Monday, 20 April 2009


Although I've had plenty of time off work recently - firstly through illness and then through taking annual leave for my birthday week - I haven't allowed myself much time to work on music.

Which has been fine, since I've had plenty of other things to be doing: most enjoyable they have been too.

But which hasn't been fine, since I've another performance-related deadline looming ever closer, which has been nagging away at me, and giving rise to thoughts and feelings such as the following:

I don't have enough time.
I'm not happy with what I've done so far.
It's going to be disappointing.
I'm not confident: with my work so far, with my abilities.
Maybe I'm just not that into it any more.
Maybe I haven't got that spark.
I'm letting myself down.
It feels like a chore.

Then I spend an evening like this evening - spending plenty of time, as much as anything, getting myself into a suitable frame of mind: not least doing what I can so as to try putting the above kind of thoughts to one side. One thing which seems to help, is to repeat to myself the following phrase:

I don't give a fuck.

The less pressure I put on myself to produce anything which sounds good, or which sounds like something someone else would like or even give a fuck about, the better. It's a mixture of a defensive posture and also a liberating one.

And yet, even as I loaded up the computer software and gathered my haphazard array of instruments and devices, it seemed like it wasn't going to be fun. Again, a chore, a reflection on what I wouldn't be able to achieve.

Time to tell myself something yet again: it doesn't matter if I spend an hour producing something terrible, embarrassing or appalling. Just spend the time doing it all the same.

And so to work.

Hours later, I've re-emerged, having had a whale of a time, and having made great strides in one particular piece I'm working on, seemingly effortlessly. With confidence, with playfulness and with an eye on how to take it further and make it even better.

I feel energised, I feel it's part of my language again, I feel a great sense of possibility.

I feel none of the things highlighted above in red.

At times like this (even after my first day back at work today), I love it, and I feel in touch with something utterly, joyously nourishing.

I'm going out for a walk for a short while, then maybe I'll calm down and be able to get some sleep later. It's still a lovely evening out there.


Reading the Signs said...

ok - I feel inspired and a bit jealous. This is auspicious. I think I'm going to use that phrase of yours and see what happens.

trousers said...

It's a big help for me, signs - the phrase that is. I've needed an evening like this, I've been waiting (ie, too passive) for months really.

Now I've been for a walk, I've stopped shaking - yes, that's how it's been.

Nice to think I may have played even just a teensy part towards inspiring you :)

Zhoen said...

The first part of your post is so much No, Not, Don't. Then you get big and lovely, I want to cheer you on.

trousers said...

...I consider myself cheered on, zhoen, thank you: that comment is lovely.

Fire Byrd said...

proscrastination is a very long word and an evil deed. Getting to do something, anything other than the very long word is good stuff. particularly if you had a great time doing it... Bonus!

trousers said...

Absolutely, fb. I do too much of the long word - sometimes it's fine, very occasionally it might even be necessary (well that would probably be then described as "rest"), but bursts of activity like this one - well they just can't be beaten. x

ejenne said...

I need to get on and start writing this thesis. Its just like you have described. When you take the plunge and become absorbed things flow. I might take the plunge tomorrow I think...

trousers said...

Hi ejenne, good luck with the thesis. I had to smile at your pledge to take the plunge tomorrow...

It's only a week since I wrote this post. Since then I seem to have been far more able to incorporate working on music back into my routine, and all the stonewalling and deflection tactics have lessened greatly.