I've been a few days without posting here, therefore infringing the standards I gave to myself when I started this blog. That's what standards are for: to help you differentiate normal from abnormal. When a transgression happens for a short moment, you can consider the occurrence an exception, and try resuming them as usual. But if the occurrence happens often, a change in those standards is in order, as I think it's the case here. It's pointless to stick stubbornly to rules that were created under different circumstances; we have to evolve as they do.
As another departure from those standards, this post is for sure going to be way beyond 20 lines, as I want to dump here all the hansei I've been doing these days, and with that set the basis for the blogs' next stage.
The thing about the Shewhart Cycle, as with other cyclical structure I guess, is that you can start it anywhere. I don't want to appear as if I knew what I was doing more that I was, but on hindsight, it makes a lot of sense that I entitled my first post "Ready, shoot, aim": intuitively, I felt the first thing I had to do was getting a grip anywhere, putting in written the reflections I've accumulated on productivity and the artistic life, so I could later, as I'm doing here, follow the 'slime trail' back, to figure out what were the intentions and motivations beneath. So, in other words, what I did was entering the PDSA cycle in its 'Do' stage, with only a vague sense of direction, and here I'm moving to the Study and Adjust stages.
At first I had so many material accumulated in my brain, that the posts came to me very easily; a lot of ground to cover. However, as I moved ahead, there was more effort involved in writing. Not that I had run out of ideas, but I clearly felt that, increasingly, the writing activity was turning from pull to push. So here is when the need for study and adjustment comes in: in the light of the new circumstances, I could still "professionally" keep on churning out posts; writing comes to me easily and I always have more ideas that I can handle. But I start to wonder, wouldn't the effort be better employed elsewhere?
Writing my thoughts on Lean has provided me a huge relief already; it has also helped me arrange my ideas and make new discoveries about the way I work and how to improve it. "The best way to learn something is teaching it". But I make no mistake: the general interest for Lean is minimal. And in the field of music making, whose practitioners are perhaps more inclined to emotions than to reasoning I guess, the interest is zero. One day I Duckduckgoed "Lean musician" and there was no results at all, so I guess I ended up "writing the blog I would like to read". As a personal gratification, I'm happy I did it, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm like Tom Hanks speaking to the ball here.
No problem, I'm a nice guy and always love a good talk with myself, but there is a lot of music waiting to be done, experiments to be made, so I'm going to consider the bulk of the educational task done and move on. The main ideas on Lean in its connection with music, together with a few examples for possible applications, are available online now, in wait of that sunny day in which the interest for Lean increases, to the extent that it even reaches some musicians. In the meantime, I don't have the broadband to keep on discussing Lean in the way I've been doing it the last month. Practicing in itself is enough work alone.
Here is a paradox of me: I hate cars with passion, but I love Toyota. As Mike Rother says hilariously, just like those bracelets that say "What would Jesus do?" or "What Buddha do?", someone should sell a bracelet for Lean practitioners that said "What would Toyota do?". I know I would buy one. To that I have to add one more personal mental mantra I use: "Toyota 1950s". I repeat it to myself lots of times, as I'm trying to move ahead in my sessions, and disciplining myself to document things, and struggle to find patterns... and things fail in the most imaginative ways, and everything takes always longer than expected, and the final results don't show so much effort, and I fight self doubt daily, and nobody cares... but man how it inspires me to think of that tiny Japanese company of the past that faced every day its extinction, that manufactured barely a thousand clunky cars a month, but trying to do every day things a bit better. I know I'm in the rough first stages of this journey, my 1950s.
As part of its commitment to society, Toyota now tries to spread around the benefits of the Lean philosophy, and is far from secretive. But I'm sure that wasn't the case in their 50s, when they had enough with making the numbers month after month. That's my situation now, although I don't have "numbers to make" but in an internal way -- if I don't make music I feel dead inside.
So to sum up, what does this all mean for the blog... Mostly, that it will slow down in order to survive. Periodicity changes now to weekly, understood as "once within each week unit", i.e., not every seven days, but whenever along the week I feel like writing, and if it doesn't happen, using Sunday as the "broom day".
Regarding the content, I'm going to try to move the focus more from the process to the product. I feel a bit embarrassed to show my stuff in its current state, but I'll try to remind myself of that couple of thousand downloads I accumulate in different places in the web; behind the numbers there are human beings who pay me their attention, and I have an obligation towards them to overcome self doubt and keep on doing my thing and learning.
This doesn't mean that Lean is going to become a taboo matter in the blog now; I'll write about it for example when I have improvements that I'm proud of, or even some more theoretic concept; but all always according to the economy principle, the "if I feel like it", pull only and not push.
Maybe it would have been better to call this blog "A musician diary". Well, will see how the changes turn out and what comes next. I honestly have no idea.