Writing down what's in your head helps clarify your thoughts, make better decisions and feel happier.
Music production often requires a lot thinking and often an 'in the box' workflow mean lots of staring at a screen. Putting pencil to paper will transfer thoughts out of your head and on to paper, freeing up space and energy for more creative thinking.
Here are some practical ideas about how to keep a music production journal...
The thing that will bring you the most benefit is to write regularly so that it becomes habit. The simple act of writing about your music every day will create new discipline and unlock a new creative channel. This matters far more than what you actually write.
Write early in the morning when you wake up so that it sets you up for the day. Positive action is magnetic and it will attract more positive action, so do this before you're interrupted by something else and it will kickstart your motivation and set you on an upward trajectory.
Keeping things simple and enjoyable is key, if there is too much friction and you don't enjoy it, chances are you'll stop doing it. Don't overcomplicate things, try just noting down one area you want to make progress in that day.
You might want to practice 30 minutes playing the keys, or finish a track within 1 hour, or make sure you carve out time to just play and be creative. Whatever it is, noting it down first thing helps ensure it will stick in your mind and make you feel motivated to do it.
Sketching out ideas or jotting down quick notes throughout the day can help bridge the gap between what's in your head and what needs to happen for it to become music.
It helps to keep your journal close by with a pencil ready so it's there when you need it!
Looking back at your day and reflecting on what happened can help you understand what you enjoyed, where you made progress and where you want to focus tomorrow.
There are no rules, so it's important not to beat yourself up. Remember, the simple act of making music and writing in your journal IS progress. If you decided to stray from your 'one thing' that day or you chose not to make music at all, that's fine!
Use this time of reflection as a means to learn and grow.
Thinking long term can help you stay focused and ensure you're heading in the direction you want to be. But you don't need to do this all the time as doing so can distract you from the process of actually making music.
Once a month or so, jot down some ideas about what you want to do for the coming month. Perhaps you want to practice more regularly, or improve your sound design skills, or spend less time in front of a screen.
Whatever it is, writing down a few simple intentions can help you steer the ship and stop you drinking all the rum! ⛵️
The more you begin to understand what kind of workflow makes you happy and productive, the more you'll know how to set yourself up for success. This is an ongoing process of discovery for most people and it pays to stay curious and aim to improve little by little every day.
As you begin journaling, you'll learn how to adapt it to you personally so that you are going in the direction you want to be, you are becoming more disciplined and motivated and you are enjoying the process more.
If you decide to give it a go, I'd love to hear more about what works for you, so drop me an email [email protected]m and let me know how you get on 🙌