I’m nearly 3 months into the year and not as far along as I was hoping to be. Momentum was strong during January with the excitement of setting a new goal. I got about three or four solid starts to songs without lyrics. Then I lost steam for a while. I’ve done some reflecting over the past week as to why my progress stalled.
You can’t force creativity
I was going about this the wrong way. Before beginning I came up with a list of constraints. Then I got really focused on trying to make everything a consistent sound. That resulted in me selecting a style of music to try to write in. The idea was to stretch me out of my comfort zone in writing music, but I see now how backwards that is.
Trying hard to have a particular sound won’t produce great results. And it ended up not being as fun. I was too focused on the style to realize it just isn’t “my sound”. It’s frustrating when you try to sound like something you’re not and it never turns out how you hear it in your head.
I need to listen to my heart and right side of the brain to let that guide me.
Don’t think too much
So I took about an hour of time today to just mess around. I didn’t go into the session with any particular goals or preconceived ideas. I just played.
And you know what? It was a lot of fun.
I made sure to record just about everything. The thing is, when I’m not thinking so hard about what it should sound like, I could hear “my sound” starting to emerge. It’s a reflection of where I am in my life musically and that’s much more important than trying to fit into a style just for a challenge.
It’s also much better for letting the creativity flow without worrying about needing to get a certain sound, melody, etc. This is evident in the fact that I wrote a piano song a couple months ago when I wasn’t intending to:
In this session I got a few solid starts with some chord progressions and basic structure in place. I’m really excited to come back to them to start refining those ideas.
I won’t scratch all the other songs. There are probably some good things I could pull out of them. But I’m overall happy with this slight pivot in the way I’m approaching the album.