Niclas Thorsteinsson - Musician/Writer

Month: August 2016

Bubble Boy – My Simulated Cabin in the Woods for September

OmaLike so many others, I have a silly, romantic fascination with the idea of artistic retreats. Going to a remote place, breathing in nature and producing dazzling works of art. It worked for Thoreau, Kerouac, Bon Iver and so many others french sounding creatives, right? Well, I’m a working family man with a newborn and a special needs teenager, so I have neither the time nor the finances to do anything of the sort.

Hence, meet Bubble Boy, my virtual retreat. Why and how does that work? Well, me hearties, first I had to ask myself what do I want to be doing from here on out? And then do that. It’s not that simple, of course. Life happens. Work happens. But it’s not that far off either, hmm? No.

For me, a short answer to the question above would be: I want to realize my creative ideas, do the best I can for my family, become a reader (vs. absorber) again, be somewhat healthy and energetic, be adventurous, socialize and participate a bit more and give back in areas that matter to me.

So what’s stopping me? 

  • Lack of time. Lack of planning. Lack of courage. And just not doing it.

All fairly manageable—dare I say it—excuses. I can make more time by getting up earlier and also by curbing unnecessary time consuming activities. I can make a morning routine where I plan, set deadlines and follow through on my plans. And then there is courage, closely linked to procrastination, perfectionism and all that jazz. It’s a cart before the horse situation. As most productive people have figured out, you don’t sit around waiting for courage or inspiration or whatever. You just get on with it and then these things may or may not come. Either way you’re doing something. Allow yourself to suck, as someone said.

So, let me start by listing what I’m not allowed to do in September:

  • Solitary Video Gaming.
  • Internet surfing (except when I have to achieve a goal or buy something very specific online – hence, no browsing).
  • Solitary Film & TV watching. Together with friends and loved ones is OK. My gf watches very little tv, so it won’t consume much time.
  • Sleep in or stay up late. I intend to get up at 6.30 and be in bed by 10.30 PM every day.

I have somewhat of an addictive personality and whenever I feel depressed, anxious or just tired I choose the path of least resistance and begin absorbing ungodly amounts of the things mentioned above and that doesn’t jive with who I want to be.

Here’s what I’m allowing myself:

  • Music: Creating music, jamming, rehearsing.
  • Writing and blogging
  • Photography
  • Other creative projects.
  • Reading: All kindle and pocket and honest to god books made of paper.
  • Family Time.
  • Exercise. Walking, hiking, running, dancing, whatever.
  • Socializing
  • Finances
  • Plan & Organize.
  • Meditation and other relaxing activities.
  • Other necessary activities such as work, cleaning, etc.

As stated earlier, I’m also incorporating a morning routine.

So I’ll keep this going all September. I’ll check in every day and report on what and how I’m doing. The most significant changes are getting up early and removing the time wasters. I’m thinking I ought to set a quota on my daily creative pursuits (like Stephen King writing 2000 words per day without fail), but first I’ll give it a week to see if anything productive develops naturally now that I’ve removed my biggest time wasters.
This will be a learning experience and I’ll probably refine a few things along the way. Also, an absolute ban on video games, netflix and web browsing is excessive and I’ll probably return to them in October and use them as rewards instead.


Week 7



Well, I skipped a week. Didn’t even write a to do list. I was ill for the first three days and then regular work and family life flooded me. Can’t win them all, but I’m concocting an interesting challenge for September. I’ll explain later. Here are my intentions for Week 7:

  1. Apply for re-enrollment into the University of Copenhagen. (Goal #96)
  2. Define BB project and take steps to My september challenge.
  3. Work on goal #88 or #89 (creativity).

That’s it for now.

It did happen.

The Reverends at the Summer Festival in Klaksvík.

All photos by Hjalmar Jóhan Juul

KóriðNic 2 Kristin LeaJanusAnna 3 PauliNic Rúni 2 Vinjar

Week 6 – Onwards (with update)

New York Sep 2013

Here are the three things I wish to accomplish for Week 6. Did I mention I’m only setting three goals per week now? Well, I am. The rule of three, see? Inspired by Agile Results by J.d. Meier.

  1. Work hard on goal #88 (a tune exclusively on ipad) and do my best to finish it.
  2. Finish up goal #92 (our finances in order) if possible. I’m getting a quote from an insurance company today and will shop around a bit more and hopefully finish up by friday.
  3. Habit makeover. Too many of my good habits have slipped in the wake of our national holidays and music festivals, so I want to think said habits through and start the useful and realistic ones up again.

– – – UPDATE – – – 

Well, the week did not go as planned as I had infinitely more McJobbing to do than anticipated. My entire weekend consisted of nothing but work. Thus, I did not do so well: 

  1. My first goal went to shit and I did next to no work on the ipad tune. 
  2. Success. I finished goal #92, so now we know what we’re aiming for. 
  3. Yep, thought everything through and picked my three important habits to start with and I won’t be adding any more till they are thoroughly up and running. The three habits? They’re my morning routine, project work and my evening routine. I’ll go into more detail later. 

Well, that’s it for now. I’m fairly tired of things not working out. In the weeks to come, I’ll be focusing on getting up early and getting some project work done. 

Week 5 – with update


This week will mostly be spent on rehearsals and a subsequent gig with The Reverends at the Summer Festival in Klaksvík. We have extra backup singers, a violinist, a pianist and more so that’ll be fun. Great people.

Hence, I won’t be overly focused on my regular goals, however playing a gig and rehearsing is most certainly part of the plan. 

ToDo for week 5:

  1. Have fun rehearsing and playing at the Summer Festival in Klaksvík.
  2. Work on goal #89 (create track in home studio) if possible.
  3. Work on goal #91 by moving our savings together and figuring out how much we need per month (been using YNAB for several years so this should be easy).


  1. Have fun rehearsing and playing at the Summer Festival in Klaksvík. (done!). 
  2. Work on goal #89 (create track in home studio) if possible. (didn’t find the time).
  3. Work on goal #91 by moving our savings together and figuring out how much we need per month (been using YNAB for several years so this should be easy) (done!). 


Well, I got 2 out of 3, which is quite ok considering the amount of rehearsals we had. We had a great time playing playing at the Summer Festival. I’ll see if I can post a few pics if I get permission from the photographers. This sunday I spent maybe 2 hours on figuring out our finances and everything taken into account it looks like we’ll be purchasing a home here in Tórshavn—or perhaps in Velbastað or Hvítanes— in about 18 months or so, so that’s quite exciting.

Well, onwards onwards onwards. Week 6 coming up.

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