Tucker, success is what you say it is.

I've read countless books where they talk about success and they pretty much all say the same thing "Success looks different for everyone. For some: Money. For others: Fame. etc..."

I have, over the years, successfully written a couple hundred songs. I have successfully written a book. I have successfully written a blog post a week for the last eight weeks. I am successful at those things because I am considering 'Done' my measure of success.

One of those eight successful posts was 'Done is when you say you're done', in it I talk about how I suggested two projects to my brother Tim. One of those projects was the five songs I had recorded last year. I had worked with Aaron Young on the songs and had him do some great guitar tracks and I got some strong lead vocals down. I was excited and shared them with a few people but never really did anything with the recordings.

I realized the reason I hadn't done anything with them was because I didn't consider them 'Done'. I just kept thinking how great they would sound with harmonies and drums and bass and all the other things that would complete the songs. Last week's post is about my adventure getting to the recording session where we were recording the drums and the bass guitar. You can be sure I'll share them this time because they'll be 'Done'.

Because Success is what I say it is, I'm excited to figure out what my next measure of success will be once 'Done' is just a task to be checked off and not a goal to be accomplished.

What are your measures of success?

Tucker, done is when you say you're done.

My brother Tim plays bass in a band called Barrage. While he was back from tour I asked if he would play on the Zany Zoo song that inspired the book. He seemed excited to play on the song and when I suggested a different project he asked "But if we do the Zany Zoo isn't your project 'done'?"

It was an interesting question and made me ask 'What is done?" I've completed the book I could be done. I could move on to something else. It could be something else to do with the Zany Zoo Book

I wrote the song. I'm done.
I did a book. I'm done. 
I record the song. I'm done. 

Simply: Done is when you say you're done.

According to the Cult Of Done Manifesto even failure equals done and the point of being done is not to be finished ... it's to be able to start something else.

This approach is helping me to keep motivated during my one hour an evening work time because everything I complete in that hour is now 'done'. This means I can move on to the next thing. It helps because previously I would be looking at everything as one enormous project thinking "This is hours and hours of work! This will never get done!" Then play Angry Birds and go to bed. But now I write a blog post and I'm just ... done. 

What can you do now that would let you say "I'm done."?

Tucker, where can I buy your book?

I won't beat around the bush you can buy it here: http://tukr.me/Zany_Zoo_Book

Last week I told you my book was complete and once I received the proof it would be ready to be purchased. A man of my word I got the proof, made some slight changes and republished to the website and now you can go buy as many as you like.

I've self-publised at Lulu.com, it's a website that does on-demand printing as well as drop shipping fulfillment. This means I don't have to pay for a whole load of books and keep an inventory. It does come out to be a bit more expensive per piece though. (I'll write about my experiences at Lulu in another post.)

I hope you like reading it as much as I enjoyed making it. In fact I'd love to see pictures of you and your kids enjoying the book and I wouldn't be offended by a series of unboxing photos either ;)

Next project is to record the song. I'll keep you posted.

Tucker, tell us about your book

I've been writing songs for about 20 years now and I will quite often tear off in a passionate outburst around a song or story idea. "I'm going to do a short film based on this song and it'll blah blah blah ..." One of the things I always said I was going to do was write a kids book. Well, this past Easter while at the Market Collective I met an artist named Ola Birch and asked if she'd be interested in working with me. As it turns out she was more excited about my project than I was. She had sketches done in a couple days. She had all the characters worked out in a few more. She had them all coloured and finalized in a few weeks. Before I knew I had enough to make my book. 

Holy Crap! I got enough stuff to make a friggin' book? ... um ... uh ... well ... uh ... I guess I should make a book then.

But wait, I haven't done any real graphic design stuff in about three years. I haven't done any print work in close to ten. I have two kids and I really only get about an hour a night to do my own thing before I have to head off to bed. The story is based on a song I've done and it's not even recorded yet, I've only played it a few times I don't even know if it's good enough. My kids seem to like it but there is a whole world out there. I don't want to be the next Fred Penner or Raffi. I just want  ... HOLD IT!

Man, I can get sick of the inside of my head sometimes. 

I decided that in the one hour a night that I had I would put the book together, it took about three weeks and some nights were a little longer than an hour. One more night and the files should be ready for the printer. I'm completely astonished.

So that's my story so far. After 20 years of songwriting my first completed project is a book, go figure.

What's the book called? Oh sorry 'bout that It's called 'Going To The Zany Zoo'. Here is the description from the back:

"A cast of characters your family will love to visit again and again are waiting for you to join them. Spinning, Winning and Bottom Shaking are just a few of the fun things the animals are up to at the Zany Zoo."

Zany Zoo cover test print

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