psychic serpent state

February 13, 2017

I haven't accomplished much lately, or it feels that way, at least.

I've found it difficult to focus on a single goal. Fluttering between different tasks and projects. One week I decided to dive into the world of video game soundtracks and become a composer. Then I thought why stop there, let's make an entire game. Ha! Easier said than done. That's like waking up one day and deciding to build a car from scratch when you barely know how to change the oil.

Then there are my usual side projects and hobbies. Trying to practice more web dev. Writing. Linux admin tools and bash scripts. Photography. Catching up on my reading. You name it and I want to try it. But that's the kicker; I'm not sticking with any one thing. I feel fickle and impatient.

It's a miracle I learned how to play guitar and write music. Looking back at my younger days, I have absolutely no clue how I managed such a feat. I can barely accomplish one project now that takes more than a couple of weeks of time. Somehow, as a 13 year old boy who couldn't be bothered to do his homework, I was able to devote hours of time, daily, to learning the intricacies of an instrument. How was I more patient as a child than as an adult?

With that said, I've fallen out of practice with performing music. I've had a handful of aborted attempts in recent months with beginning new song projects. My production abilities are getting better, but I'm not completing songs. This is frustrating and disheartening. I don't know what to do. I just have to finish the damn thing is all. I've never been a perfectionist, far from it. I mean, just listen to any of my songs! But I still have standards, and for whatever reason I'm not able to meet those standards right now. I wouldn't call it writer's block, because I'm not having trouble coming up with ideas. It's just staying engaged is a problem.

I've wondered if this is a sign of burnout. I had a pretty good creative streak for the last six years. Maybe I need to hibernate. But I can't. I am compelled to make noise and record it.

Maybe I should return to the root of music, which is performance. I'm too focused on studio geek stuff like compression, gain staging, EQ settings. How about just recording something and let the chips fall where they may?

Nick Drake recorded one of my favorite albums of all time, Pink Moon, in less than two days. An acoustic guitar, a microphone, his voice, and amazing songwriting. Nothing else, nothing more. And it's absolutely perfect.

I'll keep at it.

-H