What will happen when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone? Will we be faced with a version of ourselves that lives up to our expectation? How will we adapt? What will doing this bring out in the world? This is my experiment that answers these question for myself.
Inspired by Philadelphia rapper Freeway, I am embarking on my own Month of Madness. In December of 2008, Freeway committed to releasing a song per day and a video per week for the entire month. I remember vividly as I followed his project how I could apply this to my work. In reflection my curiousity and imagination way fully engaged. The concept is not new. There are “Photo of the day” projects. Producing quality material every day seems like quite the challenge. What if I raise the ante and create material across a could different vectors? What will doing this bring out in the world?
April 2016, I am figuratively throwing my hat into the ring. I committ to publishing engaging content each day in the month of April. My full voice as an artist will be showcased including podcasting, photography, writing, design, art, and interviewing. By taking the ideas that are going on in my mind and organizing them in ways for my audiences to consume only makes sense. The photography will be presented in series and themed by the week. Some of my philosophy that doesn’t fit into the Halftime Talks podcast will find a life on SoundCloud. Mixtapes that I’ve created will find life outside of the confines of my sole consumption. I’m excited all the ways this goes.
Professionally Pivoting toward work that represents my passion remain my primary goal. I’ve come to acknowledge that there are psychological skills that require consistent cultivation. This campaign targets many essential skill necessary to becoming a more well rounded agent of change. The following are the things I want to engage and evolve in:
01. Hesitation Usually Signals Fear
As a creative I’ve routinely failed to pull the trigger as a result of the conversations going on in my own mind. By being consumed with the quality of my work, I’ve paused to the point of inaction. Other times the urge not to proceede stemmed from a fear of not getting the performance or validation on the project.
There is safetly in remaining on the sidelines. An untested assumption is the most dangerous of all blindspots. Getting out there on the field performing what you’ve practice is the game of life I know I’ve signed up for. No matter how my work is received getting in the game is the journey. Having my talent on full display to my detriment or paramount is my aim. Critique it. Hate it. Love it. Dismiss it. Not matter what you choose, you will not be able to deny it, one way or another.
By seeking to massively publish, there is little time left over to get in my way about sharing my voice with the world. The desire to polish a project into a perfect state negates the purpose of sharing it with the world. Taking the position Excellence over Perfection allows me to give my best each time out. Over time the level will continue to raise. The work will reflect the standard that only time is capable of bringing into focus. Getting into the habit of engaging the production process with the aim of publishing narrows the work into the realm of essential. Just publish it.
Producing the podcast Halftime Talks weekly has taught me so much about keeping up with the regularity of a production schedule. Having it scheduled takes a kind of commitment you just don’t understand until you’ve put your feet to this flame. No excuses for your audience is allowed, especially if you’ve build up an anticipation. Therefore my respect has shot through the roof for episodic television, magazines and others who consistently show up day in day out over a long period of time.
Adhering to a rigid schedule forces you to focus all efforts to publishing. You can’t afford the head space to second guess or get caught up on insignificant snaggs.
04. Community – Discovering my audience
The best method to discover how your material is being consumed is to bring it to the world and observe it without judgement. Sharing it with the world is how I plan on dispelling any untested assumptions I have on who my audience is. By figuring out what’s resonating with the audience and engaging in a substantive audience I can continue to tune the engine.
Something magical happens when you begin to share it. Sharing gives works a chance to go out into the world and have a life of it’s own. It gains it’s own level of momentum in the lives of those who share it. Over time it interacts and connect with people who you could not imagine from the outset.
Therefore not publishing is an act of selfishness. The longer we take to breathe life into our ideas delays our chance to ignite a life in unimaginable ways.
05. Cultivate My Authentic Voice
As a artist finding your authentic voice is one of the toughest challenges to overcome. The trajectory of any artistic career begins with emulating their favorites. Those that have paved the way act as templates for the emerging generations of artist. Over time producing material allows you to develop your own voice. Nas sounded Lord Finesse’esque. Jeezy sounded TIP’ish. Kendrick admitted that his early work contained a sound that was influenced by Jay-Z. It’s understandable and I recognize this in my work too.
Mass Publishing will allow me to create enough unique work that I find my rhythm. With the podcast it came with time and experience. After ingesting the patterns and the templates from the masters who have come before me I eventually began to find my voice. It shows itself in the shadows first. It’s not something you work towards as much as it’s something you discover about yourself with experience.
“You can’t improve upon what hasn’t been started.” ~ Rahim Rasul
The Month of Mass Publishing begins here. It begins with a small voice of self-doubt that wants to command your attention. Like most of the things I’ve taken on in my life I am never too concerned with the variable that surround me at the beginning. My focus tends to look at another point of reference.
“Who can I become as a result of this undertaking?”
On May 1st, when I look back at this month, what will success look like? This is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately. I would like to vanquish many of the voices in my thought process that influence me to hesitate. I am going to enjoy feeling the walls fall down by the perspectives I hope this exaggerated process will reveal. What opportunities are on the horizon that this will draw closer?