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  • Writer's picturehana-piranha

The Perfect Blog

It’s scary to put anything out into the world. It’s easy to get into the mindset where nothing ever feels quite ready, and when it finally does, it feels like the moment has passed.

I was chatting to a singer the other day who said that she just goes ahead and shares snippets of her practice. She knows it’s a work-in-progress. But she just shares it anyway, because it’s content, and as artists, content is our daily job. It inspired me to share a little more of my own practice too.

Sometimes I think maybe I’d be better off with a day job. Week after week thrust into musical work that is outside my comfort zone can often feel superficial and unsatisfying, and at worst, distracting and draining. Sometimes I wonder why I do it when I could probably settle into a 9-5 and then focus my full creative efforts on just one project. However I think one of the things about being a full-time musician is that it keeps you sharp in a way that really feels like efficient progress. I feel like a lot of my day-to-day work is done by the skin of my teeth and that kind of pressure is a really fast way to grow! In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear tells this anecdote: Jerry Uelsmann, a professor at the University of Florida, divided his students up into two groups - the first was graded on the number of photos they took and the second, on the quality of a single “perfect” photo. Which group do you think took the better photo? It seems obvious once you think about it, but skill only grows with practice. I’ve heard people say that a gig is worth ten practices, and I would agree.

Recently I listened to a podcast that really resonated with me. It cited perfectionism as the enemy of achievement. It’s easy to worry about sharing stuff because it’s not good enough. However, the deep irony of this is that “good enough” is subjective and therefore the bar changes as you grow. What I think is perfect now will seem mediocre to me when I look back on it in six months. The idea of perfection is a myth and I have seen many people fall into this trap over the years. I’ve seen people afraid to release perfectly good albums because the time isn’t right or the conditions around the release won’t give it the attention it needs. It’s easy to hold off for so long that your hard work simply drifts into obscurity as life passes it by.

So, here it is, “the perfect blog”. It’s scary to post this as it’s been so many years since my last blog post. But I know that by the time I’ve done ten of these, it’ll be feeling pretty good.

I dare you to do something today that you’ve been putting off until the perfect moment.

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