The Muse SUCKS!!!
Creativity can often times feel like it’s fleeting, randomly assigned, and not always conducive to a person’s time table. Or is it?
Much to the dismay of what many think of as artistry & inspiration, endeavors in the sciences for example have always benefited and arguably wouldn’t exist without the innovation and creativity of scientists, engineers and mathematicians. In an effort to better access the “mojo” behind creativity, some things that I’ve done are operate on a set Monday – Friday schedule for when I go about my music endeavors.
Now yes, from time to time I will stray from this as it isn’t entirely set in stone. But that’s where the flexibility aspect of the formula comes in. The above-referenced template is just that, a guide by which to structure my time by. If I find myself mentally wandering off, I have the template to refer to and snap me back into my workflow. But since that framework already exists, I can afford then to be flexible should something unforeseen arise. And remember that this flexibility can also be part of what allows you as a creative to get into unexplored areas to tap into new energy. It’s why you’ll have people like Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna adopt an entirely new sound. Sure they may initially alienate some of their fanbase because the fans may have been expecting the sounds & themes they became accustomed to, but in the long run as artists, they are better off for exploring their artistry.
Always remember that fortune tends to favor the bold. If you’re truly bold in your creative endeavors, your reward may very well be like nothing you could’ve dreamt of. Keep chiseling on the technique to the long road of craft mastery because while you tackle your creativity upfront and head-on, you allow inspiration to sneak in through the back door.
In this era of continual connectivity, round-the-clock updates and an endless cascade of notifications the last thing most artists think about is NOT posting to social media on purpose. And that is exactly what I believe a modern day entertainment artist should do. Let me explain. If I post to social media because I don’t want people to ‘forget’ about me that’s not really coming from a creative source, it’s coming from a place of fear. And why wouldn’t I, as an artist, post something that isn’t inspired? If I decide to share something on social media then it should be something that can compel thought, inspiration, etc. because after all, that’s why artists exist. We as artists are here to help peel back layers of the untouched. Explore the spaces that are overlooked. Reintroduce ideas and topics by highlighting different aspects of what are thought to be well-known concepts. But if what I do is post, share, and broadcast out into the ether in a “look-at-me” effort and equate that with I-won’t-be-forgotten today because I shared something on social media? No. Just, no. I have to be able to post things that are not only in line with my brand and artistry but also, post things that aren’t devised purely for the sake of getting traffic, eyeballs, or clicks.
Yes, it’s challenging nowadays to stick to your brand of artistry and take the long road to ‘success’ when you could easily take the path of least resistance and just do what the crowd is doing… but then you’d just be yet another person doing what everyone is doing. And do you really want to be that?
What goes into my workflow when I make music? Well that mostly depends on what day of the week it is, time of day/night, etc. I generally stick to the same output process, although it can vary:
- Monday & Tuesday = create melodies, refine & polish older melodies
- Wednesday & Thursday = add drums and accompanying instruments/sounds to melodies made earlier in the week as well as sequence/arrange/mix beats
- Friday = Everything else related to music ie. create videos for uploading to IG, YouTube, FB. Write blog posts. Review any pertinent analytics. Source designers for single/album covers. Create marketing plans & review budgets for ad spending, etc.
- Saturday & Sunday = Live life!!!
Now this schedule is something that’s a framework with some wiggle room as sometimes things will come unexpectedly (and you have to come to terms with the fact that things DO and WILL come up unexpectedly), but overall it’s a schedule that seems to work for me. And the main thing is that come Monday, I already know what I have to do. Even if I wake up and I’m not “in the mood”, in those moments I treat this like a professional and just do the work. Whereas if I just do whatever it is whenever I feel like it, I would meander to & fro and at the end of the day have nothing or very little to show for my efforts.
May your skies be blue, and your beats be DIRRRRRTY!