Take Something Off the Shelf and Dust It Off
Jan 10, 2021
Week 1 is complete! I started the week off by working on a Beatles-inspired song, but mid-week I changed plans and decided to finish a song with a longtime collaborator of mine. We originally wrote this song in October 2017. Over three years ago! We wrote it for a one-off show here in Nashville, and intended to do more but never got around to it. But this week, we wrapped it up! It has layers and layers of synthesizers, a TR-707 drumbeat, and some guitar with a DOD Rubberneck delay. I’m really proud of how it turned out. Due to COVID, we sent each other zipped Ableton files back and forth. I’ve never collaborated in this way before and while it felt a little weird, it worked out just fine. I can’t share it just yet but as soon as it’s released I’ll post it here.
I currently have around 20 unfinished songs. (Yes, these song snippets are fair game for this challenge!) Next week, I’m planning to pick one of them up off the shelf, dust it off and finish it. One of the best ways to build a habit is to remove obstacles so it becomes easy to do what you want to do. You want getting started to feel effortless. Working on a song that’s half finished is removing an obstacle: starting from scratch. It’s daunting to stare at an empty session. So, take something off the shelf and dust it off. Whether it’s a piece of art, a piece of music, or some writing - see what you can make of it, what you can add, and if you can make something new.
Tracking My Time
I’m trying something out with this where I keep track of what I’m working on and how much time I spend. When I start working on a session I “clock in” with what instrument I’m working on and then “clock out” when I’m finished. Since it’s early days, I just have a simple report of how much time I spent this week, so it’s not much, but it is interesting! I did not feel like I spent over 3 hours working on a few basslines, but the data doesn’t lie. It looks like I spent about 1 hour a day on songwriting. Not too much of a time commitment so far.
If you’d like to keep up with this project, subscribe for email updates. I send the updates occasionally, but not enough to overwhelm your inbox! If you’d like a list of all the songs I’ve written so far, here’s a link!