You're "on-line" to much, you should be Musicating! However, ...

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Indeed, many waste more time "on-line" versus wasting it in the studio Wink hahhh!

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However, for me, on certain occassions, -- the "conversations" (on-line),
---- cause "grey matter twitching" and spawn a song, lyric, music. For example, this was derived, all separate from the other but did evolve and cause the ultimate bounce track that I paste in below @dzd. However, I "map" it's birth over a "longitudinal, bi-directional, conversation" Smile first:

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-- dzd had a guitar slide track Wink in his looper. ---- Mr. dzd composed a wonderful liturgy of fine Musication engaing the guitar slide... of which I appreciated and indicated further exploration with Wink

-- I heard, (online), but, (in my head ;), ---- a noodling and said so; so he said, sure, go for it, as you like Wink

-- Then, when I finally "got the track", -- forgot the "noodling" (brains, what are they good 4 neWay?)

-- However, remembered yet ANOTHER converstation, and grabbed my always there trusty, -- NAF (for me, a challenge to work into a fusion since, again for me, -- it really prefers to solo, it seems, not harmonise as just support, as I hear it.)

-- But THEN, in real time, had yet ANOTHER conversation, and then thereby attached a Lyric (already written in my Book) to, what was/had just been, ---- an instrumental only, now Lyricised Musication (to be technical about it Smile )

So, that maps out the existence of revision one of this track, as now, is revision two, since the next day was over my ear fatigue. (Did allot of deletion more than anything else. Ear fatigue is temporary, "hearing imparement" and more, is more, and not the solution (not better), --- to otherwise just not working more than an hour anyway; and why "lunch time" is a perfect time! Forced limits.).

And, so that bounce track:

(I am not using this as a "gimmick", for "More" comment feedback, fyi, ---- (therefore use the host URL to bypass the "comment" it box, invitation), ---- but if feel the need, it's right there, easy to find, and -- feel free to scheit upon it, or other as applicable.)

And, so, in this wonderful "free for all" forum, in so far as being "on-line" beyond "feedback-comment" may instruct, inform or improve... ---- it does what for you? If you are self aware in that way and care to elaborate it. Or, not, as you like! Smile

-- You?

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The Muse is a fickle master/mistress (mine is a mistress). He/She demands abject loyalty & for you to drop everything at a moment's notice in order to transcribe/record/transmit their creative whims. Failure to do so makes them poutty & often leads to long mornings/afternoons/evenings/nights/days/weeks/(hopefullynot)months staring at a piece of paper, strumming absent sounds (actually, that's the name of one of my favourite Winnipeg bands - Absent Sound LOL) & hoping that inspiration will strike.

a.k.a.: Writers Block.

For us creatives, there's no worse curse we could suffer from. The way to cure this horrible contagion (Writers Block, not COVID - I'm a Philosopher not a Bio-Hero Wink ) is to appease our Muse. To coax him/her with things they enjoy & can light the fires of inspiration. Re-visit old tried & true methods. Throw out the rulebook & do something completely new & outrageous. Study/enjoy/read/experience other artwork (film, visual, theatrical, musical, artistic, &c…). Have mundane & not-so-mundane conversations with friends, family, co-workers, acquaintences, or even complete strangers. The more you expose yourself to such things, the more likely your Muse is going to forgive your trespasses & insist you run away with them to follow their next great idea.

And make sure you run with it. Don't let your rational/logical/editor/producer side kick-in until your Muse is satisfied you've exhausted the idea to his/her satisfaction. Then you can go back & be the editor/producer & make it great. But don't let the editor squash that creative fire. Or else the Muse will go & sulk & you're inspiration will dry up until he/she can be appeased again.

Just remember: your Muse loves you. Your Muse knows what it wants. Give it what it wants & it stays happy. When it's happy, it will inspire you.


So, to answer your question, @ustaknow, I'm always looking to experiænce inspiration - in everything I see, feel & communicate. I'm always trying to feed my Muse so that she doesn't get poutty with me. Because when I'm unable to create, I start going a little nuts & get rather grumpy. And that's not good for anyone! Wink

See You In The Shadows…


Yes, indeed, -- good stuff.

The distinction, well for me, may be when discussing music in general, not methods and evaluations and how-to's, just about music. That, often, looks like other conversations that may begin like "I remember when...", or, "wasn't it interesting when..." or as I take time to do that they'll ask me, "how's the music going".

In some ways those can have a greater effect, more than, -- "reduce the dB on the ...", or "consider flatting the fifth..." type conversations. Not that those are not effective. It's the more abstractiive connective tissues that one may tap into or do however, not aware of it. In that regard this expanded global connectivity can be quite positive (as some say they do not experience it).

Then, as you comment, -- you need to record those thoughts no matter how *many then flow, or risk, -- none; as that may go for some.

Indeed, the "I remember when…" & "How's the music going?" conversations are much more useful for inspiration than the "reduce the dB on the…" type conversations. Again, it's that distinction between the Muse & the Editor/Producer. When writing & recording initial demos, the Muse should be in charge. Then the Editor/Producer steps in to take the results & help get them to their potential. I would call these the Writing & the Production phases of the Musical Creative Process. The greatest creatives are those who are successful at letting each side dominate the process at the appropriate time. Those that get hung up, or discouraged, allow the wrong side to work at the wrong time. The Producer needs to be ignored during the Writing phase, while the Muse needs to be ignored during the Production phase.

See You In The Shadows…

OK, maybe the Muse shouldn't be ignored during the Production Phase. I'm wrong about that. But the Producer has final veto during that phase. Sometimes we need the Muse to help solve problems during the Production Phase - or to take the track in a completely new direction. But at the end of the day, the Producer has final say during this phase. However, the Producer has no say at all during the Writing phase.

See You In The Shadows…

Long story short: it's okay to goof off once in a while. In fact, you'll probably be more creative and produce better work if you do.

For me, creativity is like a muscle; you need to use it regularly or it will atrophy. In my experience, the more you create, the more creative you feel and the more easily the ideas flow. That's kind of the point of FAWM and Fifty/Ninety - to build up your creative muscles so you can move from crawling to walking and then to running and (hopefully) finally to flying!

But there is a limit to how far you can take things. Push too hard, and you'll sprain something, or burn out, or whatever metaphor you want to pick. Smile I think it's a mistake to expect that one day you'll be so good that you will be able to create 24/7 and have an unceasing flow of brilliant ideas on tap. You won't, and if you try to force things you risk putting yourself off making art for good.

More importantly, though, you need downtime to help your brain process information. Daydreaming has been linked to increased ability in creative problem solving for years now (e.g. this paper from Smallwood et al at UCSB dates back to 2012 Sometimes you just have to let ideas marinade for a while before they're ready to work on. Several times this summer I've been stuck for lyrics for a track, so I've left them, and slept on the problem. Next day, the ideas were there, ready and waiting. And to add my two-pennorth to what @Candle said, be receptive to ideas that arrive when you're wrapping up a mix, because (in my experience again) if you go back and follow where they lead, they can quite often turn an okay track into a pretty good one. I've had that happen a couple of times so far this month.

What @ustaknow is talking about sounds like the *opposite* of writer's block, because he's in the happy zone of things sparking additional ideas, which in turn lead to fresh associations and we have liftoff. But if anyone IS blocked at the moment, I talked about what you can do to help things in one of my Twitch livestreams, which is on YouTube here:

dzd's picture

@Candle some wise stuff I'll try to remember with the muse/producer leading the charge, easier said than done Smile

also made me laugh about what your answer might be anytime you get that dreaded(to me) question "whatcha thinking about" .....When? before you asked? now that you asked? or now that I'm thinking about thinking? How much time you got? Smile So I usually just reply........Nothing Biggrin

Thanks for that study HFO......I do that often, it's usually years before I even try to revisit anything(sometimes to the detriment of whatever it was)........ it's the only way I feel i can ever bring anything to "completion" as I don't want to, or am unable to think about things from any other angle at times

Yes, @dzd @headfirstonly @Candle -- all great stuff.

I remember years ago speaking about how I "notice" that sometimes I do "better" if get side tracked and for e.g. can NOT practice guitar, -- I seemed to do better, (and got confirmed) -- now, all we known about memory practice and Nerve wrapping stuff, the physical attributes of our chemistry and learning.

Yes, headfirst got me, in regard to the "happy zone", -- you can almost become "manic" in gettting it all down. Not a bad problem to have, and not a negative in any way in connotation with the word "manic", -- but it is a manic state. (Again, not a bad thing pending how you process that, -- fun is fun, can we have to much fun and laughing; I don't get "pissed" if MISS something... never worried about that; no, that would be a negative Smile hahhh... to far is far with anything.)

-- All good stuff!

The necessity to be able to get it down (paper/recording/whatever) straight away without angsting or having other thigns get in the way. A lot of things keep getting in my way, few avoidable, so i run when I can, never mind where to. I think "sketch" is a key thought to hold. Perhaps you'll never return to create the "big" picture, but the thought gets held in a sketch.

Well put @Tim Fatchen.

See You In The Shadows…

@Tim Fatchen

Yes, indeed. If you can't say it simple, then what? It really does come down to getting it down.

I recently "journeyed" the Net once again, and esp after deleting my Facebook Account, - to see "what was out there"..., lots more of the same, and more of the same of that.

-- The "big" picture gets missed, possibly, the best "method" is to capture that first impression, then "edit", or revise.

I, as some may recall put up one project here, one year, a file from a few years ago, a phone voice recording and then the one worked on to legitamitely engage the "comment-feedback" and etc. I asked, which one to possibly even delete, or had a preferance. So far, and from folks who not just "attaboy" me Wink said, -- the original had a feel to it and overall had the "format" and "formulaic" element that "method" writers seek, ABABCD and syllabic ryhthmic count et alia... "we all know that?" anyway... but art does not live by it, -- uses it. Otherwise just staple a paint brush to a canvas -- the tools were used, - done. Smile hahhh!

-- Anyway, just more agreement, preaching to the choir here, I know.

I guess if I "feel" anything about it, is the folks that loose out on "music" tormented by doing it "right", (?).

-- Oh, blah dee, oh blad dah... vlahhh! Wink Uno!

Apropos: Events and issues keep catching me, some good, some bad, with the inevitable prevention of long drawn out "creative" pondering.. Sketches are the butterfly net.

Almost an entire opera got sketched in 2009's 5090. It only took two years full-time work equivalent in total to get to the big picture. And that was spread over 8 years. And It would have made production had the whole executive and production decamped/got carried off by the police...

here's the very first (cleaned up) sketch from 2009 complete with political statement in the lienr notes. And here's the Big Picture version from 2017, first five minutes or so of this (unlisted currently)

Current really creative stuff? Not happening but a seriously good reworking of a 5090-2009 song got me rollign!

i'm burnt out and unmoored. i can't focus on creation at the moment. got a situational depression but the situation ain't changing, so i'm doing the best i can.
instead, i'm posting one sketch a week from the quarantine sessions where i recorded one song a day for the length of the time i was quarantined. i posted some on the 100/180 facebook page, but most i'm just sitting on. i can hardly keep my living space organized right now, so creation is pretty much out right now. if it's cheating, i guess it is. but it is the most effort i can muster right now.
the muse just isn't with me right now, i guess. so different from past years.

but i do hope everyone is doing great, being productive and enjoying themselves.

i find i regenerate my energy by coming back to the laptop to spew out, and make lyrics or create something musical. as a young child in the early years of the internet i grew up with this power within my fingertips, and at the touch of a keyboard i can learn about anything, someone has made something for me to discover and theres always something new to find! i found too much procrastination early on from browsing the web, and realised it doesnt hold all the answers, sometimes you have to do it away from the 'matrix' as it were. i used to be bad for wasting time online, and now ive found the tools to express my creativity, such as 5090 fawm, nanowrimo, etc, i can now spill my energy into something that may or may not be heard in the void...but at least its something to do and get feelings out.. and im finding more that my reality is inspiring me to make, which to me is a healthier avenue than addictions... but maybe creativity is an addiction, and like someone else has explained earlier in the thread, if you let it fizzle out, it causes you to chase the tail to find that its just slightly ahead but not quite in reach (my take on it, which may or may not be what they intended, but either way...)

this challenge has been an eye opener. the whole of 2020 so far has seen me create far more than i ever have done... ive made around 22 hours of videos/music on my youtube channel this year alone, and to say i have almost a full days worth of material (both in and out of 5090 since janurary this year) is quite amazing considering the most id ever made was 4 songs in a week and had to retire to bed after an exhausting chain of events and creative drain...

sometimes the pressure of lacking an outlet can allow a tap to fully open up, and doing something you have always wanted to do, but been held back for some reason or another. i find this has been the case this year for me. god knows where it came from, but i like it Smile

Creativity as an addiction. Something to ponder @nerdjealous. Indeed, I think we have to be a little addicted to the rush of creativity in order to continue to create. No matter the medium in which we create (I also write fiction and poetry, dabble in visual art as well as videography - as an example). The simple joy of having one's expression come to be & fulfilling the desire of the Muse is a feeling I think we all live for. Could that not be a definition of addiction? The irrational desire to re-experience a certain feeling.

It is a very rare moment in my day when I am not contemplating some form of creativity on some level of my consciousness. My Muse is always looking for new ideas that she wants me to develop. Unfortunately, the mundane responsibilities of my life require me to often set aside my creative endeavours & take care of socially-expected-passtimes (i.e. go to work, pay the bills, &c…). That is not to say that it is impossible to have a job based on creativity (I used to be a Television Commercial Producer (hence my videography skills), for example) - but often "Creative Jobs" restrict the Muse because the Creativity required is dictated by the needs of others (i.e. "Hey Jim, I need you to make me a Commercial for this brand new sparkly nick-nack that Industry Inc. wants the whole world to buy. And I need it to go to air by Friday."). A recipe that is not always ideal to nurture one's Muse - a fact that I am intimately aware of.

But I am still always in some sort of creative headspace. Even when I'm at work (I'm now a Lifeguard & Swimming Instructor - for those who don't know that). At the very least, I'm humming music or have a song stuck in my head. Or maybe I can't get a certain character out of my head & really need to write about them. So am I addicted to my creativity? Or can I just not not be creative?

Maybe both.

But I'm OK with that. As long as I can create & express myself (in whatever Medium my Muse is happy to play with at a given time), I think I'll be happy. I'll feel fulfilled. My Muse will be satisfied (temporarily of course LOL). And my soul will feel complete.

And yes, I am probably addicted to that feeling.

See You In The Shadows…

@nerdjealous I don't know where it comes from either, but I know that it comes! And there's reassurance in these outlets that the void out there into which we throw things isn't wholly a void. That's important too. @tsunamidaily no it's not exactly cheating but a suggestion...tweak the sketches a bit. I'm finding that opens gates or switches or something, too. I've just finished mastering another song from 5090 - 2009, prompted by the preceding stuff. I listen now and I think "oh god that's good (there's a proper soprano singing it) and how did THAT come out?". And I also think - "that deserves to continue whether or not anyone's listening out there." so it will go out into the almost-but-not-quite-void too.

dzd's picture

@tsunamidaily I can relate to that feeling, hopefully that feeling too shall pass, for me it touches also on the addictive aspect @Candle and @nerdjealous touched on, yeah I think we're all a little addicted or we wouldn't be here in the first place Biggrin Might be as simple as completely stepping away for awhile (nothing I'd advise or ever advocate for, at least not cold turkey Smile ), but we're all different, and I commend you for plowing ahead even if not "feeling" it. Barring everyone's always present personal issues, there's enough going on right now to depress anyone. Wishing you the best!

@Candle "Hey Jim, I need you to make me a Commercial for this brand new sparkly nick-nack that Industry Inc. wants the whole world to buy. And I need it to go to air by Friday." Great song title! hahah

@Tim Fatchen gave that a listen earlier, some really great stuff! glad you're still at it!(not that it needs anything IMO).