Failure is how we define it. Often times, when I fail, and am down about it, I am focusing on a singular aspect of a greater whole. Take this song at the top. I wrote it about fear, in an abstract sense.
As I got it to the level of completeness it is now, I began to feel a bit disappointed. I was focusing on metrics of a song’s goodness that I don’t generally ascribe to, such as clear vocal enunciation, everything being in tune, while disregarding the reason I wrote it, and my decided method for recording. It took my wife telling me that she liked the quirky recording before I started to realize this.
I wrote it as a defiance of fear. Jon Acuff always says,
fear only gets loud when you do stuff that matters.
I’ve been finding, the more I pursue excellence and purpose and goals, the more I hear those voices that tell me everything I’m doing is rubbish.
but fear isn’t failure.
I chose to use a new method for writing parts. I would sing them first, and then one back and learn them on the respective instrument. Sounded a little silly at first, but I ended up being much happier with what I feel are much more organic and felt drum parts and guitar solos. And guess what,
trying something new also is not failure.
And in the end, I wrote a song, and even if I’m putting in my 10,000 hours, as Malcom Gladwell would say, I’m still making progress.
even a bad song is not failure.
How do you define failure? Do you also focus on the metrics you don’t even care about to tell you if you are a worthwhile human being?
William Stonewall Monroe
Ps, the gig at the mill was fabulous. Big thanks to Creighton for setting it up, Katie and Ryan for being the band and rocking it, Zaplin for dropping in on a bunch of tunes, and Zaplin and Songbird Bethann for opening with a great set of originals with a singer/songwriter/hip hop mojo.