Hello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!
You ever feel so overwhelmed with all the shit you should or need to be doing that you just go back to bed in the middle of the day and hide under the covers waiting to fall into unconsciousness? Haha. Yeah,… me neither.
There is absolutely nothing productive about going back to bed in the middle of the day, it’s just the brain saying This shit sucks, and we are shuttin’er down!
OK, so perhaps this did happen to me the other day. And perhaps afterwards I went to the gym, which seemed to be a much healthier (if less enjoyable) distraction than picking up a 12-pack of Simple Malt Cascadia India Pale Ale. On the way to the gym I was going through all the things I should’ve gotten done already: Video up on YouTube? No. Started rehearsing the electro music in February? No. Started it in March? Nope. Podcast almost ready to go? No. Website changes in the works? No. Got a name and logo for your record label yet? No.
And so the mind continues spinning as I quietly walk down the street, on my way to do absolutely none of the above but instead go to the gym. No doubt passers by were a little surprised when a seemingly peaceful Danderfer shouts FUCK! from out of nowhere and then continues walking down the street in silence. Oh well.
What can I say? You get on the right track some days, and some days you fall off the tracks into an oblivion of racing thoughts, guilt, and self-deprecation, caused by, in this case a list bullshit tasks. We all have a long bullshit list. All of us. Regardless of whether you’re in school, have a day job, or even if you’re a full-time professional artiste. Even full-timers have lots of shit that we don’t like doing: ie grant proposals, promotion, anything business-related, getting gigs, emails, etc.
For example, my last 2 days… (skip the following 2 paragraphs to avoid rant)
Right now I’ve got to compose a solo piece for jazz composition class. That’s right,… a solo piece! Who the hell plays through-composed solo pieces in jazz?! OK, this isn’t really bullshit at all because the teacher feels that we will learn something from this excercise and I do have faith that he’s right, but still… come on!
I’m also writing a “Special Project Justification” in order to get school credit for a project of my own (electroacoustic music) next semester. Of course, it’s never easy, I can’t just talk to the head of the jazz program about it. I’ve got to write something akin to a grant proposal which will justify the merit of my project to a graduate committee (half of whom know nothing about jazz), then I have to schedule meetings with several potential supervisors,… blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile the list of things I should be doing for my career remains on the back burners. Not good folks, not good. I can handle a little of this “work I don’t want to do” if I’m on a schedule and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but without that direction it’s just frustrating.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make here is I see the to-do list and a daily/weekly/monthly schedule as our weapons against bullshit.
There’s no avoiding bullshit completely, not if you want any measure of independence in this world.
Yes, of course, all I want to do is spend 4-5 hours a day practicing (voice, clarinet, piano) and 4-5 hours a day composing. That’s all I want to do! Just let me do that, and good things will come of it. But it never works out that way, does it? No, of course not. So as much as I like the idea of locking myself in a garden shed and practicing the days away until I finally emerge like a butterfly from the cocoon to be the baddest clarinetist/singer/songwriter on Earth,… I just don’t see that happening. Patience is key, there’s no doubt.
But not all patience! Too much patience ends up being nothing but a polite, passive submission to all of life’s bullshit. That kind of Zen/90’s Guy mentality of what will be will be is not cool. Yes, I have to do some bullshit but I say what will be Goddamnit!
I’d prefer to think of it as a measured and balanced fight against bullshit. You duck the punches, you take some hits, but it’s your ring, you control the direction and the pace of this fight. We’ve got to be aggressive with our time. As in, every day I must do something I don’t like and BUT the majority of my time (if not that day then at least throughout the week) will be doing what I should be doing for me. And slowly, month by month, get better and better, and then, you know… the whole butterfly out of the cocoon thing. So here’s to fighting back the bullshit everybody! Don’t just drop your arms and play possum, thinking you’ll take it Jake Lamotta style in the 15th round with a KO. The 15th is too late!
…Hmmm, I know that whenever I start writing “we’ve got to”,etc., etc… I start to sound like a crazy person. So here endeth the SMNP.
Hell yeah! That’s all I got this time, thanks for reading and go get’em!