… of Discipline & Determination

I’m not sure if it’s becoming a ritual, or just habit. Maybe it’s the warmer weather? Maybe it’s something in the water? In any case, my post New Year motivation has hit, as it always does around this time. My study-come-Man Cave has been transformed into an almost ready to actually work in work space. I’ve attended my first taekwondo class of the year after a two month break, and despite my legs still not working as they should, I intend to go back. And inspired by good Twitter friend Sunky, I’ve decided to take a different approach to listening to my always growing music collection.

Something I’ve realised about myself over the last 12 months [1] is that I’m very good at acquiring things – whether they be comics, games, books, movies or music – but I’m not very good when it comes to actually experiencing them. The more I acquire, the less time I have to work through everything. And as the piles of shame grow, the more overwhelmed I become, and the less likely it is that I’m going to look at any of it. So it sits on my shelf, or bedside table, or in my drawer, or bag, or coffee table, or hard-drive, and gathers dust. So much dust.

Writing all of that out aloud, it feels ridiculous to be overwhelmed by stuff that is intended to entertain. Surely watching movies and reading comics shouldn’t be a chore? My attention span is barely long enough to read a Tweet, let alone watch a whole 2 hour movie.  I’ve got a stack of Batman comics sitting there, staring at me, and all I can do is stare back. And if comics are hard, you can forget about books that don’t have any pictures.

I need a plan. I need structure. And I need discipline.

So, we start with the music. Taking a leaf from Sunky’s book, I’ve made a list of 30 albums that will go on my phone [2] and stay with me over the course of the next month or so. At the end of that month or so, I’ll cull the list and start again. Some of these artists have been with me forever, only I’ve never given this particular album a fair listen. Some were impulse purchased based on the quality of one or two tracks. Some were given to me or recommended by friends, and haven’t been listened to properly (or, y’know, ever), others I’ve lost touch with over the years and I’m hoping to get re-acquainted. And some I stole directly from Sunky’s list, on account of it’s a really great list.

It’s a small step, but hopefully the first of a few that will see me riding the New Year motivation bus for longer than the next week or so. Here they be:

  • Alice in Chains – Alice in Chains
  • Ammonia – Mint 400
  • Barkmarket – Gimmick
  • Bikini Kill – Singles
  • The Black Keys – thickfreekness
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl
  • Cat Power – You Are Free
  • Deerhoof – The Runner’s Four
  • dUES – Worst Case Scenario
  • Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
  • Dinosaur Jnr. – Farm
  • Fugazi – Repeater + 3 Songs
  • Jeff Klein – The Hustler
  • The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy
  • M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  • Massive Attack – Mezzanine
  • Mogwai – Young Team
  • Nina Simone – Classic Album
  • No Age – Everything In Between
  • The Pillows – Moon Gold
  • A Place to Bury Strangers – Self titled
  • Radiohead – King of Limbs
  • Red Sparowes – At The Soundless Dawn
  • Sonic Youth – Washing Machine
  • Tokyo Police Club – Champ
  • Usurper of Modern Medicine – Acid Chess
  • The Walkmen – Bows & Arrows
  • The Weeknd – Echos of Silence
  • Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • Wolf&Cub – Vessels

Next up – working through my comic book pile of shame, and tackling some of those PS3, DS and Wii games [3]. So much to do, so little time!

[1] That’s a lie, I’ve known it about myself for pretty much ever.

[2] We will forget for a moment that I’ll still be carrying my ‘back-up’ music on my iPod, at least for the short term. Cause some days you just really need to hear some Childish Gambino.

[3] Oh and you know, maybe even doing some writing at some point? But let’s not push ourselves too early.


Author: Mark Ampersand

Budding writer, connoisseur of fine popular culture and Batman fan.

One thought on “… of Discipline & Determination”

  1. Ahhh the need to hoard!

    What I’ve learnt is always asking myself “Do I really need it?”

    It forced me to appreciate what I had and to at least try and curb that need to feel satisfied by collecting more. Ownership addiction. You feel you may lose out if you don’t get it; but then you lose out when you pass over so much of your collection.

    Good luck!

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