One principle I’ve recently started applying to my creative work is the idea of writing two crappy pages per day.
“My quota is two crappy pages per day. I keep it really low so I’m not so intimidated that I never get started.”
The idea comes from Tim Ferriss who said in an interview:
“That’s what I’ve done for my last three books is two crappy pages per day. That’s all I need.”
The premise is that rather than aiming to write a full chapter or a large chunk of your project in one sitting, you commit yourself to only writing two crappy pages a day. But of course, once you sit down and start creating, those two pages become 5, 10 and then 20. I believe this is rooted in the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement, Kaizen.
Steven Pressfield speaks about this in his book ‘The War of Art,’ the battle for creative people isn’t in work itself, it’s in the resistance in getting started.
By facing this resistance head-on, forcing yourself to sit down every day and create something no matter how good or how bad, we can create art with real freedom.
As my art is music, I will share how I have interpreted and applied this to my craft.
Within music production, there are many different elements one must master to achieve mastery in the craft. They can be broken down into:
- Sound Design
My area of weakness is in sound design, so that’s where I chose to focus my attention on.
I picked one VST synthesizer, having this limitation in place is essential so that you don’t whittle away time trying to choose your tool. In my case, this was UVI Falcon which is more of a hybrid workstation than a synthesizer allowing me to play with different types of synthesis. For one hour at the end of my day, I will produce a patch with no prerequisite of how it should sound and no judgment over the finished product.
Imagine finishing each day with a musical idea, or a synthesizer patch that is unique and original to you. After one year, you will have amassed 365 ideas that you can draw from to either start new projects, or use to finish that ever-growing folder of unfinished songs.