By Hailey Nuthals, Arts Editor
It’s that time of year again, with the summer drawing to a close and the days getting shorter and shorter with each sunset. But fret not: a new year of academia brings new hope, and better yet, the debut album from psych-indie trio DREAMERS. The boys are back with an absolutely smashing LP, full of groovy choruses and captivating lyrics. (It pairs well with your final summer bash and all your best friends.)
Out of the goodness of his heart, vocalist and proud graduate of NYU Steinhardt Nick Wold took the time to give his top five back-to-school tips for students. (We’d take his word for it – he did, after all, survive the very school you’re attending now, and look where he ended up!) Check out his tips below, and prepare yourself for classes and for the release of “THIS ALBUM DOES NOT EXIST,” available this Friday, the 26th!
Nick Wold’s back-to-school tips:
- Coffee! I don’t want to say that substances are the solution to anything, or a reliable crutch, but looking back on our best recording and writing sessions, there always seems to be a steady flow of ‘fresh pots’. I think the use of coffee is augmented for me personally since I don’t drink it every day, so when I do actually have a cup while writing or recording, there is an extra intense dose of focus-magic.
2. Set hard deadlines! I spent years on my own in Brooklyn writing and trying to teach myself how to write. I tried everything from writing in the middle of the night, early morning, drunk, sober, inspired, bored. There’s no wrong way to do it, but for me the worst strategy of all was always ‘waiting for inspiration’. The most success I’ve ever had from writing was starting in the daytime and saying ‘I must start finish a whole song within the next 6 hours’. If you force yourself to be productive, with less attention to how ‘good’ the product is, then you’ll begin to work on the true skill of writing, which is being able to finish things on demand.
3. Judge after! The death of any creative project is over thinking, or over criticizing early on. You can be discerning, but don’t judge the strength of tree while it’s still a sprout. You may re-write it later, or even throw it in the trash, but the key is to just get the idea out and finished. The most important thing is to realize that writing is a process that you get better at slowly over time. You won’t know you’re writing your masterwork until after it’s done, when you get a moment away from it and can judge it with hindsight.
4. Talk trash! Being productive is about walking the walk, one certainly can’t be all talk. That being said, one of the best ways to force yourself into action is to talk big. Tell someone else that you are going to finish a whole piece today. Tell someone else that you are a writer, or that you are an artist. Tell someone you are working on something great. If you have any self respect you’ll realize that you have to live up to these lofty words or else face the embarrassment of returning to this person with your tail between your legs. You can’t do big things without believing that you can.
5. Believe in your work! It’s difficult to work hard and well on something if you don’t believe it’s worth doing. You may be assigned some piece or project that you really hate or don’t agree with, but if you can find some angle that really speaks to you, some facet of it which aligns with your personal philosophy, it will be easier, and the product will be better. What inspired you to want to write, record or do whatever it is your doing? If you can find sources of your real motivation, you’ll always have something to draw from, and some drive to keep going.