That's what you might call my mantra that I recite to myself after just about every take of a recording. When it comes to directing myself, I am far more Kubrickian than I would be to anyone else.
I've spent much of the day mixing and then doing preliminary masters of each song. This makes it a little easier to tell if the mix is right. My theory is that if it requires a lot of work in the mastering stage, then it probably means that I need to go back and mix something differently and/or re-record the track that's giving me trouble. After I export each new version, I then listen to it and take notes. Wash, rinse, repeat. It is a process.
The mixing and mastering are somewhat overlapping at this point, but that's just kind of informing me as to what I'll need to do once I'm officially done mixing these songs. In terms of the mastering, I'll basically have to start over once I get there, but at least I'll more or less know what to do. I continue to experiment to see what works and what doesn't. This is the nature of DIY music-making.
The new album is coming together... just as soon as I can stop repeating that mantra.