My father in-law has been painting for decades. When my wife and I moved over the summer, he graciously helped us paint our new home.
I’d never really painted a room (or house) start to finish, so this was my first exposure to how much work goes into painting that doesn’t even require a paintbrush.
First, there’s sanding the wall of the previous paint, then filling cracks and holes with putty, then taping off the trim, windows and doors so there’s no running onto other surfaces. You’ll also have to wipe the dust that you created in the beginning with all of your sanding. THEN, and only then, are you ready to paint.
After commenting on how much prep work goes into painting a room, my father-in-law simply replied that most people don’t understand that painting is 90% prep work that doesn’t even require a brush.
That got me to thinking about other areas of life. I’ve come to realize that recording a demo is so much more than writing lyrics and finding melodies. I’ve spent hours reading books on recording techniques, learning how to use gear, and become familiar with recording jargon. It’s more tedious and harder than I ever thought it would be. I think it’s safe to say that 90% of the work thus far has nothing to do with music.
I think about my friends who are writing books, and all the time they spend writing book proposals, finding agents, shopping their book, editing and rewriting. Once the book is done they’ll have to spend tons of time and energy promoting their book with tours, speaking engagements, book signings and interviews.
It’s easy to romanticize the 10% of what we love. It’s easy to forget that the other 90% is the mind-numbing prep work; the sanding, the emails, the editing.
The people who really love what they do love almost everything related to the process. Or they can at least overlook some of the drudgery for getting to do what it is they absolutely love to do.
Anyway, just some thoughts to chew on. I’d love to hear your take on how you handle the prep work that comes with creating what it is you create.