This week has been a bit of a drag when it comes to music production. A couple weeks back, I realized that if I didn’t pick up the pace and start planning out deadlines for the pieces I wanted in Cloudland Connections, it would be the only major music project I’d release in 2017, and even then, that’s being optimistic. So far, though, sticking to it has not been going well—not because of procrastination, but because of something I’m going to be touching on in this post.
I had a frustrating day yesterday when it comes to musical work. I’ve been trying to stick to a schedule of churning out a new track every 10 days, because I want to be able to release my current project, an album of ambient music titled Eyes Open in Dream, by April 10th. However, the current hardest part of the process (which is funny, because I used to be the other way around) is coming up with a basis on which to further build on and eventually shape into a fully-fledged piece. Right now, my I’m working on a track I’ve named Lazy Grey Skies.
If you’ve ever tried to pursue a creative field as a career, or even just as a routine hobby, you may have experienced what a lot of people call “burnout”. It’s when the craft that you used to love starts to feel so tedious and aggravating that you begin to wonder whether or not it’s worth your time anymore. I know this from experience—as I write this, I’m currently on a semester-long leave from studying musical composition at the University of Southern Maine. At this point, I don’t know if I’ll continue with this major, but there were a number of things that pushed me to the point where I felt I needed a break. Some may have been beyond my control, but in this post, I’m going to be focusing on the ones that certainly were, and how they can bring the creative train to a screeching halt if you’re not careful.
I’m no stranger to having to suppress certain characteristics of mine. Being an Aspie (though many people may not be familiar with this term, considering Asperger’s syndrome is no longer considered medically relevant), I’m used to refraining from doing certain things that would seem bizarre to the average person. One big thing is something known as “stimming”—usually in the form of flapping the hands or bouncing around, or even both combined when Aspies are in deep thought. For me, it usually takes the form of pacing. I pace a lot when I think. For obvious reasons, I’ve learned to suppress that in order to avoid distracting people around me, especially when in public.
My biggest worries always seem to stem from the future. I’m not a man who typically dwells on the past, but in retrospect, my sophomore year in high school was one of the better years in recent memory. I was in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in my life, I was just beginning to discover my love of music, something I would eventually go on to study in college, and I even started to flex those creative muscles. However, one of the things that I’ve always regretted to this day, even if it rarely comes to the forefront of my mind, is turning my back on the craft of writing.