Billy Boyd and the four hundred and thirty takes

The other day I watched the special features disc from the third of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, The Battle of the Five Armies.

It included a featurette on the recording of the film’s closing song, The Last Goodbye, performed by actor and musician Billy Boyd (Pippin from the LOTR trilogy).

As identified in the featurette, Boyd recorded 430 takes of the song.

I repeat: four hundred and thirty takes!

Spend a moment thinking about the type of dedication that would require.

Do you have 430 takes in you?

More importantly, how many drafts of your last piece of writing did you do?

Was it two?

Maybe three?

I’m hoping it was more than that, but I’d guess it was probably less.

(And I’m almost positive it wasn’t 430 drafts.)

Creating memorable art takes work, dedication, and humility.

Next time you’re busy telling yourself that your first draft is perfect, take a second to think about Billy Boyd singing the same song 430 times in a row.

Because that’s the type of dedication and perseverance it takes to create something that will live beyond you and touch people’s souls.

430 takes…

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