I just finished up a recording session on the piano, so with my instruments instead of recording vocals, and got seemingly absolutely nothing done. I say seemingly, because a lot of us creatives think that if you’ve recorded nothing, written nothing, drawn nothing, in a session of creativity, you think you’ve done absolutely nothing and it was a waste of time. It’s discouraging, and sometimes it makes you want to give up on whatever you’re working on and get frustrated.
I thought it was important to write this experience, and this post for other creatives, because in “getting nothing done” this recording session, I hashed out some arrangement plans. In fact, I figured out what I wanted to do for the track wasn’t working at all, and that the other idea I had for it was far better for the entirety of the track. I originally wanted to start out with a capella vocals, then bring in some slight strings and have other vocal layers as a choral sort of thing for this. Trying to record strings for it, it just wasn’t working, and I decided to just go fully a cappella with this track like the good old days of me arranging things XD but in hashing that out, I realized that maybe I’ll do all my Christmas covers as a cappella arrangements, because I’ve never done that before! I’m confident in that choice, and now am re-energized, re-motivated, and already getting so many ideas bouncing around in my head and am thinking of other Christmas songs to do, perhaps make a series of a cappella Christmas for this year.
And I would have never come to that conclusion, if not for “botching” recording the strings for my original arrangement plans.
I have another arrangement I’m working on that just wasn’t coming together, and instead of trying to push it, I decided to move on to making my Christmas tracks, and push the release date of the album I was working on to January so it can truly make it the best I can before release. Same with the Christmas tracks: I want to polish them, and make them the best they possibly can for release, and wouldn’t have figured out how to do so without a few sessions of trying to figure out how I initially wanted to arrange this, which for me is brainstorming sessions – which, once again, I wouldn’t have realized that’s how I brainstorm if I didn’t just sit down and try things at my keyboard!
Like I said, I’m writing this because I think it’s an important lessons for us creatives to learn. Sure, sometimes we’ll get discouraged with our music, with our blogs, with whatever we do, but it’s important to take something away from your creative sessions – even if it’s “This isn’t working, how can I fix it so it does”. People are such crazy perfectionists nowadays, I’m also very guilty of perfectionism stopping me from taking steps forward every now and again, but it’s so so so so important to know how to problem solve yurself out of slumps like that: Maybe you need to add more chords to a section of music? Maybe add an extra scene to the post or story you’re writing. You’ll never realize that unless you initially try to do something and figure out the way you’re doing it isn’t working.
So don’t let bad creative sessions get you down, go out there and create! Whether it’s good or bad, it’s something you can learn and grow from, and be a better artist for it! I for one, can’t wait to get to re-arranging said track I was working on today, and mix my first a cappella tracks in Reaper: It’s going to be loads of fun!