Discipline at the Desk

Provocation #4


Welcome to Provocations. In these posts, I’ll be sharing some provocations, meditations, activations, and the like. If you want to fine tune the type of posts you receive from me, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” check or uncheck the boxes that make sense for your inbox.

Album in a Month


(full video transcript)

Genius is overrated. Settle for discipline, compare and despair. Compare, compare and despair. It's difficult not to compare the first steps in your process to someone else's final result. I find it really hard when I'm first beginning not to judge myself and have this hope of some great epiphany as an artist or some great leap in my work.

I've drawn so much from Leonard Cohen saying that he treated songwriting as his job and presenting himself to the desk in the same way he would as if he had someone who was bossing him around, telling him to get there. And I've taken that idea, and I've applied that same kind of work ethic to making music myself.

Everybody has a different time of day that they're going to be able to work, to explore, and I know some people, we are morning people. Other people can only think at night. Other people are trying to carve out that time to create while having multiple jobs. So there is no one size fits all for what discipline looks like, but there is no way around repetitive behavior mounting up, accumulating to a pile of work. Repetition, building a repetitive habit is, in my opinion, the way to genius.

Our concept of genius has changed. Genius isn't something that you have a high IQ and you're born with this insight. Pile, pile, pile, work, work, work, work, pile of work. Settle for discipline.

Ink drawing & jumpsuit by Tim Fite.