My apartment is a 10 minute walk away from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

We (a small group of 3) were in Paris for only 48 hours from the time we landed in the afternoon to the morning of our flight. Since we only had a limited time and so much to see, we literally ran through Paris. We were able to see much the landmarks surprisingly.

And yet, last month, I realized I had no memory of what the cathedral looked like inside.

I’ve walked past it hundreds if not thousands of times, appreciating it’s beauty most of the time. But I couldn’t remember walking through the doors.

So a few weeks ago, I walked in.

It was gorgeous.

But I kind of just walked around and did the rounds in under 5 minutes.

There was a really cool timeline of what the cathedral looked like down the ages….

But I just glanced at the 8 or so panels from afar. Figured I’d come back another time to take a closer look when there was less of a crowd.

Then I headed out with a smile on my face.

So what’s the point of this story?

How does it relate to making music?

Here’s what I make of it….

1- Something Is Better Than Nothing

I’m glad I walked in last month because now I don’t know when the opportunity will present itself again.

Even if I feel kind of silly for not staying longer and appreciating it more while I had a chance…. at least I did something.

How does this relate to making music?

It’s a good reminder that making an effort to sit down and do some work is always worth it.

Even if it seems like a small act and not that meaningful on the day.

Taking Things For Granted - Don't let perfection become procrastination

2- Stick Around When Things Get Boring

Sure, there was a bit of a crowd when I visited Notre Dame but it was fine really, nothing crazy.

I would only have had to wait 2-3 minutes to have a good, comfortable view of the panels.

If I can stand in line for 60 minutes at Disneyland to enjoy a 45 second ride, surely waiting 2-3 minutes to learn more about a cathedral that’s older than Shakespeare, Beethoven, George Washington and Napoleon would have been a good use of my time!

Instead, I postponed to the ever-elusive perfect time in the future when I’d have the cathedral all to myself….

How does this relate to making music?

Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part and you need a little outside inspiration.

But most of the time, in my experience, what’s really hard is to keep going when the initial bolt of inspiration is behind you and you’re left with a mess of a song to finish.

When that happens, it’s tempting to just walk away and figure you’ll do it later.

And sometimes, taking a break is the best thing you can do.

But sometimes it’s not.

Before deciding to finish something later, it’s worth asking….

Taking things for granted - am I just being a little bit lazy right now

And remembering that, very often, there’s a big breakthrough right around the big boring corner.

3- Now Is Better Than Later

You can’t take anything for granted.

Not even the Notre Dame Cathedral, this giant of a building that’s been standing since 1250.

It could have come down in a matter of hours….

How does this relate to making music?

If you have something to say, say it.

If there’s something you need to express, work on it. Do your best to get it out there.

Don’t let music production skills or recording equipment be excuses or obstacles to avoid writing.

You can always improve and make the track better later.

But only if the words or music exist to begin with.

taking things for granted - life speeds by

Final Thoughts

Unexpected events like the fire in Notre Dame can spur us into action (actually wrote lyrics to a song for the first time in a while today!)

The tricky part is keeping momentum after the initial shock subsides.

To help you with that, I’m thinking of hosting live office hours to discuss your music projects and answer your questions.

Is that something you would be interested in?

Let me know in the form below!