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

28 of 80 hours complete (35%)