This was something I made exactly a year ago today. I’d only just joined YouTube properly at the time.
My vlogging capabilities have improved exactly 6.3% since then. If that.
It was titled “On ‘Not Caring’ and Why You Should Do A 365 Project”, which I don’t necessarily agree with any more.
This is the song I ended up with that day.
I think I kind of agree with my past self about some of the stuff he was talking about, but he seems to also be talking a lot of nonsense as well. Keep your wits about you.
For example, here is an alternative angle to this whole “Why aren’t you writing right now?!” argument from Iain Broome (whose debut novel I finished the other day, by the way, and it was a bit good.) In essence, I don’t agree with the idea that people who call themselves writers or musicians or artists should feel guilty if they’re not writing or making music or creating art every day at all times.
Last year was one way of working on things – using sheer quantity in the hope of finding quality. This year has been pretty different, but I’ve still ended up with some stuff I’m pleased with. I’m not necessarily favouring either, and, in fact, I’d strongly recommend having a go at both to see how they work for you.
The guy I disagree with on some points above talks about how “it doesn’t matter if you make something bad,” and that’s something I still agree with. Regardless of the process of how the bad thing arrived, bad things are bound to arrive now and again (or at least they do for me), so I worked out pretty quickly that I have to accept that if I’m going to make stuff.
It’s good to be in a position where I can see something I did a year ago and I can see where my views are the same and how they’ve also changed. I’m still glad I did the project.
That’s because the important thing the entire time was that I was doing it for me. I was trying to get better at songwriting. I was prone to using words such as “tedious” and “torturous” when I described the project, but it was always self-inflicted, and, importantly, always something I wanted to be doing. And it’s also probably the thing I am most proud of ever having accomplished, so it would be a complete discredit to the thing to say it wasn’t worth it.
At the time I filmed the uncomfortable video you might have watched above there were about 4 people watching what I was up to with this thing, and not long before that there was no one at all, it was a silent blog that no one was interacting with, and I was always perfectly fine to carry on with it.
I don’t think I would’ve seen it through if it wasn’t largely a private project for about 6 months. If I had ever started to feel like I was doing it for other people at any time, it would have been way easier to quit. Knowing I was doing it for me, and that this was something I had set out to do was the thing that kept me going. It’s the same reason I kept the fact that I was writing a novel a secret for so long as well. I didn’t tell anyone, in fact, until it was done.
To counteract what I just said, though, I’ve just started a new project and I’m apparently happy to tell people about it. To quote the Twitter bio of one of the members (who is fantastic, by the way) of the project (because quoting Twitter bios is something we can do now. Welcome to the future.): “Hypocrite at your service.”
But here’s the reason I think I’m willing to talk about it – this is exactly the sort of project I can commit to and enjoy without piling too much pressure on. It’s a side-project that I’m glad to be a part of, but it also allows me to be getting on with other stuff of my own at the same time. I’m really looking forward to working with all of the talented people involved, and seeing where we end up with it. You can see what we’ve done so far here.
Just so that this doesn’t feel so me-centric, which it certainly seems to be at the moment – if you were inclined to comment, it’d be good to know what you think of this. Do you like to keep these kind of things private to keep yourself motivated? Or does having people as a sounding board help you out? Do you see a worth in trying to make a whole bunch of stuff in a short period of time? Or do you prefer to take your time, think things through, and produce something when you know you’re ready?
If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking around – it’s been a while since I’ve done this blogging thing. I’m not going to set a deadline or make a promise of when I’ll return or force myself to make something, though. I’m working differently from last year at the moment.