My buddy Benny and I wanted to play and write more music this year together. So, in true Nick style, another project was born based on simple short goals and the practice of announced deadlines. I seem to thrive on these lately.
These are the rules. Write, practice, perform, and record one song per month for the entire year of 2011. One continuous take, shot on video. The song is posted on a site at the end of every month.
Why Do These Projects Work So Well?
These simple yet strict deadline based projects always work for me. I posted a photo per day for 3 years straight based on this type of project. I think that it’s the strict rules and removal of unnecessarily complications and annoyances that keep my mind focused on what really matters. Here are some examples from this latest project.
1. There is no recording studio or software where I can get lost in a sea of unlimited overdubs, presets and reverb types. Just one continuous take performed live on camera.
2. There are only two of us. No need to worry about writing a bunch of different parts. Besides, if the song isn’t any good on a couple of instruments, then the song just isn’t that good to begin with.
3. No pressure to be great or write the next hit. Just write and perform the best song we can every month and move on.
4. Time is limited. The song has to be ready to perform in 30 days. We don’t have time for little arguments, details, and flourishes. There is only time for what is most important, the song.
Fun and Iteration
Making it exciting and iterating quickly are the real secrets to these types of projects. Set short strict deadlines, remove anything that gives you anxiety to get started, and add elements to make it more fun. The only hard part left to do is post over and over again. Anyone can write one blog post, take one photo, or create one drawing. The hard part is doing it once a week for four years, and that is exactly how you get better at what you are doing. Trust me, it will get easier. Once it is part of a habit, your natural state will be posting on time, not stalling and procrastinating.