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Where do you start and when do you stop? Perfectionism

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Scrap a to-do list!

As a recording artist, musician, singer-songwriter trying to promote my brand, I have to admit, the time flies like crazy! You think something will take you 30 min and after 2 hours you're still doing it! Thankfully, I've had a lot of time off recently but I feel like I haven't done enough - no, let's be positive - I've done a lot. I spent the end of July and all August almost fully right in my room where I would try to catch up musically with what I didn't have time for when working. My list was long. I usually write to-do lists to help me see what I need to do but this time I did not write one as there were so many things in my head that if I had seen it on paper, I would have been overwhelmed. I wanted to do some dancing, brush up on my piano skills, play an electric guitar, go out and see people and other things. Do you know what, I've been dancing 3 times and I only started to play the piano 2 days ago and it is already September as I am writing it...I spent most of August on my laptop or phone which involved a lot of Instagramming, watching valuable and informative tutorials (I watched loads!) on brand creation, developing my website, youtube - I spent once 12 hours trying to add something on my website...! Following one tutorial took me 4 hours, then a bit of a break, found a better one and followed that one, but things are not as straightforward as they may seem - if you have something to do with computers and building websites you know what I'm talking about. My point is there is always something that does not work and you have to find the solution to fix it etc. That takes ages!

Vocals and laptops

I've also started to record vocals at home to save time and money - very handy to just sing with no stress of someone sitting next to you and listening to your efforts for 2 hours (unless your flatmates are at home:). Is it money saving - yes, but time saving? - not sure. It usually takes me 4 hours or more to pick the takes and put them together. After I will still find something that I don't like and have to change things or re-record. I mean, still I do save time by doing it all from the comfort of my room instead of going to the studio. But I'm telling you, it is not easy to be a perfectionist and having to go over every word a hundred times, haha. Why do I have to be one. I'm working on it though...

On top of that, my oldish laptop kept having errors so I was advised to do BIOS reset and complete restore. I was not sure of that one - backing up all the files etc. but I did it eventually as I thought that would clear the disc and make it quicker. It took me 3 days to get it working... After the restore I kept having an error after error and a few time was left in Catch 22, not going to describe in detail what it was so as not to bore you but, the errors were pretty pathetic, so to say...My laptop had 162 updated to do - I understand as the complete restore brought it back to 2013! But OMG, that took ages to do (and it is still updating:). A lot of stress, mouse not working properly, missing files, downloading all the software back in and having to deal with fixing errors. It was tough but it is working somehow at the moment and I think I saved myself at least £100 by doing it all by myself - I did call for help and the prices scared me away so decided to keep fixing it myself :)

Music and guilt

As far as the music is concerned, I think I wrote 2 songs in a month...2 songs. That is just ridiculous. And I still haven't figured out which song I should work on (not out of those 2) for my next release. I keep going back to the melodies I made and am not happy with anything. That means, I keep changing the keys, the melody, chords - 3 hours later I still don't have a song. It drives me insane! I find it very hard to write a melody and move on to the next song as I usually feel that the melody is not adequate to the lyrics - that the melody is not good enough for the lyrics. The amount of time I spent, trying to find the - what again? - perfect melody, is unbelievable.

Staying by myself and making music and everything to do with it, which is what I love, had made me kind of upset. I think I might have tried to do too much - I really stayed up until 3am almost every day...But when I start to think that it would be nice to go out, I always have guilt creeping up saying that I should be working, that there's no time, that I have no time, that I am behind, that everything is not good enough or it's not working, etc. When do you stop all this? Maybe it is good I am back to work tomorrow. Although I will have less time to make music, I might be more sane? Or will I? Last time I checked, after work I stayed up late as well, plus had to get up early to... go to work... Can someone say how you stay sane when you try to build your brand on social media which takes so much effort, trying to engage with people, creating content and feeling you're not doing enough?

When do you stop?

Recently, I have read something along the lines of 'Perfectionism is a way of procrastination'. That is so true!

I will soon be using a video editing software. I don't even want to think how much time it will take me to create a video! But again, I want to do it by myself for money saving purposes (why is making music so expensive??) and of course, because I want to do it my way, haha. Perfectionism!!!

A good side though - after all the efforts, when you see the final product, you feel that it was worth spending some time on it. Last time, I literally cried quite a lot listening to the final mix of my song - I loved it!

I am so grateful that I got to spend some time with my family in Poland and see and feel some sun. I even got a small tan! I love nature but feel like I have no time to enjoy it. Goal - make time to enjoy and not feel guilty! :)

PS I am working on my perfectionism as I mentioned. Recently, I've seen a nice video saying you should 'embrace the suck'. Good tip which I try to follow but you don't know how nervous I get before my live performances, especially with the guitar! I literally want to hide!

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