Chris Boardman Music Blog: December 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Learn To Be Objective About Your Work

If you are actively engaged in creative endeavors most likely you will have a trusted circle of friends that you bounce ideas off of. This can be rewarding but tricky. While we all look to others for support, never underestimate how your relationship will impact the feedback. Learning to be objective about your work will allow you to measure your progress by yourself and not be completely reliant on the judgement of others.


1. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR GOAL


If you don't know where you are going....you will have no idea if you have achieved your objective or not. Define your goal in simple terms. When my friend George Gallo directs a film he creates a catchphrase to help him stay on track. Write it down. Keep it handy so you will be able to refer to it through your creative process.

2. KNOW YOUR PROCESS


Everyone approaches being creative differently. The trick is to learn about your process so that you can easily recreate it...on demand. If you look at professional athletes who are called upon to perform in high pressure situations (free throwsputting in golf, batters, pitchers etc.) you will notice that they all have a pre-shot routine. Develop your own pre-shot routine. And ...STICK TO IT.

3. FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION


Bill Clinton has said that what made Steve Jobs unique was his ability to concentrate. Being creative demands your full and undivided attention. Use your pre-shot routine to set the stage to give your work your all.

4. GET TO THE END


Ideas and indecision are the enemies of completion. Commit to an idea and FINISH. If you keep it all in your head your brilliant idea is nothing more than a marble ping-ponging in your head and...is completely worthless. You are an audience of one. The only way you can be objective about your work is to get it out of your body. Art (and creative ideas) are a snapshot of a moment in time. It will never be the same. And, you will perceive it differently every time you look at it.

5. THE ROLE OF PARTICIPANT AND OBSERVER


Now that you have completed your thought you will be able to switch your focus from being in the moment and "I'm a genius" to being an audience of the work. It is now the work....not your possession. Making this shift enables you to be objective. Some days you will be a genius...other days you will get depressed....(Why did I do THAT!!!). Adopting the role of observer will allow you to measure your progress...BEFORE you launch your work into the world.
Training yourself to be objective about your own work is an essential quality for the artist/creator. It's not as hard as it seems...if....you are willing to do the work.