I am releasing a new single this Friday, September 21st on Spotify. This song has a lot of meaning for me because I recorded it at the tipping point of desperation. Hence, it seemed appropriate to title it “Completely Desperate.” This song was cathartic and necessary for me to do. I have been wanting to record music for several weeks, but I could not bring myself to do it the way I envisioned it in my mind.
On that note, I realized something about creating music that I was ignoring at the time.
What I envisioned lacked perspective.
To give more context on the above, the idea that I had envisioned was that I needed a lot of time to compose, record, and mix a single song. I thought that I needed several days and even weeks of free time to produce something to be proud of. Following that logic was not the best approach after all. That logic ended up hurting me.
First, the idea of not having that unrealistic amount of free time was causing me anxiety. Second, I felt the necessity of recording, but the sensation of not having enough free time was incapacitating. Lastly, I felt that I was going to lose something that was an essential part of me. In fact, I was actually loosing it already, and the sensation was distressing.
But you know what? I thought that this was normal, almost expected. I just had to make peace with the idea. I had the preconceived assumption that because I am a full-time student, have a part-time job, a relationship, and friends whom I try to see when possible, in addition to preparing to graduate school this year was more than a legitimate reason. It seemed reasonable. I went with this mindset for weeks. I was seriously mistaken.
When I was reading and researching about Japanese psychology, I found various themes that slowly let me too other topics. One of them was a method that is applied within certain corporations to solve problems: the Five Whys technique. After reading about it, I decided to give it a try on myself out of curiosity.
Here is an example:
I feel anxious and overwhelmed.
I do not have enough time for music anymore.
I am too busy with other tasks and cannot any record music.
I feel that I need a big and open schedule to record anything worthy.
Because that is the way I used to do it in the past.
Because it was a different period, routine, and a different schedule from where I am now.
In essence, I was fixed on that creative mindset of the past and applying it to my current lifestyle. It did not make sense. It was not logical to have that mind-set because now my circumstances are different. Realizing the latter a few days ago was important for me. My problem was that I was confusing amount of time to quality.
What I am doing now is trying to be more deliberate with music. I am grabbing my guitar whenever I can with the intention to play for fun, not as a task or the intention to record. Also, when I am taking breaks during studying and homework sessions. Ideas do come up during those jams, and then if they persist, I record myself with my phone camera, or just an audio memo and save it for a later time.
And when the weekend comes, all I need is to do is to sit down and record as much as I can because half the work is already done, which is composing. Usually it happens early in the morning or late at night. More on that later.
In short, I realized that after challenging my assumptions I can see if they are really true, even if it appears to be undeniable at the time. Since I proved myself that I was wrong, by asking questions, my assumption that seemed logical (lack of time), was lacking convincing evidence.
My question for you is, do you feel that you are just too busy to create music? Is there a chance to test that assumption?
Let me know if something similar has happened to you and how you solved it.
Music as catharsis,