It moves… slowly. When it is going well it feels like things are happening quickly, it is exciting, there is motion and phone calls and emails flying around. That is fun. When it is going slowly, well it feel indefinitely slow. Not like slow motion, but more like 2001 Space Odyssey. Things are happening, but, what is in the right direction? What is good? What is bad? What do you have control over? Each is ambiguous.
Added to this is The List or “The Sheet Method,” as I’ve had students call it. The List is a sheet of paper tucked in my pocket each day. On it are written all of the small tasks that I need to get done. Not necessarily done today, but done at some point in the near future, day, week or month. It is actually titled “Things I get to do!” list, which puts quite a different spin on the dozens of tasks, distractions, emails, phone calls, grading of paper, writing of assignments, mixing of tracks, writing out lead sheets for Theft to the Gallows stuff, holiday gift ideas, (yes these are all on the current sheet) that slowly fill up The List each week.
The list serves two primary purposes. First it allows me to write down distractions, so that they do not pull attention away from the tasks at hand. This means that phone calls that can be made while grabbing lunch, or sitting in traffic aren’t made while I should be mixing or hanging out with family. Things like that.
Secondly it means that things that need to get done, get done. When it’s written down the task is not floating around in my head, to be forgotten or shoved around when another more inflated, muscular, testosterone player comes over to the bench. It’s still there, maybe at the end of the bench, but not forgotten.
If things don’t need to be on the list, they don’t make it onto next weeks list – “clean apartment for Thanksgiving,” is not on the list for the 2nd week of December, even if it didn’t get completed.
The awesome side of this is that at the end of the day, the long term direction is being shaped and honed, little by little, every day. REB Records, the Theft to the Gallows
project, The Cleft Way, trumpet, drums, guitar each get love. It is not just talk it is action, even if the action is difficult to see from such a close perspective.
Criss Angel was on in the background the other day, and made an aside that really drilled home the idea. He said “It took me 18 years to become an overnight success.” Of course dozens of people have said very similar statements, but it still puts perspective on REB Records as only being one year old. It’s a baby and the development may be a little hard to quantify, definitely hard to financially analyze, but it is happening.
In the mean time it’s fun and fulfilling, and that is a pretty awesome.