What do you think about this word, ‘Plan’? What does it conjure in your mind? Hard work that you don’t want to do, or glee because you relish identifying parts and their connections, and seeing if they work?
I’m a planner, but not everybody is. Don’t get me wrong. Some people are more holistic, top-down, see the bigger picture. I’m the opposite. I see the big picture but I get down to the detail of how to make it happen. Actually, it doesn’t really matter too much which approach you prefer, as long as things are achieved.
How does this relate to your music?
Well, when you move forward, you are moving forward to something: your targets. How you move forward has to be decided. This is planning, deciding what, when, why, how, etc.
Most of my music life, pre-42 years old, I just ambled along. I performed when invited. I had dreams of what I wanted to become, but no plans on how to get there. At 42, one of the significant things that made a difference and propelled me forward was making time to plan my steps. It was a very simple plan of what I wanted to achieve in 5 years, and it worked because it allowed me to see which opportunities aligned with my targets and which did not. I took the first and circumnavigated the second, making myself much more efficient.
Your written (or typed) plans do not have to be intricate, unless you want it to be, or it’s required because of the targets you are striving towards. You are writing them for you, to help you navigate and consistently move forward.
I still set targets and break down those targets into a plan each year. It really helps to keep me focus and I can measure my achievements.
So, what about you? Are you big-picture-not-so-much-