If you told me even a month ago that I would put a video of myself performing some a capella on the internet, I would say that in the key of life, you're singing flat.
But here we are. Don't worry, I'm hitting some of these notes flat as well 🤪.
A few things have conspired to get me here:
- Singing more, including taking a few lessons, which has leveled up my skill. I still have a long way to go.
- Posting more, which has gotten me more comfortable on camera. Playing in front of the camera remains difficult due to a lack a confidence, but doing so has been extremely useful in forcing me to make my songs what I would consider "performance quality."
- Nice comments from friends and family. Thanks everyone!
- New followers who I don't know. There's a lot of encouragement to gain from having a complete stranger interested in my work.
As I think about coming up with content and practicing songs, I keep returning to this idea of slow burns vs. heavy lifts which comes from The 10 Principles of Building a Second Brain. Namely, that rather than start from scratch and try to make something from nothing, use what's already in front of me as I create. For example, rather than learn a new song from scratch, I'm taking songs I've always enjoyed playing but haven't quite made performance ready. Additionally, this blog has been a great place to massage ideas and work out my thoughts, which you'll see in a soon to come video about my ultramarathon 2 weeks ago. I think the end result is much better when I've worked on something over a longer period of time in shorter spurts than in one long go.
If you didn't see on my website, I hired an editor to proofread my story and published a minor revision, Smoke the Dragon's Lost Spark. My dad brought up that the Palo Alto Weekly is running a short story contest so I went ahead and submit it since it was just sitting here anyways. My hopes aren't too high, but I'll let you know if anything happens!
Other than that, here are a few things I am enjoying this week.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+ show)
Hilarious masterclass on leadership about an American football coach who gets hired to lift up a struggling soccer team in the U.K. The exploration of human relationships that weaves itself into every plot line is really where the show shines.
The Gene: An Intimate History (by Siddhartha Mukherjee)
The non-fiction storytelling ability of the author is unparalleled. I'm only a quarter of the way through on my second read-through and I just can't get enough of how he tells the stories about how we came to discover evolution, genetics, and the structure of DNA. The way that he dives deeply into the context of the times and the personal lives of famous scientists does not reflect a method that I've ever been taught science. Mr. Mukherjee is an expert at making feel like I'm on the HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin, poking around Gregor Mendel's garden, or sharing beers with Watson and Crick.
That's all for now! Hope everyone had a great weekend.