Podcast #2 talks about what I am calling "Perfection Syndrome". (cue dramatic music here...) Listen to find out if PS is keeping you from getting IT done.
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Welcome to the studio drummer chats. My name is Jonathan Kazan Ava, and this is a creativity podcast that will focus mostly on music production, song writing, composition and a lot about drumming. But I will be covering some other things in the creative world some things that might apply if you're an artist or a writer or an actor or a comedian, because those were all artistic endeavors. And this podcast is all about artistic endeavor. Today I'm going to be talking about something I have dramatically called perfection syndrome. Perfection syndrome is when you continually re do try to fix rejig, tweak something to the point that it never actually gets finished. When we look at the two extremes, one extreme would be someone that releases something that is maybe a bit immature or not ready, and it's okay to release things when you're new. It's something. But maybe you haven't written the 10 songs it takes to get to the one good song. Or maybe you haven't written the 10 manuscript that it takes to get to the one good manuscript, and so you put something out there and then realize through either popularity or rejection, that you need to go back to the drawing board and rejig either that particular piece or start over from scratch. So releasing something way before it's due, that's one end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum would be to redo something and tweak something and to the point that you never actually release it, because it's just not good enough. And that's what I'm talking about today. And by the way I've done both of these. It's all part of the process. Ideally, we would be somewhere in the middle. We have to figure out where our comfort level is between releasing something before it's ready and not releasing something at all. But a good thing to look at is what have you actually put out? What have you actually released? If you're an artist, what have you actually shown? What have you actually submitted? What have you actually uploaded to YouTube? If you're a YouTube creator, that's maybe a good starting place, and then you can weigh that against how long you've been doing it. If you've only been doing it a short time, then that's totally normal. But if you've been doing something for maybe many years and you look back and you've never actually put anything out there because you think it's not good enough. You might have perfection syndrome if you're still reworking a piece of art or music or whatever your artistic endeavor is. If you're still working something that you've been working on for the past, maybe two or three years, you might have perfection syndrome. So one thing to realize is first is there's no such thing as perfection. Number one, Number two. There are always going to be things that you don't love about something that you do. You may occasionally once or twice in a lifetime, released something that is just you're just like every single thing about that is absolutely perfect, but it's really rare. So also remember that if you can have someone else an objective person, maybe take a look or listen to something that you're doing. That may be a way for you to get eyes on whatever it is you're working on and get a better sense of whether or not it's ready. I find is a songwriter that even when I could just bring somebody into the room and play something for them. I get a whole new perspective because I'm listening to it through their ears and I, so to speak. So that's another tool that you can use. Listen to it and see how you feel about how you are perceiving how they feel, if that makes any sense. So just having somebody else in the room to listen to your material, friends, family, whoever can be also ah, big help in knowing whether or not something is ready. One trick that I highly recommend to those of you that I'm talking to that no, that you suffer from perfection syndrome is to simply give yourself a deadline. Those of us that our audio engineers and writers and things of that sort, we know that we can continue to tweak something and improve something endlessly and to the to the point where we may just get tired of it and give up on it. And that's another problem with perfection syndrome. But by having a deadline, a self proclaimed deadline, that and sticking to it, that can put you in a position where you know you're going to put things out. This is why, in 2015 between 2015. In 2016 I made a commitment to myself that I was going to release a new single every month of the year. So 12 songs and the idea was that I was going to right from scratch record lyrics and music, seeing, play every instrument, mix, master release, distribute and promote one song per month. So I did it, and it was quite a challenge. But over the course of the year, I produced the material that I was really proud of and also a couple of the songs that I released that year. I wasn't as thrilled with looking back now because they were rushed. They probably could have taken a little bit longer to finish them are. Maybe the ideas need a little bit more fleshing out. It was a great learning experience, by the way, that project that you want to check it out. It's called Giant One, and it is on iTunes. Amazon Spotify its giant than the number one, and there are 12 songs out there and you'll see some of them are higher on the charts and others because probably there better songs. So the idea of giving yourself a deadline is a really good way to do it with whatever it is you're working on. Give yourself a realistic deadline, but one that's going to push you a little bit. You want to find that balance between knowing that it's breathing down your neck? Yes, and announce it publicly. Let people know people that may be interested. Let your friends let your family know on this state. I'm going to be releasing this thing, this piece of art. I'm finishing this script. I'm writing this five minute comedy bit. Whatever it is, let people know that you're doing it, and you'll be surprised how this will motivate you by sort of publicly proclaiming this. Another step that may seem obvious is to schedule a time toe work on that project. So depending on your schedule on how busy you are, you may want to find specific times of the day and the week that you know you're going to be able to dedicate however much time you can to working on that project. By doing this, when the alarm goes off, so to speak, you'll know it's time to get to work on that project. Lastly, from a creative standpoint, we have to figure out how to quiet the inner critic, and I'll do a whole podcast on creativity and maybe more than one in the future. But one idea is too. Shut down the inner critic so that your creativity can flow. If you have that inner voice that keeps telling you that what you're doing is not good and not good enough and doesn't sound good and all those sorts of things, we've got to learn to turn that inner critic off and let things flow. This is where the real creativity comes from within us. One way to do that is by simply practicing your craft and continuing to write and create, regardless of that voice. Eventually, as you gain confidence and actually finished things and produce things and release things, that voice will start to fade. Also remember that every time we create something, we get a little bit better. I don't know about you, but I want to be a master of whether it is I'm doing right now. But we have to realize that each time we create something new, we get a little bit better. Becoming a master of something is a process. Becoming good at something is a process, and each time you're creative, you get a little bit better. Keep telling yourself that. Keep telling the inner critic. I'm improving each time I do this because it's true. Being creative can be a lot of hard work, but the end result is always worth it. If you like this podcast, if you've been motivated by this podcast, if it's helped you in any way or even if you don't like it, you can reach out to me. A couple of places on the Web. I'm the studio drummer on YouTube. You can email me J. C at Jake as music dot com. I'm the studio drummer on Instagram, and you can check out my website and some of my music at Jake has music dot com. That's J. C. A. C M. U S i c dot com I'm Jonathan Cassie Nave. Wishing you great creativity. I hope you'll subscribe to this podcast. I'm going to be releasing them on a regular basis. Some of them are going to be very specific to drums and music production, and some will be broader as this one Waas. Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you soon