Four years ago, when I released my last book, Get More Fans, moments after I finished having a panic attack about what the reaction to the book would be, we got a phenomenal review on Hypebot. Buried under that very kind review was a comment from a popular YouTuber that trolled us by trying to invalidate the need for a book on marketing your music with the age old cliché of, "All you need to do is make great music and it'll promote itself.” While I didn’t agree the book was without purpose, I did agree that great music is the best marketing tool. I realized that after recording over a thousand records over the past two decades, the only thing I knew more about than marketing music was helping musicians fulfill their creative vision. Whether it’s close friends or the people I meet in a bar, I know far too many musicians that are unhappy with the music they make, citing pitfalls they wish they knew how to avoid while making their latest work. While we all need to make our own mistakes, having greater understanding of the creative process helps us avoid the countless mistakes and allow us to make music we are more happy with.
I spent the past four years exploring every book, scientific study, talk from film directors, artists and any other source material I could find to make what I am announcing today, Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices And Habits Used To Make Music You’re Happy With. I found was there was an immense amount of knowledge on how to achieve your creative vision I’ve never heard discussed in all my years making music. It’s funny, since every musician says that being creative is the most important part of their life, yet they barely explore what’s holding back them back from making music they’re happy with. When trying to explore the ways our creative endeavors fail, there’s no YouTube tutorial, listicle or college course that can help you navigate the countless creative obstacles that can ruin your music. If you’ve had trouble getting your music to be as good as the musicians you look up to, this book can help you understand the practices they use to make their music so great.
I thoroughly analyzed the patterns that lead to creators fulfilling their vision in order to give uncommon insight on every way I see the creative process breakdown, while dispelling many of the half-truths and bad advice I see tossed around the Internet each day. To discuss creativity in music I discus the state of music today along with the rarely discussed reasons we enjoy music. After that I go point by point on how the creative process breaks down in music. I end the book addressing how to get past creative blocks, into better habits and how to enhance the creative skills you already have.
There are so many half-truths and falsehoods put out about creativity and how to make good music that I wanted to write a discussion to show readers the information out there so they can make an informed decision on what is best for their music. Understanding the dynamics of each creative decision and how they can detract or benefit your process is how the best creators are able to make great music, record after record. My goal was to give a clear understanding of how the pieces to the puzzle fit together so that anyone who reads this book will have a greater command over the music they make turning out as good as they hope.
Over the past couple years, I’ve had times where I lose my creative steam with music and then find it again. I made this book as a love letter to why music is so important and to remind myself of what we’re trying to do to make great music. The cover is an homage to the musicians who’ve had the great impact on me. The words inside are the lessons I have learned from every creator I’ve ever studied. It’s full of actionable details that have changed my life in recent years in both combating wasted effort and frustration, that I hope will change yours as well.
Whether you’re a musician, manager or a fan of music who creates in another field, this book will give you a greater understanding of how to enhance your own creativity or those around you. This is for musicians to learn to not sabotage the great songs they make and figure out how to make them as good as possible. This is for the managers, booking agents and A&R so they can give impactful advice to the musicians they work with. This is for producers to learn how to make better records and not mess them up. I hope you enjoy what I wrote.
If you want to learn more head here or preorder the book, ebook or audiobook, put it on your Amazon wish list or check out a free excerpt of it here. It comes out 3/28 and starts shipping 3/21 so you'll have it less than a month.