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About ready to throw in the towel.


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With the rash of recent writer's block threads around here, I'd thought I'd contribute.

 

Here is my deal, I "used" to be an excellent singer/songwriter, I could sit down, and within 20 minutes have a fun, emotional, impacting song written in full. I loved writing, singing, I couldn't picture myself doing anything else, it slowly and surely became my identity as a person. As time has went on, I've grown insecure, I've had inspirations from the start about getting on stage, becoming a working performer. These things haven't come to light. Instead I've played for friends and more or less hasn't really left the bedroom.

 

Over the last year or so, I've felt my interest in music has been declining. I feel there is no point anymore to write, it's not going to take me anywhere, self-satisfaction is out of the question because I'm struggling with it, I hate the stuff I come up with, I also dislike my voice. Yet, I'm constantly badgered by my psyche to pick up that guitar, because it's what I was for so long. I've taken breaks before, it does no good. Instead I feel guilty because I'm not doing something I loved so dearly, it's in fact very, very difficult to move on. I can't bear to listen to music, because the same thoughts re-occur. Has anyone been through this? I feel as if my path is life has shifted terribly, and it's difficult to imagine myself doing anything else, but I'm not able to become creative anymore. I'm at standpoint where there are different options to take, but it's going to be hard, because ultimately I haven't had much of an interest in anything else besides music.

 

Okay, rant over, feel free to offer advice, similar stories. I've needed to get this off my chest for awhile, so hopefully there are others that have faced the same things.

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If you're not having fun anymore, than I actually see no point in continuing. However, I wouldn't give up altogether. Are you primarily a guitarist/vocalist? If so, then pick something else up. Try making electronic based music, I know its increased my interest in music. Maybe you should really commit to not playing for a long period of time. Take up a different hobby; cars, sports, friends, etc... If you've completely immersed yourself in music to the point that its all you know, you're not going to have any other outlets for you're creativity or stress or what have you. I think I was coming close to that point, then I realized, that unless I find something to apply mind to that isn't musically based, I might become burnt out on music altogether.

 

In any case, I hope you find a way to include music in your life without having to take it so seriously.

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I have many diversions. It is really great when I feel a lack of creativity as a songwriter, for example, that I can go take photographs that I know will end up being part of my next photography book or help me in marketing my motivational speaking business.

 

People, today, have the idea that one should pour everything into one "passion" and that is wrong. A farmer will tell you never to put all of your eggs in one basket (in case you drop it). The simple fact is that some of the greatest creative people in history had many passions. Look at the term "renaissance man" and what that means. Think of Leonardo deVinci or Michelangelo. Both men had many passions. Ben Franklin is another great example.

 

I'd suggest finding other things to occupy your time and take creative energy. After a time, you will most likely find that your music will begin inspiring you again.

 

Just to give you some more information about me, I am a motivational speaker, author, publisher, songwriter, photographer, visual artist working in various media. I am not a prolific songwriter, but, writing a song when I get inspiration takes about five minutes. So, I can understand what you are saying. If not for positive thinking and visualization, I might have taken a totally different path in life.

 

What you are really looking for is inspiration and that just might come if you try some new things and meet new people. I have a feeling that new experiences will give you new song ideas once you are motivated again. Meanwhile, you have achieved a lot in the past and you have lots more where that came from.

 

I believe in you.

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I've gone through similar periods.

 

For me, the important thing is to get back to my own fundamentals.

 

I'm a person of wildly varied musical interests and sometimes quixotic enthusiasms... I can pursue something with great passion for intense, sometimes extended periods but end up burning out or getting bored by a scene that once excited and fascinated me.

 

It can be easy to get distracted -- particularly when you're trying to master some new phase or style or technique. You can get so close that you lose sight of the music... just seeing a bunch of notes, instead.

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I had my own major blockage with similar feelings of dissatisfaction with what I was doing. It took me about 10 years to get back to feeling good about writing songs.

 

It's really not worth forcing something that won't happen or which just leaves you unhappy or dissatisfied. There's more to life than music, even though when the muse is really cooking it seems like there could be nothing better. Those phantom feelings linger but perhaps its better to not continue for nostalgia's sake.

 

Taking up other interests is a good thing. People on this forum have suggested sport or other kinds of hobbies. I am a visual artist as well so I flip between music and visual work. I also would suggest listening to music completely outside your realm of familiarity like classical, jazz or music from around the world. If that doesn't satisfy, then silence will work too - I've been down that road as well.

 

My return to music was like a rebirth of sorts, like being a child all over again. It might seem like 10 years is a long time, but it was a necessary step in my personal development - a clearing out of the bad habits and bad preconceptions that led to the blockage in the first place. In that time I realized an obvious thing - that one can be just as happy without music as a creative output.

 

I hope you can find your way, in whatever manner it manifests itself.

 

PS. I wonder if many of those posting here about writer's block are solo bedroom hobbyists. I can only imagine that feeding off the interaction with other musicians helps defuse the bad vibes of blockage...

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Hey,

 

Sorry to hear your woes

 

Seems to me that the music business is a cruel, evil beast that really doesn't care about what you do. It can be really de-moralising if you feel you're doing something worthwhile when nobody really cares...There's some good advice in this thread, especially the 'forget it for just now' slant. I know it seems like you're 'throwing in the towel' but you know what, you shouldn't beat yourself up over what is fundamentally an impossible business to make even the smallest amount of money.

 

Good luck...

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I have gone through blocks aswell...been angered at it all.But music never lets you down.It is always there for you no matter what and it calls you wether you like it or not---it always has a way of bringing you back.Don't give up---I mean I guess you can say you are going to give up.But you are always welcome back when music comes calling you once again!I have always believed that music and life go together.Your life and your music that is.

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Here's a message from one of my teacher's. Her name is Amma and she is a living saint from India. I suggest reading this and also suggest taking a spiritual journey. I've been on this journey for about 10 years, traveling almost non-stop. I started on the streets of Memphis and I knew that there was more to life than the "Blues"! I hope this helps~~

 

Q: Amma, what is the greatest lesson that one needs to learn in life?

 

A: Be attatched to the world with a detached attitude.

 

 

 

Q: How can attatchment and detachment go together?

 

A: Attatch and detach as you wish - act, then let go and move forward. Extra luggage will make your journey uncomfortable, right? Likewise, the extra luggage of indiscriminate dreams, desires, and attatchments will make your life's journey extremely miserable.

 

Even great emperors, dictators and rulers suffer horribly at the end of their lives due to carrying such extra luggage in life. Nothing but the art of detachment will help you to be in a restful state of mind at that time.

 

Alexander was a great warrior and ruler who had conquered nearly one-third of the world. He wanted to become emporor of the entire world, but he was defeated in battleand fell sick with a terminal illness. A few days before his death, Alexander called his ministers and explained to them how he wanted to be buried. He told them he wanted openings made on both sides of his coffin, through which his arms should be kept hanging out with the palms turned up. The ministers asked him why he wanted this to be done. Alexander replied that, in this way, everyone would come to know that the great Alexander, who had strived his whole life to possess and conquer the world, had left it totally empty-handed. He had not even taken his own body with him. Therefore, they would understand how futile it is to spend one's whole life chasing afer the world and its objects.

 

After all, in the end we cannot take anything with us, not even our own body. So, what is the use of feeling overly attatched?

 

 

ALso here is another message from her that I posted on another similar thread~ I feel like I should repost it here~ Enjoy!!!

 

: Amma, being an artist, a musician, I would like to know what my attitude toward my profession should be and how to express more and more of my musical talents?

 

A: Art is God's beauty manifested in the form of music, painting, dance and so forth. It is one of the easiest ways to realize one's inherent divinity. There are many saints who found God through music. So, you are specially blessed to be a musician. In regards to your attitude towards your profession, be a beginner, a child in front of God, in front of the divine. This will enable you to tap into the infinite possibilities of your mind. And this, in turn, will help you manifest more and more of your musical talents in a much deeper way.

 

 

 

Q: But Amma, how to be a child, a beginner?

 

A: Just be accepting and recognizing your ignorance, you automatically become a beginner.

 

 

 

Q: I understand that, but I am not completely ignorant. I am a trained musician.

 

 

 

A: How much training do you have?

 

Q: I studied music for six years and have been a performing artist for the last 14 years.

 

 

 

A: How big is space?

 

Q: (sounding a little puzzled) I don't understand your question.

 

 

 

A: (smiling) You don't understand the question because you don't understand space, isn't it so?

 

Q: (shrugging his shoulders) Maybe.

 

 

 

A: Maybe?

 

Q: But what is the connection between my question and Your asking, "How big is space?"

 

A: There is a connection. Pure music is as big as space. It is God. it is pure knowledge. it is the secret of allowing the pure sound of the universe to flow through you. You cannot learn music in 20 years. You may have been singing for the last 20 years, but to truly understand music means to realize music as your own Self. In order to realize music as your Self, you need to allow music to completely possess you. For more music to occupy your heart, you need to create more space within. More thoughts mean less space.

 

Now, contemplate on this, "How much space do I have within me to spare for pure music?"

 

If you really wish more and more of your musical talents to manifest, lessen the quantity of unnecessary thoughts and allow more space for the energy of music to flow within you.

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My situation is very similar to yours... I think I've come to the conclusion that it's not going anywhere and even if I DID play out with a band, got a following, etc, etc... it still wouldn't amount to a sustainable life for me and my family. Many times I've written, re-written (over and over), recorded, scrapped recordings as 'not being good enough', etc... I've come to the conclusion that I'm finishing/recording the songs I've been contemplating for years and that's it... I'm done. I will put it out into the marketplace and let whatever be... That's the only way I can think of to get it out of the system: to say, "You know, I tried..."

 

Recently, I watched the new movie about Tom Petty, a truly world class songwriter, musician and producer. How did he get a record deal? He took his demo tape door to door and got something like 5 offers the first day or so. Some will say, oh it was a different time, etc etc... but ultimately, it comes down to SONGS: do the songs hold up? Will they hold someone's attention for 3-5 minutes. As writers, we never know... therein lies the rub. Every myspace trainwreck thinks they're a genius too...

 

I've taken to recording in the mornings--about 2 hours every day, 5am to 7 am-- before work. I try to let my creativity just flow. I've really been enjoying it. I still really take my time with my music. I tell myself 'no more erasing stuff 3/4 of the way through-- this is it; never again do I record these songs without getting paid to do it'. It feels great and liberating.

 

It does, however, make work that much more soul crushing-- the work itself and also knowing that my dream of being a performing artist is not now, maybe never was, realistic...

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For me, music is my art. It's about all i can do.

 

Music moves me and shakes me and drives me.

Oh yeah i do metal art pieces; you know, making SCULPTURES with white hot fire and loud clanky noises.

so find something that drives you while you get hongrey or more music.

I like to read a lot too. :poke:

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Venue.

 

One's art needs a venue. If getting up at open mic night is beyond you, perhaps a My Space page is an idea. Or a simple website. The thing is, without an audience, "it" doesn't exist. The audience could be one person. It could be the infamous "1000 dedicated fans". But what really matters is that you find a way to propel your artistic vision by the knowledge that it will see the light of day.

 

This knowledge keeps you honest. It helps you refine your art. It helps you focus your energy toward completing your art.

 

Venue.

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I haven't read all the replies, so I may be repeating...

 

You seem to be torn between music and something else, and that you're going through a transitional phase in life. At some point, everyone has to let go of the idea that they're going to be successful in music. I don't care how talented or good you are, it's purely luck of the draw. And when you come to that point in life where you have to make a decision and it means letting go of your dreams of stardom (or whatever they are), you have to realize that it is ok doing so.

 

One of the many things I love about music is that it's not like a sport in the fact that you don't have to be young to be a part of it or create it. It's ok to veer off in other directions or have other focuses in life. Music will always be there waiting when you're ready for it. You should never have to force yourself to do it if that's not what you want at the time. It's ok to not want to make music. Wait for that great and rare moment of inspiration to hit for you to go back to it. It'll be there when you need it.

 

Just my two cents...

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another thing to remember as I posted on another forum

ya can't and shouldn't try and force it. It's either there or it ain't. If it ain't, wait a bit and it'll come to you.:thu:

inspiration comes in many forms and sometimes it's very suttle ( spelling don't look right on that ) anyway, be patient and don't try to over play the issue.

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