January halftime.


It’s Saturday morning and I’m annoyed. At least I was yesterday evening. Now, it’s morning. I awoke early. -10 degrees C, clear sky and the sun has not yet risen over the hill. Everything is possible. I’m optimistic.

Still, I was annoyed going to bed. I’m dragging behind my plan. Making less music than I intend to. I don’t intend to whine, but since I enter this state so often. I need to think about what’s going wrong. What’s the culprit?

The easy way out would be to lower my expectations and goals. Then I wouldn’t be dragging behind any more. I have every reason. A day job. A family. Old parents. Responsibilities. A house.

But there’s the saying, it might be from Silicon Valley? – work gets made in the time available. Work tends to swell and spread out over the time it can use. So if you allow yourself a month to write a song, there are good chances it will take a month. I know I can write a song in one hour. I just can’t promise if it will come out great, but more often than not the most important idea musically is formed during the first few minutes.

So although Christmas holidays gave me more time – and I did use it well – I believe I can get things done now that life is back to work-ing from home. I just need to get started often. Showing up as it’s called.

I have a few different habit-boxes to tick every day. Postponing the ticking til just before bedtime is not a good idea. But it’s very much how I operate. A better strategy would be to get as much as possible done already in the morning. And still have each day open for yet more opportunities.

It’s cold.

(Sorry, if I sound like a self-help book, it’s probably because I have read too many. And failed to change.)

So, what’s the work I can’t get done?

  • I have three last assignments to hand in for my university course. Two songs + a short paper.
  • Jamuary – Microbrute has a lot of potential – for pissing you off, making your self-esteem drop. I feel like I don’t get anything for free here. Trying to come up with a jam just before bedtime is bound to fail. It just sound rude, obnoxious, buzzy, sharp. It’s not a very good fit for who I am musically. I’m more a Dmaj7 on an archtop with tremolo – the guitar in a Motown ballad.
  • Lyric writing – I try to do some Jeff Tweedy writing exercises, preferably in the morning. But they’re to easy to skip, or I invest too little effort?

So, what’s the problem you baby? Go to work. Don’t use the time to whine on a blog.

Right. Right. Doing the work is the solution for 1 and 3. For Jamuary – I need to make myself a list of small assignments to direct my energy. I need a small problem to solve creatively, or a specific technical feature/possibility to explore. Not just fart some sad buzzy synth notes into the void. Everything just sounds the same.

Taking my ideas from dream/goals to plans and chores seem to remain the challenge of my life.

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