In this week's newsletter, I cover:

  • Why You Shouldn't Chase Success
  • My favourite things this week
  • The 7 Rules of an amazing Act 1
  • This week's freebie - Spiritus

The Quiet Whisper Issue 13

Don't Chase Success

As an aspiring composer, I believed success meant money.

I rationalised it (and rightly so) by saying that I needed to earn a "full-time income".

This makes sense. We need money to live our lives.

The real issue came when I reached that practical goal of earning a full-time income and yet, I was still chasing money and success.

I still felt the need to work harder and work more. Nothing felt enough.

I was creating work based on the monetary feedback and client feedback I was getting. If it earned me money I made it. If a client asked for it I did it. Regardless of whether I had the bandwidth or even wanted to.

After years of doing this, I started to feel somehow empty.


I was not creating work for the joy of it, or creating it because I wanted to. I was creating it for someone else. In doing so I had become detached from my creative work and from the work that I really enjoyed.

I was measuring my success based on numbers (likes and income) not on how much joy it brought me.

I was disillusioned, overwhelmed, and pretty dissatisfied with my work.

Deep down I knew the mistake I was making. So I started to create work that excited me; courses, Youtube videos, synth-wave music, and books.

My work slowly started to feel like play again.

Here I am today writing something that excites me, not for the money or because a client asked me to or even because I know it goes down well with my subscribers. I am writing this for fun and it ROCKS!

That childlike sense of play and enthusiasm is returning to my life and work.

I am trying not to let numbers or money dictate everything I do. I'll let it dictate some of it, I still have bills to pay. But the main thing is that I am creating work for myself and it's nourishing my soul.

I know you are sitting there thinking about your work; the work you really want to do because it lights you up and the work you feel you have to do because it might pay more money.

It's a tough balance to strike but if you can get paid for work you enjoy then it's an amazing feeling.

"No artist can work simply for results; he must also like the work of getting them." - Robert Farrar Capon

But how do you make sure you aren't chasing "success" for the wrong reasons?

Tim Ferriss suggests that we apply Pareto's Principle - the 80/20 rule - to cut down on this type of draining work which is amazingly effective.

I also think that we should all ask ourselves some questions to keep ourselves in check:

  • After doing your work, do you feel energised or drained?
  • What do you want to start doing? What do you want to stop doing? What will you continue doing?
  • What 20% of your work brings in 80% of your income - cut the rest to make time for more fulfilling work
  • What do you want to be doing in 5 years' time?
  • If money was not an issue, what would you do with your time?
  • What is your idea of success? Define it clearly

I truly believe that if you are doing work that lights you up and excites you then all that good energy will attract good things to you.

You must create the work that brings you joy and share it with the world.

🎧 I’m Listening To…

If you have watched any of my courses or listened to any of my music you will know that patterns play a HUGE role. One of the biggest influences in my use of patterns is Steve Reich. His work blows my mind. If I ever want to be induced into a semi-hypnotic state then I just load up Music for 18 Musicians or Drumming and sit back as the incessant patterns pass me by like clouds in the sky. I love it!

🖼 I’m Reading...

Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a truly wonderful book that speaks to me on so many levels. It's not just about creativity, it's about keeping your head above water and staying sane in an increasingly distracted world.

📺 I’m Watching...

I'm going to be totally honest, I wasn't that impressed with The Book of Boba Fett (until the Mandalorian came in). So I was hesitant to jump into this new show knowing full well it might disappoint. At first, I wasn't sold but this series is a grower. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just love diving deeper into the past of the characters I know and love.

🔥 I’m Excited About...

I grew up playing Nintendo. And carried on playing the original Nintendo until I was in my 20s. I had every single Nintendo console. Mario (and Zelda) is such a big part of my childhood that seeing this trailer doing the whole franchise justice makes me tremble with excitement - as if I had won Mario Kart for the first time!

🌟 New From Rich

The 7 Rules of Act 1

I am not going to lie - Act 1 is my favourite part of the writing process when it comes to Trailer Music. It is simple, understated and determines the direction of the rest of the cue. I am also pretty good at it too. Let me show you the 7 rules I follow when writing my first Acts.

❝ Quote of the week:

When I stay focused and honest about who I am and the image that I hope to portray, then I won't find myself stranded in unfamiliar territory chasing money or popularity. If the work that you do is quality, then you'll be rewarded. It's also good to stretch musically within the realm of your ability, but not if it compromises your integrity.
- Oleta Adams

🎁 This week's Sample pack

This week I created a sample pack of cinematic transitions that are entirely from recordings of my breath. I use these all the time in my thriller/horror tracks because they immediately add a human/organic quality to your music that other sound sources don't quite match.

Plus they are super great for creating atmosphere and adding new dimensions to your music.

This post is for paying subscribers only

Sign up now and upgrade your account to read the post and get access to the full library of posts for paying subscribers only.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in