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“I’m feeling scattered…” 8.10.10

Posted by Sound Semantics in allie's thoughts.
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Alright, guys. Time to get personal.

Lately it seems that, on an average weekday, my creative energy peaks… or, tries to peak… around 11am – 12pm. At this time, on an average weekday, I’m on the phone, in a meeting, or waiting to be on the phone, or in a meeting. I appreciate my job, and I like it, and I feel lucky to be working to support music, and able to pay the bills and all. But I sure wish my creative clock would reset itself and give me the extra boost when I actually have free time and attention to dedicate to the cause.

I’ve been having a hard time being creative, channeling my thoughts and energy. I don’t have any illusions that I’m being original. Writers’ block has been around for a while. But this is a strange kind of block for me. Because actually, I can do it, if I want to. I can write lyrics, I can put the pieces of a song together, I can sing a harmony or (surprise) write a blog. The block isn’t completely stopping the process. But it’s stopping the fun of it.

For example: fun and games on the tour, made into a blog. Good times, good feelings, good fun.

When Sound Semantics was born, I found it thrilling and engaging to be in a position where I could both contribute my existing knowledge and learn new things at the same time. The best parts of college all over again! I was constantly busy, meeting people, creating music, developing ideas, while still managing to keep things functioning, organized, productive and all that. I was juggling, and I love juggling! (Ok, I can’t juggle in real life, but you get the idea.) The business side of things–maintaining a schedule, recordkeeping, emails–was just as fun for me as the creative side of things–arranging Eran’s old songs for evolving lineup, writing new songs, finding my voice and learning how to use it in a new setting.

I think I got carried away.

The ‘business’ has kind of sucked the life out of the fun for me. The process of creation is so much more than creating when you’re trying to market yourself. That’s not news for anybody who has ever put their heart into their work. Especially not for any kind of artist trying to make a living. I knew it from the minute we started. What I didn’t realize, I suppose, was how hard it would be to find the right balance.

Time is precious. So is energy and inspiration. I’ve been spending a whole lot of time and energy working to make people… you guys… know about and believe in what we’re doing. Turns out, I haven’t been spending nearly enough time believing in myself and what we’re doing.

One of my favorite moments of collaboration. A great musical memory. Allie, Joe, Jack and Eran at The Waypost, November 2009. Photo by Ara Roselani.

There’s a strong case here for having somebody to help with the “business,” take on some of the management responsibility so there’s more free time and energy for creativity. Collaboration–the shared process of creating, developing, producing and eventually releasing what’s been created–is currently one of my great weaknesses, and missing pieces. It’s strange to think about, since some of the most rewarding experiences of my little life so far (musical and otherwise) have been collaborative. I never wanted to be on stage alone, always wanted to sing in choir in college rather than by myself. I like to bring my bits and pieces and throw them in the dish with everybody else’s, excited to see what comes out. So why is collaboration missing? What’s so hard about this?

Well I’m only guessing at this point. I still have some exploring to do. But I think it has to do with the belief and value backing up what I’m throwing in. If I don’t believe in me and what I have to offer, then it’s not so much fun as it is scary, worrying. I’ve spent a lot of time organizing alphabetizing and spreadsheeting all the steps you take after the dish is made. Contacts, promotion, and all that. In the meantime, I left dinner in the oven too long and now it’s burnt. Burnt out.

Oooookay that was a painfully long metaphor. But I think I’ve made the point. It’s time to redirect a little bit of focus inward. Figure out what’s working and what’s not. Come back to what used to be the “easy” part and allow it to be fun and easy again. And then turn around and offer up what I find with renewed confidence & excitement.

From the upcoming animated video for Birdsong

Eran’s been working on a music video for “Birdsong.” We often interpret our songs with different spins on the lyrics. In this case though, I think we agree that there is a current of continued renewal, the cycle of creation and development, persisting even in the face of frustration and uncertainty. I think my rambling thoughts fit right into that theme. It’s time to find my steady ground so I can move forward. And I’m excited to start the process. 🙂

❤ allie

PS…. This was a pretty long and weighty post compared to recent updates. Never fear. I haven’t lost my sense of humor. Here’s an endlessly hilarious Oatmeal comic about customer service. Note: Includes some foul language, much truth and lots of laughter.http://theoatmeal.com/comics/computers

Comments»

1. Richard Osterman - 8.10.10

Great post Allie,

I hope you can get out of the slump your in and find your focus on what’s really meaningful, and important for you to get across in your songs…. I know you can do it….

Richard

soundsemantics - 8.10.10

Thanks, Richard. It’s all part of the process, I suppose! 🙂


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