Day 3 was a disaster; completely unproductive, creatively bankrupt and frustrating. It is an inevitability of creative work. Despite the setbacks, the day underscored why using the scrum process to write music was a powerful idea.
On day 3, I watched tutorials and then left for a doctor appointment and visit to Guitar Center to pick up some audio gear. I had been making progress with only Ableton and my laptop so far, but I needed a midi keyboard and audio interface to fulfill the definition of done on my user stories. In a round trip that took 2.5 hours I did my errands, went to the store, settled on the Akai MPK25 but balked at the audio interface. The guy at the counter warned me my old Mbox 2 was not going to play nice with Ableton, but I was queasy about spending another $250 on an audio interface when I had an old, but expensive audio interface at home. I would soon regret not following his guidance.
I set up my keyboard, and attacked the creation of a bass patch. I spent over two hours trying out various instruments in Ableton, scrolling through presets, modifying patches, searching for the sound that would provide the backbone to “One of Us”. I did not create a single sound I liked or even come up with a decent temporary bass line to loop while tweaking patches.
I gave up in a fit of frustration. It was 6pm and I had burned down 1 hour of estimated work. I had two days of vacation left, and I didn’t want to waste them fighting with a stupid music program. I wanted to abandon the project and spend the rest of my time playing Uncharted on PS3.
I woke up at 2am with a change of heart. I had made a commitment to myself to deliver a song at the end of the week. I reminded myself that it was not important how horrible and unlistenable my song was, only that I finished a product I could demo for another person. I went to my computer and looked through the sprint doc. I had estimated 5 hours to write song lyrics. I read the work brief to remind myself of my intention and typed out lyrics for “One of Us”.
I returned to bed, a rusty blade of satisfaction whittling away my extreme frustration. I had made a commitment and I was determined to see it through. There was no way I was going to end this week with nothing to show for it but $1,000 of receipts to Guitar Center.
Day 3 Burndown