There is something powerful and romantic (no, not the floofy definition of romantic) about the notion of facing a creative endeavor by yourself. All choices, decisions, outcomes, mistakes, successes, and failures are all yours. It may seem like a lot of pressure to put on oneself, but therein lies the challenge…to be solely accountable for EVERYTHING!!! But then there comes the part of knowing your strengths and weaknesses…
I’m one of those singers who doesn’t like the sound of his voice. From what I understand, this is fairly atypical because how can you call yourself a singer and not like your voice? Well…I happen to be quite good at it, for better or worse. It’s the ‘worse’ part that can get in my way sometimes. Now, because I know this, I can address it head on. I can set my ego aside and ask for help, knowing it will only help my art turn out for the better.
So I humbly ask my spousal unit, Kelsey (who, if you don’t know, is a fantabulous singer) to be my vocal producer and part-time audio engineer. She graciously accepts, and today is the day I start singing the first of the four songs that I’ve recorded for this EP. After some preliminary levels are set, she casts me into the loneliest room in the studio…the vocal booth. I’m ready for a long day. I’m warmed up…and Kels pushes the record button.
Three hours and change later, the lead vocal along with all the backing vocals are recorded! This three hour vocal recording session is a personal best for me as it usually takes me quite a bit longer to get everything to ‘tape’…hehe. And I know telling my ego to take a lap and asking Kels to help was the right decision. I truly couldn’t have done it without her.
Let’s talk about deadlines…the self-imposed kind. I set a deadline (aka goal) to release an EP of original music this spring. Well…it is spring. And I’m not ready to release it yet. I’ve been grinding away in the studio, mixing songs as I go, and I’m in a good place. That is until I think of everything else that has to be done in order to meet my deadline.
Sure, I could go easy on myself but I think holding myself accountable is a better play. For me, whenever I have something I want to accomplish, I’m the first person to yell at me and tell me to get back to work. Self-discipline is an invaluable commodity that we all have at our disposal. We just have to be strong enough to face ourselves when lack of motivation sets in. And it does set in. “I’m tired, I don’t wanna work on music today!” Ok, that’s fine…take a break, take a nap, do whatever. But understand that you’d better work extra hard when you’re done. Being accountable to yourself builds strength and resolve…good character qualities.
Tomorrow will be a busy day in the studio. After all, today is May 12th…the first day of summer is June 21st. That means I have just a little over a month to get this thing done…no pressure, right? Yeah…right! 😳
Today was a full day of checking boxes off the ‘honeydo’ list (to be fair, my honeydo list is self created). That’s life. There are things that you have to do, despite the fact that you REALLY don’t want to do them. Despite the fact that you have other things that you would WAY rather do. That was today…and I was completely wiped out. Tired, sweaty, grumpy, and ready to chuck the lawn mower. I actually didn’t chuck the lawn mower…instead I put it away after using it like good little grown up.
We are in the middle of spring here in the US and my self-imposed deadline of releasing this EP by the end of spring is quickly approaching. So I give up…I throw in the towel. I’m too worn out.
Actually…no I don’t.
I take a shower, put on my big boy panties and get to work. In the studio today, I took care of some the less glamorous things that HAVE to be done when you’re recording music. Compressors and EQ’s were my best friends this afternoon. I swept EQ frequencies and pulled those ugly areas that make your ears scream OUCH! I then added in my favorite compressor plugins and leveled out the acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and piano…things are coming together and it’s sounding great.
So for all the Creatives out there, next time you’re too tired, sweaty, grumpy, and ready to chuck the lawn mower…DON’T!!! Show your dedication to your craft by gathering as much will power as you can possibly find…stop picking your nose…and get to work!!!