; visit my site.
That’s the thing with “managing your own site.” Why would people visit it?
You see what some sites do to get eyeballs; top 10 ways to monetize your site, the best dresses at the recent awards show, 13 songs from the 80s that we love. Those get written because they work.
That’s now saying you have to make the same thing, but try to copy the spirit. People that like what you do – what else do they like? What else do you like?! Write about that. Or make videos about that. Or make a podcast about that. It’s hard for your main thing to be the draw unless you’ve already created the big thing and get traffic and eyeballs and fans from that.
“it’s weird how it’s assumed that everyone wants to start a business,” @mama_emeritus