I recently read an article by a buddy of mine named Rob Cubbon. He describes the state of mind & spirit he was in while creating a few of his e-books in his post “My Rules of Product Creation.”
While creating his first one, he was stressed and it felt like rolling a rock uphill. In contrast, the second one just “happened” by itself. Oddly – the second one which was infused with joy and ease is also preferred by his readers and sells better.
I’ve had the same thing happen when I record CDs under stress, so I know full well what he was describing.
I was starting to feel a similar process regarding the upcoming Guitar Instructional DVD which I plan to shoot later this summer.
The (Scrapped) Original DVD Plan…
A few weeks ago I started preparing my lessons for a “funk and r&b grooves for fingerstyle acoustic guitar” dvd. It’s a perfectly good, focused idea…people who want that “style” would be intrigued.
I had come up with very interesting lessons, but…as I got deeper in, it just felt “off.”
It felt like I was forcing a high school paper that had to be finished. There was no joy in it. My shoulders were getting tighter by the minute.
The “gut” started telling me “no fun.”
It was becoming an “I should do this” type of assignment rather than “I love this.”
I kept asking myself….
- Would it really make students happy?
- For people who don’t improvise and are looking to learn songs, what good is a “rhythmic concept?”
- Why would people need this?
- How is this better than my Stevie Wonder DVD where they actually learn “Superstition?”
- If you asked me in 30 seconds to tell you what this DVD was about….I couldn’t. Not a good sign!
I was plagued by these questions.
The Gut Check and the Shift
It’s always important to do a gut check.
First I had to go back and ask myself “What is my goal?”
Is the goal to simply “create a product” or is it something more?
I got clear…my goal is to get “students hearts pounding with the enjoyment and love of playing guitar!”
The New Idea
That’s when I thought…I know they’ll love playing “Jill’s Song” which is a ballad…
My gut and soul said “Yes!” even though this was way off from a funk and groove idea…
And then, I thought…”am I willing to scrap the first DVD idea?”
Oh boy, I had invested hours in a particular direction, but I knew I had to have the courage to start over – if that’s what was needed.
When I thought “I’m going to teach 4 songs and give the students joyful music to play” my body literally felt warm and relaxed. It’s crazy how the body knows the truth.
So…the next DVD will be titled something along the lines of “How To Play the Fingerstyle Guitar Favorites of Adam Rafferty Vol 1.”
- Jills Song
- Rolling With the Ashes
- The Hippie Dance
- Some nifty FREE bonuses TBA…
The Feeling of YES…
What I want to convey to you is that I found my way to a feeling of “YES” in contrast to what I was feeling before.
- Yes! Lots of good stuff in here…a ballad, harmonics, a dropped D tuning piece, some blues, some funk and some good ol’ county boy thumb picking a la Chet Atkins & Merle Travis.
- Yes! It’s a nice, fun healthy mix of guitar styles, and it’s all not too hard to play.
- Yes! This will be fun for them to learn and play.
It’s always good to to the gut check when creating, working, and interacting with others.
Of course certain things require discipline and follow through, and may not always feel “fun.” However, the body and gut are the ultimate “radar” which should be used in conjunction with the mind.
PS – I will finish the instruction on funk & grooves, so if that did sound cool to you, don’t worry it’s not in the trash. It’s a little more like a “college course” which will be appropriate as a “technique and musicianship” type lesson rather than a guitar lesson.