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  • Writer's pictureLeo Aram-Downs

Quarterly Review 1

I can’t believe this is already a quarter of the way through. So much planning and writing and work is already out in the world and it just feels like it’s all flying past me. It even still feels like I should be working on the stuff that’s already been released. I wanted this blog post to be an objective-as-possible check in with myself about how I think everything is going. With these quarterly reviews, I’m going to be asking a series of questions and hopefully adding more questions each time this comes round. The first 3 I’ve hijacked straight from Mike Schmitz of Focused/Asian Efficiency fame. He was talking at length about how beneficial these questions are and I want to try them in this journal-like context. So yeah, let’s go.

What should you start doing?

I’ve wanted to do something more visual, mainly concerning YouTube. There was a point where if I’d actually doubled down on YouTube activity, something may have come of it, but there’s a reason I haven’t. Firstly, I have basically nothing to say. Every bit of the YouTube/Music scene is lead by someone who has a real mission statement, and I don’t feel like I’d be adding anything of actual value. There is one idea I’m throwing around, but even if I wanted to get into it I haven’t the time or the skillset to really get into the level of video editing that’s required to start a serious YouTube channel in 2019. Same very much applies to music videos and stuff, I’d love to branch out into it on the same kind of DIY level as I’ve been doing the music, but I just don’t have the chops right now. The best I can do is put a bit more work and priority into the Instagram stuff I’ve been doing (but we’ll get to that on another post because I have things to say on this topic).

What should you stop doing?

If I was clever, and I looked at the ROI and the amount of effort required to make them, it would probably be the blogs. They take ages, I don’t really enjoy the process, and this is the only area where not knowing how many people see it bugs me. And I think that’s because there’s very little internal reward for these. They feel like the chore. That said, I don’t want to drop them altogether because I do think they have some merit when taken in context with everything else, they just might not be weekly like they were. They’ll come out when there’s actually something I want to say and I can say it well.

What should you keep doing?

The music. That sounds painfully obvious but it’s the whole reason I’m doing this. I’ve not been late with a song, I’ve enjoyed pretty much all of them and it’s the area I want to keep going deeper into. It should also probably be more central to my actual routine. Recording and editing is always the bottom of the pile on my list of priorities any given days. Often that’s governed by deadlines and the need to eat but it should be a bigger element of my free time. I’m going to be doing some travelling soon though which will give me plenty more time away from my normal job which might change this dynamic somewhat.

What is the one thing you could have never expected to learn until you started?

Why I’m doing this in the first place. As silly as that sounds, I didn’t have a very clear intention when I planned this out, I just knew I wanted to do it. It turned out to be a combination of a kind of creative purge and a huge portfolio building exercise simultaneously. It also really quickly became a project that exists in it’s own sort of vacuum. I’m sharing the things I make with the world but that’s not really the reason. It provides some incentive and some structure but ultimately I’m just happy to be making stuff, and that’s just the biggest benefit of it all so far.

Favourite song? And why?

I think my favourite song so far has been The Grand Complication. I just wouldn’t change anything about it. Not only that, but I’m really happy with how these in-between songs are coming out. They’re all consistent in tone, and the artworks are all coming from stuff I’ve discovered on walks. I think I’m actually enjoying those more than the big projects themselves overall at this point in time.

Least favourite song? And why?

Not a specific one, but Oara came out like such a janky project in the end. I had such specific, big visions for that whole thing and none of it really materialised how I wanted it to. I’m still happy with what it is but if I were to pick anything, then it would be that. But that’s also the nature of this kind of project. It never would have happened otherwise, so I have to just accept the form it came out in.

How many hours have you spent on everything this quarter?

This entire project has taken 54 hours this year at this point in time. Recording is 8 hours, Instagram videos is less than 3 hours, production is 5 and a half. Surprisingly enough (and a huge case to stop them being weekly), the blogs clock in at 13 hours. These are legit taking up the most time out of every aspect of this project and given that it’s the bit I enjoy the least, that’s just not right. So yeah, consider this a relegation of the blogs until further notice.

That’s about all for now, I have a bunch of stuff I want to say, but more importantly I have music to make. Let’s get this bread.


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