That’s it February Album Writing Month over! In the end I published eight tracks, and 18 minutes of demos. Not bad considering how patchy my time commitment was, and that I started a week late.
On Sunday, I did a superskirmish for half that track count. In FAWM parlance, a skirmish is a one hour challenge with a prompt. It’s a tight timeline, but it’s possible to get a sketch down in that time. The community sometimes runs them back to back, an hour on an hour off, pick and choose.
I’m feeling much better about my output after that, and I might experiment with the format in the future. Having a prompt and a time-box helped a lot with inertia.
Now to keep going
After the last two years, I burnt myself out in FAWM. My creative output basically stopped. Last year, less so but I didn’t keep any sort of focus or output.
Without the arbitrary constraint of a community project, what now? Specifically, what next?
Writing quick and getting a collection of demos might be the thing to do. Genres to explore, sounds to design. But there a satisfaction to getting something done, maybe showing it to a friend. Like weeknotes, cadence may be the place to start.
I signed up to Beeminder, after reading Andy Matuschak on the granularity of habit tracking. I have a modest songwriting time goal, which I exceeded in February. And, I have a time block in my calendar for it.
Of course, I’ll be tracking the time I spend, rather than the time I plan. I’m also collecting some ideas of things I may like to write about that have more of a personal flavour to them. Ship a thing a week? Could do, but I’m not going to get that specific right now.
Ayurveda and diet
We’ve spent the past couple of weeks sorting out our diet. I mentioned that cooking was one of the things that slipped over January. And, there were bad habits we carried over from last year. Now, I’ve put my secret cookie addiction to the side and we’ve cooked some good meals from scratch.
And I’ve sort of fallen down a rabbit hole with how Ayurveda thinks about diet. There’s much more to the practice than diet alone, but its a foundational part of health in the system. Different constitutional types lead to different favourable foods for different people. And how you’re feeling right now plays a huge part.
So, I spent time that I could have spent songwriting reading. Oh no! And, cooking good meals has rewarded me with higher energy levels. Along with less snacking, and keeping more consistent hours, which is also suggested. Yoga too, and it’s a reminder to get back on the wagon for meditation.
Here are some of the things we’ve cooked:
- Baked chickpeas
- Pad Thai
- Turmeric broth noodles
- kheer; rice pudding with cardamon (we used coconut milk)
- A saucy chicken curry
- Lots of kitchari (too much maybe)
We’ve had more vegetarian meals as a by-product, which has been nice. We’re not being strict about the principles. Considering whether a dish is better or worse has been interesting.
I feel like we’re at an inflection point of novelty. Going to stick at this experiment a couple weeks longer. Growing a pool of good recipes is always nice.