Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ariel Hyatt's Music Success in Nine Weeks – Chapter One

As we plan our new EP's release and think about what we want for the band in 2010, we also will be going through Ariel Hyatt's book, “Music Success in Nine Weeks”. She has worked with a lot of indie bands, and hopefully the insights she shares in her book will help us to 'work smarter'.

The first chapter is about setting goals, and important guidelines to follow in this process, such as writing them down, specifying when they will be accomplished, and making them achievable. That last point – making them achievable – will be good for me to keep in mind. I can have a tendency to feel like I am never accomplishing enough, and that can cause me to feel overwhelmed, which can lead to feeling burnt out and wanting to take a loooong break.....

Some of you may have seen earlier posts where I refer to myself as “Easily Overwhelmed Girl (EOG)”. So - I am going to really focus on NOT overwhelming myself....

After writing a list of goals, she suggests going back and putting a deadline on each one. A lot of my goals are ongoing processes with many, many small deadlines, so this forced me to identify what the next step was for each goal (something I got from the very helpful “Getting Things Done” book by David Allen). Then, I created a deadline for that next step - and also got the benefit of knowing that the smaller step is achievable. Once the step is completed, I can make a new deadline for the step after that. Very helpful in combating my typical feeling of overwhelmedness as well!

She also addresses the importance of recognizing one's successes, and notes the tendency of musicians to be super-hyper-self-critical – yes, I can have this tendency, no surprise there... She suggests writing down 5 successes a day – at least one or two of them about music. This is already increasing my motivation to work on the steps that will lead to completing my goals - so I can write them on my success list, and feel good that I am moving forward.

Some of the goals were hard for me to break into next steps. Eventually I realized that this was because those goals address areas where I need to ask others for help (difficult for me to realize, since I tend to think I need to do everything myself). So the first steps in these cases will be identifying others who may be able to help me work towards those goals.

Whew! I am sensing a bit of overwhelmedness threatening to creep in – hmmm... I think it might be a good idea to work on a list of 'next steps' to take when I start to feel overwhelmed - as soon as I write down the successes from today - like finishing this blog post!

One last thing - Happy Solstice Everyone!

Until next time,
Demimonde Slumber Party

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