discipline for on-schedule creativity
September 10, 2012 8:27 PM   Subscribe

How do you set yourself up for maximum success when starting a creative project that requires consistent production? Or: I have to create multiple radio pieces a week! How do I best prepare myself to get out there and make them?

I love radio, meeting people, and stories. I have an idea for an hour-long show about transit and urban communities, pitched it, and am starting it in a few weeks! I'd like at least 20 to 30 minutes of each show to be interviews, soundscapes, radio essays, and other composed or semi-composed radio pieces. The rest will be on-air interviews and music from folks in the area profiled, etc.. But I'll have to create these pieces every week for about 2.5 months. It'll have to become my guiding project, and perhaps an all-consuming one.

On the technical side of things, I have somewhat of a framework, however rough around the edges. I know a little about recording interviews, editing audio, composing a narrative with sound, etc. I also have several specific ideas and action steps for how to pursue them (basically making sure I show up to certain places, introduce myself to folks, and work with whatever I find!)

However! On the focus and discipline side of things, I am lacking. I am super excited to throw myself 100% into this project, to accept the failures and stress and craziness and just commit for the sake of committing. I'm there. But I would love to hear strategies folks have to keep themselves motivated, stimulated, and creative during a self-imposed period of Making Things. This project will involve putting myself out there a lot interpersonally, which I thrive off of (the hidden 'e' of my ENFP disposition comes out), and maybe there's a way to leverage those feelings? I also am a kind of sloppy perfectionist and can imagine myself getting really disheartened by not finding anything good on a certain week, etc.

tl;dr - What does it take to commit to producing, even in the face of time constraints and worries of quality and a million other little fears?
posted by elephantsvanish to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

When you involve others who are just as interested in the success of a project as you are, then you're responsible for making their dreams come true as well as your own. They can help you with the workload, the ideas, the backlog, and in turn, you can use them to keep you on track.
posted by xingcat at 8:51 PM on September 10, 2012

Two main points: divide it up into discreet chunks & iterively improve on things like scope and quality.

Discreet chunks: trying to do everything will drive you bonkers, and it's easy to feel like there's too much to do. Find some kind of taxonomy that's lets you break it all up into smaller, more measurable chunks, so you can tackle each part in turn.

Iterative approach to scope and quality: don't feel like you have to knock it out of the park on the first go. Have realistic minimum criteria for what's presentable, and just get that with the first episode. Then *slowly* raise your standards as you go.
posted by colin_l at 9:00 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

What colin said - get the first show out of the way, then the second, then make sure the first five are okay. Then you will have already learnt a lot about how you're going to do this.

Also, what Ira Glass said.
posted by inkypinky at 4:08 AM on September 11, 2012

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