JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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More thoughts on finishing and reflections on "the cult of done".

Yesterday, vocalist Dave Brogan and I turned my kitchen in to a makeshift recording studio and despite many technical set-backs (all the result of my ineptitude), got a few killer takes. In the past, the setbacks would have derailed the session for sure, because stress was and remains a surefire way to get my ailing brain thoroughly riled, leading to headaches, intensified dizziness and Mexican jumping bean levels of twitchiness. But yesterday I was FOCUSED on finishing, and I held on and got 'er done.

Afterward, I was reflecting a bit on a comment to my previous post about finishing. The comment mentioned something called The Cult of Done, which I checked out. Not sure this is cool of me, but here is the Cult of Done Manifesto, pulled from Bob Sutton's blog. The manifesto was written by Bob Sutton and Kio Stark — in just 20 minutes!

The Cult of Done Manifesto

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.

2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.

3. There is no editing stage.

4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.

5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.

6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.

7. Once you're done you can throw it away.

8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.

9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.

10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.

11. Destruction is a variant of done.

12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

13. Done is the engine of more.

Personally, this is not the manifesto for me, as I find editing to be crucial, but here would be my own version:

1. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. (This one is key, I think, as it helps to ensure that you don't treat your project as too precious. It also encourages experimentation. For example, there were plenty of times during yesterday's session where Dave or I would have an idea and we'd both shrug and say, "I don't know, try it.")

2. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done. (I wish more bands would follow this one. The curse of digital is that it lets you fix every possible "mistake" in your performance – and, as a result, suck the soul completely out of it.)

3. Done is the engine of more. (Man, truer words… The number one reason I want to be done with my album is so that I can start my second album.)

Going forward, I will try very hard to keep these three tenets in mind and finish my album SOON. Stay tuned…