"The computer is really good for editing your ideas, but it's not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key. We start editing ideas before we even have them...
... It wasn't until I started bringing analog tools back into my process that making things became fun again and my work started to improve." - Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist, advocates using two desks for your creative work; one "analog" and one "digital." Nothing electronic is allowed on the analog desk, only tools and materials that can be physically manipulated; pens, paper, tape, guitar, piano, etc. The digital desk houses your computer.
The idea is to switch between the two stations. Use your hands and "play" at the analog desk. When you arrive at an idea that needs further development, move to the digital desk. Once your digital efforts begin to siphon your will to live, switch back to the analog station and play.
Can you see yourself working this way?
The power of our digital tools enable us to do just about everything with greater efficiency and independence. Today, you know that musicians are able to produce and distribute professional sounding music with nothing more than a laptop and a microphone. Unfortunately, this can also drain much of the fun from the creative process.
Ten years ago, when the technology wasn't as developed, I knew that almost no one would hear my music and if they did, expectations for home recordings were low. For that reason, recording was "playing." I would just screw around; add a ton of harmony vocals, mess with trippy backwards effects, run keyboards through guitar pedals, and most notably; not care if a vocal performance was perfect.
The takeaway from this "analog" and "digital" desk idea is to get back to playing and not worry so much about being perfect.
How about you?
Are you playing enough?
Would you benefit from having an analog desk?
Let me know by replying in the comments below.
Have a great week!