This week I’m staying where, last October, thirteen new songs arrived in a gently intense (and unexpected) creative moment.
It was a strange experience. I had no plans to write anything during that time. With the comings and goings of a busy family household, it didn’t strike me as a conducive opportunity to write one song let alone a WHOLE album. In fact, the idea of creating new music didn’t feature in my plans AT ALL around then. And yet it happened.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time on this planet so far, sometimes we have to let go of what we thought was going to occur and adapt to something new, especially when it comes to outside events and creative flow. At times (not always), it is right to go with that inner flow and just see what happens.
Following the Flow of a Creative Moment
That particular creative process started as the creative cleanse I didn’t know I needed. It was a response to, and an outpouring of, observations and feelings that had gradually built up in me over several years. Both for me personally and the world at large. But as things deepened and developed I could feel something exciting happening with the work itself.
I’m not sure what it is but something always feels a bit different at moments like this. Like a gate is open and there’s an invitation to explore what lies on the other side. This is one of my favourite places to be. I love being in the midst of a surprising and mysterious creative encounter.
However, when that creative moment ends, the big challenge for me is knowing what to do next.
What do I do with what I’ve made? What is next for these songs? Where do they fit with my other plans and my broader body of creative work? What do they require from me? What am I willing to give to them?
I find this part REALLY stressful and draining. It makes me feel tense and I have a tendency to try gripping more tightly in an attempt to understand and control things. I want quick answers. I want to know the plan. And in so doing I invariably become disconnected from it. I often end up rushing the process and I race to the next creative moment or some other project without fully exploring and enjoying what the work wants to be.
A Different Approach
I decided from the start, to approach this project differently. I want to treat it like an unexpected gift (which it is), rather than a necessary obligation (which it isn’t). And it feels like a tangible opportunity to put my commitment to gentleness and slow growth into action. Which is a rebellion against my well-worn historical paths as well as the way so much of society approaches things.
I imagine the album will be released at some point before the end of 2023. But I’m building my way towards it. I want to give the songs time to become what they want to be. And I want to give myself the space and patience to enjoy the process of putting them together. I would also love to give myself a better chance of feeling just as committed and connected to sharing the project as I do to creating it.
This feels different to me. I’ve never approached my music like this before. And I’m enjoying the challenge of noticing the thoughts and feelings that crop up along the way. Not least those contracting feelings of scarcity and the pressure to engage in urgent busy work. Or the temptation to say “that’ll do” when I know I need to keep prodding with patience and/or persistence around a particular idea.
My instinct is to give in to or run away from that voice. But I’m choosing instead to converse with and develop it, in order to embrace a slower, more intentional, and expansive way of seeing my relationship with creativity.
You can listen to the first song, Sleep It Off.
Join My Team
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