Hi, my name is Mike.
In my spare time, I am a terribly under-skilled wannabe musician. Sometimes I get around to finish a track for Hemlock, an indie duo I started with a friend.
The problem 💢
At least 90% of people who make music are doing so part-time. Sadly, making music is known not to be a very profitable endeavour, so people generally have jobs or side hustles while they work on their craft. That makes it hard to create music on a consistent basis.
I know for a fact that making music makes me happy and gives me a sense of fulfillment I can't get anywhere else. Getting better at making music is even higher up on that list. Somehow, there are still moments where I didn't create anything for weeks.
Unfortunately we're all human, and you can see this everywhere; we all know what makes us feel better - we just have a hard time doing it consistently. It doesn't matter whether it's meditation, quitting smoking or in this case, making art. It feels like it boils down to a few factors:
- Lack of habit & routine
If there's no deeply ingrained habit related to making music, it's all dependent on spontaneous moments. These can easily disappear during busy times.
- Getting into a creative state is difficult
Everyone gets writers' block. Especially when switching from a more 'productive' state of mind, it can be hard to get into a creative flow.
- It's hard to be inspired at the right time
Inspiration doesn't always come to you at the right time - I often get inspired at moments when I'm not making anything, just to sit down with no ideas when I'm in the right spot to do something with it.
- Unrealistic expectations
You see the amazing stuff other people put out, but you don't see the process that went into it. It's easy to get overwhelmed by being unrealistic about your output.
The (rough) idea 🎨
My initial hunch is to build a really simple online community where:
- You set your intention at the beginning of the week, like experiment with chord progressions, or make a beat with this sample.
- If you don't have inspiration, you can draw from a library of proven exercises to set an intention.
- You upload anything at the end of the week as evidence: a video, audio file, picture, even lyrics. It's not meant to impress - it's as work in progress as it gets.
- Because other members can see your intention, you can point each other to the right resources or inspiration to help each other progress.
- Every week counts towards your streak 💎, which is visible to everyone.
With a few more roughly defined options:
- Other members of the community can see your upload, but only if they've also uploaded something that week.
- Planning an accountability session with someone else on the platform, during which you go make music for a few hours & come back later to talk about what you did.
- Starting a challenge where someone starts a beat/song and invites people to add something to it - if they don't for too long, the song disappears. (Thanks Dan!)
- Doing something more tangible like '12 songs in 12 weeks' (Thanks Jelmer!)
I'll focus on checking off a few boxes in this 100-day challenge:
I'll eat my own dog food - I will be test case #0 for all of this and will be actively checking whether I've found a solution that really works.
I'll design a new UI kit for minimum.studio as I go - I'll be working on a new design system for the studio and use it for building the community apps.
I'll send out a weekly update on my progress - if you'd like to follow along, you can subscribe over here.