3 Tips for Finishing Your Music
We all know how hard it can be to finish a song, let alone a full recording project. Whether it's writer's block or everyone's favorite egocentric abuser: perfectionism, we all get stuck sometimes. But being creative doesn't always mean you have to suffer. Here's 3 tips for finishing your next project:
1. Perspective. Sometimes in order to show the world what you're made of, you need to step back and detach from the project. You are not your work and your work is not you. The key to consistency is removing your self worth from the equation. It's not "if this project is successful I'll be good enough", it's "I'm good enough. I'm going to do my best on this project and put it out there!"
2. Ask for help. There is nothing better than a second pair of eyes (or ears!) on a project. They don't always have to be another musician or producer either. In fact, one of my favorite ways of receiving honest and highly useful feedback is asking a plain ol' music lover. Just be sure that you don't over-complicate your request. Try "Hey what do you think of my new song?" Rather than, "hey so i've been writing this song and i think that maybe the guitar has like too much 2k and the vocals are a little blurry maybe some sidechain compression on the guitar bus would help" Try again. Odds are, they don't know what you're talking about! And that's the power of this tip! By asking a normal listener, they're going to give you simple and honest feedback about the song, not over-complicated mix notes. That buddy that supported you in High School before you had ever played a gig or released anything? They'd love to hear from you and see how far you've come! There's nothing cooler than being a part of the creative process for someone whose work you already admire.
3. Take a hike. You've gotten perspective, you've asked for help, and now you're thinking, "But Sam, my music still isn't finished and out there for the world to see! How will I ever become the next King of Pop?" Cool it, man. There is a lot of pressure in the entertainment industry to "make it". Post more, blog more, play more, look cooler, be cooler, don't say this, do say that, etc. Sometimes the best antidote for a creative block or crippling perfectionism is to take a step back and get outside. There are countless studies on how good getting outside is for you. From helping with depression and stress to getting a little space from your normal routine, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Take a little break from the thing that's been driving you crazy. It might even help you accomplish tip 1 here.
Did these tips help you in your current situation? Leave a comment below and remember, perfectionists finish last.