How to Decide What to Work on as a Musician
How do you decide what to work on?
It’s been my experience that artists generally fly by the seat of their pants.
Sure, we prioritize to lesser or greater extents, but most of the time, we just do what we’re excited about. To-do lists be damned. Let inspiration lead the way.
And this is a good thing. You should spend time doing what gets you fired up. Otherwise, everything has a way of becoming a means to an end. And what kind of life is that?
But we also need to look closely at the things we’re dreading. Oftentimes, the reason we’re avoiding certain tasks – like making calls, booking shows, or networking – is because they’re just a little outside of our comfort zone. It’s not that any of these tasks will ultimately take a Herculean effort. You can make a phone call in what, five minutes? But these tasks can be confronting.
What I’ve discovered on my own path is that the results generally aren’t forthcoming when I stay in my comfort zone. It’s in the activity that’s just a little outside what I would consider comfortable that good things happen. And miracles can literally happen in a moment if I just do what I know to do but haven’t done yet.
So, make an honest assessment of what you’re working on, and whether it’s going to get you the results you’re looking for. At times, we all need to engage in activity we don’t really want to do to get to the next level. If progress is important to you, don’t step over this. You don’t need to spend all your time in your discomfort zone. But if you’re stuck in your career, consider that you haven’t been in that zone for a while.
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