In light of recent events, you may be feeling a bit uncertain of your immediate future.

We’ve created this list of helpful ideas and resources for creatives to try and get some focus back.

If you’ve found this helpful in any way, please share it with other people who may find it useful too.

#staypositivemakemusic

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5 things you can do to help each other

Check in
Call, FaceTime or email with other people you know. Make sure they’re okay and see what they need. Remember everyone has different thresholds for anxiety, stress and bad pop music. You maybe feeling the pressure more than others and vice versa, so don’t be ashamed to say if you’re not 100%, and don’t be afraid to ask.
 
Skill-swap
Maybe you’re great at mixing and they’re amazing at orchestrating. Maybe you can email them your secret recipe for lasagne and they can talk you through how to fix your terrible WiFi.
 
Share your opinions
Now could be a great time to review each others portfolios, website and social channels. Be honest. Be thorough. Be constructive.
 
A rising tide floats all boats
Share your ideas with each other about what’s working for you in this current situation. In any area of your life. Don’t keep it to yourself.
 
What goes around, comes around
There’s plenty of creators across the planet in a similar situation. How about you commit to properly helping one person out on a forum/facebook group every week. How about every day? Be generous.
Buy more merch
Merch could just be your favourite artist’s biggest income. You can’t support them at gigs right now, so maybe open a beer, play your favourite album as loud as your neighbours can stand and then buy a T-Shirt from their website at the end.
 
Buy don’t stream
How about you buy a copy of that album you’ve streamed a hundred times?
 
Subscribe to your favourite Patreon
Many creatives have excellent Patreon pages, which offer additional content and resources. Now’s the time to subscribe.
 
Watch the adverts
If you skip ads on YouTube, the channel doesn’t receive any revenue. So for the next few weeks, consider letting the ads play through whilst watching your favourite YouTubers.

4 things you can do to support other creatives

10 things you can
do for your business

Client list
Make a list of all of your favourite clients. You know them better than anyone else.  Email them with 1-3 ideas that could help their situation right now. 
 
(Re)Write your business plan
What do you want to be doing, who do you want to be working with, what do you want to be working on in 3 years time? Write it down. Make it big. With a Magnum Sharpie. You’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down. That’s the big picture done, now fill in the details. With a regular Sharpie.
 
Digital Content
Digital content has suddenly become the number one in-demand resource right now. And content almost always needs music, so there’ll be plenty of people who need what you do.
 
Services
Luckily, there’s a lot of what you do that can be provided remotely; if Flo Rida and Olly Murs didn’t ever need to meet in person to make music, then you don’t either. There’s lots of remote services you can provide online – mixing, mastering, mock-up creation, orchestration, video tutorials (equipment set-up, software, recording technique etc), music lessons (there’s plenty of people that have nothing to do for the next few weeks).
 
Products
Have you ever thought about making digital content to sell online? Presets, templates, educational PDFs. It’s so easy to set a simple online shop up through someone like Squarespace.
 
Showreel
Are you tired of not getting hired for the stuff you love to write? Now’s the time to make some music you want to be hired for. People buy what they see and what they hear, so make something mind-blowing you’d love to be paid for and stick it on your homepage.
 
Empty the shoebox
Do your accounts. You know that Nike box filled with receipts sat under your desk? Trust us, you’ll feel a lot better when you’re up-to-date.
 
Tidy up your computer
Get your files in order, clean up that desktop. Heck, you could even make that project folder template you always wanted to. But no, you definitely don’t need to re-do your orchestral template.   
 
Back-up
You do make back-ups, right? But is there a better or more efficient way you could be doing this? Now would be a great time to review how you do things and make your system as bomb-proof as possible.
 
Tidy up your digital life
Now you can finally get round to changing all your passwords to unique secure ones, clear down your inbox and reply to that WhatsApp you forgot about. 
Share the load
If like many of us you’re now working at home with your partner and also on full-time childcare duties for the foreseeable future, you may want to figure out a schedule. How about 2-hour alternate shifts of work/child care?
 
Make space and time for each other
Ensure you give each other personal time (away from work and the kids), to chill out, exercise, or sleep. But also make time for each other. Date night?


P
lay
Try not to let screens take-over the next few weeks. You should paint, make, build and play as much as possible, as far away from a screen as possible.

3 things you can do for your family/partner

6 things you can do for yourself

Get some headspace

Take some time to adjust. This is going to be a different journey for everyone, so stay calm and if you can, take 10 minutes every day to find some mental freedom. We recommend the excellent Headspace and they’re offering some free online meditation classes right now.

Get some perspective
As creatives, we often run our lives at 100mph and it’s not often we have the time to even figure out if we’re doing what we want to do. It’s too easy to get stuck on a track you didn’t mean to. Maybe it’s a small shift you need to make. Maybe it’s a big one.
 
Separation
You may be really comfortable at working from home, but this current situation is going to test that theory. Separate your work as much as possible from the rest of your life. Physically as much as you can; that includes not eating your breakfast behind a piano. Don’t start working in your pyjamas and how about you actually leave the house (where safe and legal) and walk outside for 15 minutes at the start and end of your work day to mentally segregate your time.
 
Sitars and cheesecake
Learn to play that sitar your brought on eBay, how to make cheesecake, proper gain staging, over-under coiling cables, talking on-camera or taking awesome iPhone pictures. Learning a new skill always improves your creativity.
 

Pomodoro
Stop the hole of procrastination sucking you in to into it’s evil trap by setting up timed goals, to-do lists, and schedules. Working from home is hard and the hourly news updates at the moment is making that even harder.

We recommend an idea called the Pomodoro technique, where you work for 25 minutes, then you take a break for 5. For every four 25 minute work slots you take a longer 10+ minute break. It’s found to help improve concentration and focus, and also make the breaks where you can do what you want, feel less guilty.

Exercise
Where safe and legal, get outside and do any amount of exercise possible. Run, walk or pogo-stick. It doesn’t matter. What matters is moving your body and keeping fit. If you have to stay inside for safety or legal reasons, there is a well-known and proven 7-minute you can do with a chair and in one room. Google it.

Twenty Thousand Hertz
 
Simply the best Podcast ever. It’s brilliantly produced, it sounds amazing and we wait in anticipation for each new episode. Made by sound designers, Defacto Sound, every show explores a story behind the world’s most recognisable sounds. We are absolutely hooked.
 
Art of the Score

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/art-of-the-score/

A show deconstructing famous movie scores. A really entertaining and educational podcast by 3 very funny and talented Australians. 

Score: The Podcast
Excellent and in-depth interviews with the world’s most famous film composers, by the same team that made Score: A Film Music Documentary. #12 Michael Abels and #6 Hildur Guðnadóttir are definite highlights, but you’ll be inspired and entertained by every single one.
 
The Annotator
Composers share thoughts and stories about their original scores. The composers featured are more on the fringes than Score: The Podcast, but because of that are more relatable to the average composer.
 
The Mastering Show
Super nerdy podcast about, er, Mastering. Highly detailed and geeky, but even if you’re not really into mastering you’ll definitely learn some useful stuff you can use further up the chain.
 
Akimbo: A podcast from Seth Godin
Not music related, but some amazing thoughts and philosophies about culture and human behaviour. Very enlightening.

Our favourite 6 Podcasts

5 inspirational books

Steal Like An Artist / Show Your Work / Keep Going
Austin Kleon 
Three beautifully designed and written books that will help any creative. Fun and bite-sized but still with loads of valuable take-aways.
 
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it for Life
Twyla Tharp
A book for everyone about using creativity in every area of your life.
 
Creative Calling
Chase Jarvis
The master of creativity and bringing creatives together, this book has been a long time coming.
 
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K
Sarah Knight
Teaches you how to make yourself happy and stop trying to please everyone else all the time. A book for all client-led creatives.
 
Real Artists Don’t Starve
Jeff Goins
A classic book demystifying the classic phrase “starving artist”.
 
Don’t expect in-depth, spoon-fed, granular information, but do expect throught-provoking education from the leaders in their field. For music there’s Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Herbie Hancock, Deadmau5 and Tom Morello to name a few. But we’d also recommend the classes from David Lynch, Spike Lee, Aaron Sorkin and Martin Scorsese. 
 
 
Really practical and actionable education. An excellent resource and one of the first online educational platforms to really get this type of thing right. Every day you can watch one any lesson you choose for free, or pay for the whole class and watch anytime. Right now, they’re also streaming lots of health and wellness classes for free.
 
TED
Highly curated and inspirational speakers from every walk of life. Addictive. In a very, very good way. 

3 online education platforms

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