“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.” – Franklin P. Jones
How can a music producer learn a valuable lesson from someone who plays videogames for a living? Well, you’re going to find out!
The gamer was reflecting on his commentary on livestreams and YouTube. I was curious because there were no prolonged silences and even the tangents and asides were relevant, well, MOST of the time atleast (gunrights and little people are topics to be avoided at 4AM).
He said that he thought his popularity stemmed from the fact that he provided painfully obvious commentary spiced with a sense of humor. It made the game really easy to follow and also gave his viewers an insight into his thought process while playing.
He went on to say that it had helped him too since it was a way for him to check himself. It was a way too make sure he was on track with the things he wanted to get done. Since he didn’t use a script (other than keywords if the games had been updated etc) he just talked out loud and people apparently found his reasoning funny and interesting.
That reminded me of a study called “Self-directed speech affects visual search performance” by Gary Lupyan & Daniel Swingley. In the study it became apparent that by speaking or hearing the name of the object you were looking for it increased the visual system’s ability to perform the task.
If this is true for our visual system, can’t the same be true for solving other tasks as well?Let’s say you’re having issues about a certain sound in your production. Pose the problem out loud. Start reasoning, once again, out loud: “If I do this then that affects that”, “Do I need to revisit something else?”, “I should call my friend and see if she’s got any new soundbank that I could try out” and so on.
It focuses your attention on the task at hand while also putting the process outside your head. Quite often we get caught in circular reasoning or just don’t get anywhere because it doesn’t get out of our heads.
This was what I felt had happened with the producer I was talking to. I know he’s a smart guy, he’s “got this” already. I don’t need to feed him ideas, all I have to do is to ask the questions that bring out his thought process. We talked about some different tools to get the process more structured but he’s going to figure it out. It’s all about the details and taste now!
Apparently talking to yourself is frickin’ fantastic! But what about the downsides? Like, people thinking you’ve gone schizo and also feeling like a moron doing it?
Don’t knock it before you try it! It might be frowned upon but you can also choose your moments. Maybe schedule some time to do it when you know you’re going to be alone?
Now, the schizo-thing. Talking out loud is NOT schizophrenic per se. However, if you’re responding and reasoning with the voices in your head, get help. That is a sign that something is not right.
Another thing you want to be wary about is negative self-directed speech. If you’re saying things like “You’re so stupid! How could you lose your keys?” instead of “Keys, keys, keys. Where are the keys?” then you’re not being productive and are causing unnecessary pain.
Let’s recap! Talking to yourself can help you find what you’re looking for, find solutions, clarify your thinking, check your priorities and control for quality just to name a few things.
Remember to keep it positive baby!
I’ll let Franklin P. Jones quote you off!
“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”
“Originality is the art of concealing your source.”
“Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
“You never realize what a good memory you have until you try to forget something.”
“Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger.”
“Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor’s noisy party than being there.”
“Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”