Many musicians and producers go through similar stages of content creation: There are high output times, where everything just seems to flow, but also lows, drenched in doubt, over-analyzing and lack of creative confidence.
Reflecting on the job is important. But at some point letting go is just as vital. Especially when things start to tighten up, getting more stressed than free-spirited.
Lighthearted creation also needs confidence. Starting with the workflow, the choice of themes and textures, but also when reflecting upon past work.
Trying to adjust the current status quo with a drop in confidence can be quite taunting.
That’s why this article aims to deliver some cornerstones of creative confidence. Be it building blocks of a more uplifting approach, we want to get you back into the zone. And develop a state of mind to make you stay there. Let’s start with some fear draining:
There’s always a second, third or tenth chance
An upside of increasingly limited attention spans is the possibility of multiple approaches. If a track doesn’t lift off, the next one might as well. If an audience skips a track and bounces it from a playlist, the next one might stick.
Try to detach from past under-performances. Use the constant demand of fresh content to lighten the load on individual releases. Continuity is key and equally as important than landing a solid streaming performer.
Build your follow ship through regularity.
If you want to win the battle, you better get your battleground in order.
This means – wherever your creative space is, be it studio, at home, in your garage or your cousin’s treehouse – keep it Angst free.
We’re talking about generating an emotional sphere here. A space that is immune to outside influences. No matter how many times your tracks get rejected by blogs or various media, those worries stay outside, at all times
And this should also flow into your collaborative dynamics: In a fun but stern way, make clear that creative time is meant to be spent on production only. If things get too brainy, strategic or worrisome, take it outside. Head to a cafe. A bar, whatever.
Just leave that Angst out of your battleground.
Get the consumer into the studio
A common habitual regularity is limiting the listening session to close creator friends only.
This is an audience that lives for analysis. Their ears are programmed to hear production nuances and every minor glitch that should or shouldn’t be present in a song.
And they can be devastating.
Even the friendliest musician friend can invite a snowstorm into the studio, be it subconsciously by just not delivering the reaction that you were hoping for.
That’s why you should ALWAYS invite non-musician friends, consumer types, to the studio.
People and friends you KNOW only listen to music for the feel of it. That’s it. No commenting on the bpm or side-chains, hell they probably can’t even pinpoint the difference between backing and lead vocals.
But that’s what makes them so special: They’ll listen to your music the way 95% of people out there will listen to it. And give you a good feeling, even if you’re still deep into detail-polishing.
So, make a list of non-musician friends you trust and lure them into the studio with a cold beer. It’s worth it.
Changing your surrounding can be very stimulating for any creative endeavor.
Do you have a mobile production setup? Or at least a set-up that is logistically fairly easy to handle? Then pack your stuff and head out. Get an Airbnb in a city you dig, and become a stranger overnight.
This can really help you break out of ongoing ruts. Oftentimes dry phases of creative output or confidence bumps connected to routines and static thought structures.
Bring diversity into the life around you, and your mind is prone to wander, discover and eventually break out of any confidence rut you might have landed in.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!