Posted by: kgnarlym | December 2, 2012

Digest Before Doing…

As is typical in my experience, I stumbled upon a good thing and then went overboard.

After watching an online lecture from lyric-writing guru Pat Pattison I was inspired to see what other knowledge and wisdom I could siphon from great minds via Youtube. Sure enough, there is no shortage of videos promising to deliver the best ten songwriting tips ever, or suggesting that this video is all you need… True if your ambitions are to, if you’re lucky and/or driven enough, sing a song to your dog tonight.

Of course, there is also a lot of good content out there too. The Pattison video was a true revelation for me, as he laid out some basic principles and tools that I had overlooked all these years. Other videos I watched poked and prodded at my complacency further, until I felt completely overwhelmed.

A matter of days ago I was feeling really good about my songs and the progress I have been making. I took stock of nearly ALL the material I have that can be identified by at least a working-title and came up with more than 30 assets. Granted, the vast majority of these are cramped under the “in progress” banner, but about eight were placed in the “satisfactorily complete” category.

With more than an EP’s worth of songs written, I took a deep breath of ambition and inspiration and figured with a little diligence and application, I could will my way into completing several more within a few months and have a neat little album ready to record.

But of course, then I got into the internet and since I struggle with knowing when to say “when”, I watched all of these webinars and am now in an artistic holding pattern of existential crises… Surely a song could come out of that though, right?!

In the video that started this whole mess, one of the interviewees proclaims that good songs stem from moments of great clarity or moments of great confusion. Maybe there is Hope afterall!

I haven’t made any noteworthy progress since my initial inspiration, and I only lasted two days with my efforts at establishing a daily writing Practice, but I suspect that given a few days of not overloading my brain with information the wheels will resume turning. All of these Experts and Professionals and IndustryTypes, with their brilliant, practical, and helpful insight, have jammed my systems.

Some of the information has been unsettling, but a lot of it has also been validating.

In particular, the concern about the length of my shorter material has been stayed by one of these Industry voices who proclaims that “only a dumbass takes more than three minutes to tell you something.” He makes a good point. Although I am still personally very fond of the longer and meandering songs in this world, this insight is comforting because the pressure to add to a simple song no longer exists if I am to keep it in the three-minute realm. What a relief.

In the past I have found that the content of my college classes often only made sense a year after the course was completed. One day something just hits home and it all comes full-circle. My hope is to allow the new inisghts I’ve been granted take their effect in due time. Some of it will be useful right away, and some may not come in handy for several years.

But as much as this onslaught of information has overwhelmed and humbled me, it certainly has not given me a feeling of resignation. If anything, it has sparked my competitive spirit and drive. If I thought I was any good before, and am now privy to the need-to-know information, I have no excuse to not be Great!

#DoWork #PracticeMakesPossible #GoodIsTheEnemyOfGreat #JustKeepSwimming #NevaStop #Purpose

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