Hello my friends,
how are you all hanging in there, with COVID 19 restrictions still tying us to the house in many places and forcing us to reduce social gatherings? Are you feeling more or less inspired to write songs? Are you feeling more or less productive? Are you doing too much or doing too little? You know what? We all go through this crisis together, but there are different ways to manage the situation and whatever is going on with you, just know, that what you feel is ok!
This is not a normal situation and it can be scary, and emotionally difficult, so let´s be easy on ourselves!
I personally have felt a bit burned out lately. And I was wondering why. I seemed to have less chores on the table, and more time to do them. I thought I´d be super busy practicing guitar and working on songs, but lately I felt my energy dropping drastically. I noticed that some sort of subconscious stress had taken over my body, dragging me down and making me feel a little anxious in a way.
I also then realized that I had been very productive in the beginning of the lockdown here in Germany. But all of a sudden everything seemed like too much to handle. I then came to notice that I often seem to rotate in circles.
After productive times, I often need a break (which I don´t allow myself often)…and I admit, this break is crucial for inspiration. It is in the downtimes, that new things can be found!
My recurring cycles look like this:
Phase 1: Inspiration
Phase 2: Creation
Phase 3: Action
Phase 1 is usually a phase of emotional and physical rest. I might feel drained from Phase 3 still and slightly overworked. So I slow down. I rest, I watch movies (if I want to), I check out new music, do more Yoga (or none at all) and take long walks. I allow for negative and positive feelings to be felt! I cry,I laugh, I live. But the beauty of this is, that it usually, after a while results in inspiration. So this downtime is crucial in the songwriting process. That´s what I have found for myself.
Phase 2 kicks in once my inspiration sparks like crazy. The drive to write songs and create sets in and I´m back in “work mode”. It is a feeling of “being in the flow”. I will write a lot and feel more inspired. Sometimes this Phase continues for months…
Phase 3 often kicks in once I´m satisfied with my work and (simultaneously) the excessive creation phase fades out a little bit. Doesn´t mean I will stop creating altogether, but I will focus more on “getting things done” during that time. Meaning I will start recording the songs properly, working on promotion campaigns, doing the admin work, like registering songs with my PRO and the likes. In this phase I am more focused on getting the business going, than on the creative part.
Look, I am not saying that there is a harsh line that separates these phases. In fact I will do all these things in all phases, but I have noticed that I sometimes invest more time in soul-searching, sometimes more in writing songs and sometimes I am in full throttle action mode.
So, whatever stage you are in right now, don´t judge! Especially if you feel drained and “useless”. Just know that there ain´t no thing as useless! Every break, every gap is crucial to make a piece of art come alive! Think of it as a song! Think of the dynamics that make a good song so great! Honour the pauses, my friends! There´s a time for everything and I suppose we work best, if we allow for those natural shifts and flows to kick in.