Music produces a kind of pleasure that
human nature cannot do without.
I realized that I loved music from a very young age, but not just listening or dancing to it. I loved to make music, whether singing, playing the piano, banging on the table, or coming up with melodies.
The younger me didn’t care if I made any money from it. I just knew it felt natural and it felt real. Nowadays, music doesn’t flow from me like it used to. Thanks to the pressure of society and my expectations, if what I create doesn’t sound like the next radio hit, there’s a sense of defeat.
Maybe you feel that way as well? Maybe you used to love making and creating music? But whether it’s pressure from the outside world or pressure you’re putting on yourself, music isn’t as much fun anymore.
No worries! I’m glad you’re here. Let’s chat about some ways to ignite that spark again and get you back to doing what you love!
This is not to put down anyone who desires to make a career and money from their music. I know I do! But as someone who has worked many jobs that I hated, I don’t want music to become one of them.
So whether I make money or not, music is my purest and natural form of self-expression, so I’m going to do it regardless. And if you’re like me, we might as well enjoy the journey!
Here are 5 Tips to Get Unstuck and Start Making Music Again
1. Stop Comparing
“I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” William Blake
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m always comparing myself to other people. This is especially true with the help of social media. It’s so easy to look at other people’s social media highlights and feel bad because our everyday life just doesn’t look as glamorous.
But the keyword here is “highlights”, lol!! The photoshopped, curated, edited highlights of someone else’s life. Social media allows us to show only what we want the world to see. Sometimes it’s not even close to real life.
I mean, how many times did you retake that picture?, lol
The first thing we have to do is stop comparing and instead congratulate or just swipe on by. Acknowledge social media for what it is…a business and take what we need, if anything, and keep it moving.
2. Let Go of Expectations
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
― Bruce Lee
Oh, wee!! This is a great quote! Kinda smacks you in the face, lol, but in a nice way.
Truth be told, mainstream music and the Top 40 represents an extremely small percentage of the music that is and can be created. But just like social media, music is business.
The music executives aren’t concerned about what we want or how we feel. That’s why the majority of mainstream music focuses on 3 things: sex (relationships), money, and drugs.
Yep, I said it! I honestly don’t listen to a lot of Top 40, but when I do it’s usually about one of those three things.
Our creative expression is just that… self-expression and there is so much more power in expressing ourselves and our truths than in just making music for music executives.
For example, back in the day, I knew a crappy rapper who only wrote strip club music. But he had local radio play, so who was I to say anything?
Here’s the thing, he knew he sucked and the music he made was crap. But he told me he was too afraid to make music from the heart because he had some really deep stuff to say.
Wow, right? Music is more than just a business…it is self-expression coming to life.
3. Create for the Love of It
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to
make your soul grow. So do it.” — Kurt Vonnegut
Ay! You and I both love music. That’s why I’m writing this and that’s why you’re reading this. Before we realized money was a thing, we were making music. Then someone asked us what we wanted to be when we grew and we had to make a decision.
It was all or nothing, right? Wrong!!
But that’s what people want us to believe. That’s what the social media and music businesses want us to believe.
The saying goes “A dream deferred makes the heart sick”. And that sickness is discontentment. Never feeling like we’ve arrived. Not being able to just “be” in the moment.
The truth is when we create music, art, dance, writing, or whatever it is, we get lost in it. Time disappears and becomes irrelevant. The world around us and in us gets so much brighter and clearer, even if it’s just giving us space to get things off of our chest.
Imagine if you were just able to create free from standards, judgment, and expectations…
Completely and solely for the love of it!!
4. Create from the Heart
“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works;
if from the head, almost nothing.”
I don’t know who said this, but it makes complete sense to me. Even while writing this blog I’m fighting thoughts telling me that this isn’t going to make money. This post probably won’t rank and so forth and so on.
But I’m pouring my heart into this because I need to say it. And if you’re reading this maybe you need to hear it.
We know that there are 3 parts to our thinking: the subconscious, the conscience, and the superconscious.
Which one do you think holds those negative thoughts? It’s subconscious and it is loud! Always trying to protect us by keeping us small and afraid.
That’s why we have shut it down, tap into our superconscious and create from our heart. In truth, what we create is already here, we just have to open ourselves to it.
5. Create Like No One Else Will Hear
“Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”
This is a popular quote, but boy is it relevant! I think it’s from a song or play or something. I’m not sure, but it ties in beautifully with the last point.
I believe we are born with an attraction to music and movement. Think about it, when music comes on we don’t have to force or entice babies or children to dance. They feel the rhythm, hear the melodies, and let the music just move them.
The same can be said for singing or creating music. Babies and children love to bang on things and sing at the top of their lungs.
But as they grow up, we as adults, start to mode and shape them. We tell what sounds “good” or what looks “good” and then they start to become self-conscious. I’ve seen it with my children, who loved to dance and sing as babies. But as they got older they became reserved and judgmental of themselves.
The same goes for us and our music! We have to break out of the mode and get back to the excitement and wondrous world of music. We have our own unique style, message, and voice. And while it would be great to make money doing what we love, it shouldn’t stop us from creating freely.
Welp, I suck at wrapping things up, so that’s all for now, lol.
Hope this has helped in some way and cheers🍻 🥂 to us making music and having a blast!! (while still making money, if that’s your jam)