Creating musical content is a time consuming process. Musicians are laying most of their hearts and efforts into the creation of something meaningful and unique. A lot of planning is needed, especially in a professional music environment. Even the most realistic person is inclined to shift the boundaries between a realistic perspective and mountainous expectations.
A major cause of writing block or burning out is the occurrence of fuzzy perspective, like being to hard on yourself and blaming or criticizing your own art for all the wrong reasons.
The problem about over-reflective work is the process of getting sidetracked. While at the same time loosing sight of the projects and necessities at hand. The key should be staying in a healthy work mode and balancing the hype with a definitive sense of how to keep it real.
To make this process a little easier and maybe deliver an easy way in, I’ve collected a checklist for staying on track while minimizing the effects of false expectancy.
1) Remember: You’re not buying into fashion
No matter how deep you dig into a certain scene, or how extensive your knowledge of current trends might be: Always try to get back to that initial point from where you started. Don’t care about fashion or hypes.
It’s easy to wind up in a mindset constantly evaluating your work in terms of how contemporary and fresh it is. While at the same time totally neglecting the initial reason why you started creating it in the first place. Because it’s fun and makes you and certain people around you feel good.
By not buying into fashion, you enable yourself to act freely. You can do what you want and without craving outside confirmation attached to trends or fashions.
This is a sure-way of emancipating yourself from thought structures that can be harmful and negative. It helps you dig back to the core of your creative drive while create something truly authentic and sincere. In an ideal scenario of course.
2) Hustle is rarely visible – but 100% existent
Most communicative efforts of major- and minor artists tend to over-emphasize the up-beat, prosperous moments of a given career. Obviously, that makes total sense – every artists tries to push various successes and milestones. It’s part of the job.
Important for every DIY musician, though, is the awareness that EVERY career has “ups-and downs”. Even if merely the “ups” are visible on social media and press related communication.
The hustle is a common part of every musical endeavor. Outside factors are always going to either play in into your cards or not. If you’re having troubles reaching your personal goals, like not getting enough attention along with certain releases – keep in mind that you’re not the only one. Even the most successful artists obliged to bear through difficult times.
The ones who stay in the game are the ones who overcome these negative influences. They concentrate on the work at hand without loosing too much thought on where they are and why they should be someplace else.
3) Be aware of your niche
Many DIY musicians make the simple mistake of comparing themselves to musicians from completely different niches.
The problem about that is each musical genre and niche has its very own rules and interaction forms. To assume that an audience and response works equally over various forms of musical categories is a sure-fire way of causing frustration.
It’s really important to be aware of your niche and the place your music is happening. That may sound like a totally banal thing but it’s easily overlooked. Especially for aspiring, new artists not yet totally settled within a style or sound.
Having a realistic view without comparing your own output with that of artists possibly several blocks away from your line of work is a vital component of a productive and positive work ethic.
4) Two ways to approach things
Basically, there are two ways to approach problems or obstacles within a professional music environment: As causes of anxiety or as challenges waiting to be mastered.
It all boils down to your basic attitude – if the outcome of a release or concert has the potential of setting you down, you are aware of this possibility. By being aware of that, you also have the power to steer the consequences of these outside factors and take over control.
Fearing things, or overcoming them, that’s what you’ll have to choose sooner or later. And that can be applied to all steps along the way – be it minor setbacks, frustrating reviews or meager concert turnout.
The way you go out of the experience will be shaped by the way you jump into it. So stay on top of things by conserving a productive, up-beat attitude!
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