The Only Way Black Friday Helps Your Creative Output
Now that the Black Friday insanity and Cyber Monday madness are over, how will it help you make more music?
I’m sure you took advantage of some deals. There were simply too many to ignore.
If you grabbed the Mix Mastery Bundle (which is still available at a hefty discount) or the Audio Issues EQ, I wanted to thank you. My daughter loves to eat food and wear clothes, so know that when you buy from Audio Issues, you’re supporting a small business owner who mostly spends it on his family.
(And video games…I’m not a saint).
However, I’m more interested in what you will do next.
This Friday is the first day of the last month of the year. How will you use those Black Friday deals to make the most of the time you have left in your studio?
Black Friday Blues
I’ve bought a lot of stuff on Black Friday that I didn’t use.
Last year, I bought Superior Drummer because I thought I would make all these demos in the home studio. But what I really learned from buying Superior Drummer is that I prefer to work with real drummers. So this week, I booked studio time to track drums and bass with real musicians.
I’d rather collaborate with people smarter than me and do something I couldn’t do alone.
So, was Superior Drummer a dumb purchase?
Not really. I’ve already had a session where I needed to use it to mix a student’s drum track, so it’s already made a return on investment. It’s also helped me flesh out a few ideas, so it’s not like it’s just been sitting there. But the original intent and what I used it for didn’t match up exactly.
And that’s fine.
Dopamine Keeps You Dumb
You get a hit of dopamine whenever you hit a buy button because it’s tied to the goal you’re trying to achieve.
Our biology tricks us and makes us feel like we’ve accomplished the goal of creating when all we’ve done is buy something to work with.
So, in a way, buying that thing on Black Friday did get you closer to the goal.
But only if you keep working on it.
Will you be satisfied with the dopamine hit you get from buying your next plug-in/course/instrument/effects pedal/insert music-making thingamajig here?
Or will you force yourself to create something with it?
Make or Break Mischief
Think of your body as Loki, the god of mischief, playing tricks on you.
He looks for the easy way out and doesn’t want to do the work. To him, buying stuff to make you feel better is a no-brainer. He gets a bunch of stuff and doesn’t have to do the work.
Meanwhile, you’re out here living in the real world, where you have to actually show your work if you want to make an impact.
They don’t give out Grammys for “Best Equipped Home Studio,” and you don’t get respect for the “Most Hard Drives Full of Unfinished Songs.”
You only get judged on your output.
How Do You Measure Your Creative Output?
My creative output is writing. I measure my success with word count. If I’m not writing, I’m not creating.
(And you wouldn’t believe the drivel that’s dried up, unpublished in random folders on my hard drive).
But it’s the “published” writing that matters because that’s what you get judged on.
Nobody cares about the stuff you haven’t published. You can’t command respect if you don’t release your work.
The only reason you’re reading this is because I released my work. My students don’t get results because of all the unreleased articles, books, and ideas on my hard drive.
They get results from Step By Step Mixing and the six other books I’ve published.
So, to make an impact, you must do it publicly. Nobody cares about your unreleased work.
Choose to Make a Return
You can’t buy yourself creative output. You have to work for it.
The tools will help, don’t get me wrong. The education will speed up your learning curve. And new toys will increase your excitement for sure.
But if you don’t use the tools to create and apply what you learn, all you’ve done is spend money without anything to show for it.
Hope that helps,
If you’re struggling to make more music, here’s my free 7-step process to help you finish more music in less time.