Remember back in elementary school, when the teacher would give a major assignment? It was always a book report or a twenty page paper on a foreign country or something like that.
Now, a quick show of hands - and don't be shy - how many of you waited until the
last possible minute
before you even
Don't worry. I'm right there with you. For most of us, that was our first exposure to the world of 'deadlines', and if you were anything like me you didn't care much for them. Artistic people don't respond well to constraints. Heck, we're the ones who always want to color outside the lines. The good news is that deadlines can be your friend.
The moment you have a deadline, whether it's a work for hire (such as a soundtrack or a jingle that has to air in two weeks) or a contact ("I'm meeting with Joe at Gonnasignya Records on Tuesday -- if you've got some new material, I could pass it on to him") I can guarantee you'll be thinking about the very best way you can present yourself and your music in what little time you have.
Don't have any pending deadlines? Make one! Promise to send someone a demo package. Write a song for an upcoming event or holiday. Get yourself booked for a 'writers-in-the-round' gig.
The last time this happened to me, I realized I had been suppressing the urge to rework my entire demo package. I'll suppress the urge to make any bad 'time compression' jokes.
And while we're on the subject of deadlines, don't forget that many of your professional music expenses may be tax deductible. This may include instrument and gear purchases, studio expenses, subscriptions to industry publications, CDs purchased for market research and more. Consult with your accountant for the nitty gritty. If you didn't get them in for 2000, start saving those receipts now for
year. You'd be surprised how these things can add up.