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.
Since I know many of you are probably new here, WELCOME! This website is going to be the new center of what I do on the internet, and will contain links to every social media site where you can find me and my work. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, this provides the perfect segway into the point of this post: how I’ll be conducting my work on social media and such, and what changes are going to be made to how I use YouTube. There’s a lot to explain, so let’s not waste any time! Here it goes!
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.
One hundred-seventy million square miles. That’s a lot of Earth, but we’re fortunate because we live in a time unlike any other. With the invention of the Internet, we’re now more connected worldwide than we ever have been before. In a lot of ways, it’s truly an amazing recourse to have, the reasons of which I’m sure you’re well aware of, so I won’t bother going into them.
More and more, however, I’m beginning to see that people are growing weary of this level of connectivity. I come across books about how “unplugging” to a certain extent can actually improve your happiness, and many a Facebook friend of mine have expressed time and time again that they need a break from it all, because it’s too much to handle, and rightly so. Imagine this scenario: you see a group of your friends in a public place, and as you go to join them, you’re suddenly bombarded by dozens of people, some of whom you know, but who’re mostly complete strangers. They’re in this clustered mob blocking you from your friends, and all of them are exchanging nasty remarks and tearing each other apart verbally concerning social, economic, and political issues, and as you try and push your way through in order to meet up with your friends on the side, the more exhausting it becomes, and the more you begin to wonder if it’s even worth all this effort.
Something I wrote and then never published to my personal Facebook account. It’s interesting to get a glimpse into what I was thinking at the time, and the commentary is certainly still relevant, so I thought I’d share it here.
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.
If you’ve read the literature on my home or music pages, you’ve probably noticed my mentions of God and Christ, and have figured out that I’m a Christian. These days, it seems that many Christians are seen as old-fashioned, weak-minded people who blindly go along with something because it gives them hope. This is actually to be expected, considering the Bible states numerous times that the children of God will be despised by man. My dad once said that the Gospel was as simple as it is because it makes it accessible to virtually anyone, regardless of their level of intelligence. This is not to say that everyone who believes the Bible is unintelligent, as that would be slander against my family and my church, as well as myself. In fact, the purpose of this post is to look at a passage and show how something seemingly completely disconnected from reality has an explanation.
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.
One of the biggest things that hinders the aspiring storytellers, myself included, is the fear of criticism. This is my first time in years writing something for my own personal satisfaction, and two sentences in, I’m already beginning to pick it apart. Anyways, to the point. Characters are the basis of any story. They’re the vehicle that drives the plot along, and the amount of time you spend crafting them is an indication of how much effort you put into your work overall. I mean, if your readers couldn’t care less what happens to these guys, how do you expect your work to engage anyone?