So you want to make a record? Good idea! There’s really nothing better than the process of making a CD to give to your friends and fans so they’ll stay interested in your career and engaged with you and your ideas. I have a dark confession to make: I promised my wife I’d record a CD for her, here in our Valley Studio about 3 years ago – it’s nearly finished and so is the marriage- ‘naaah’ I’m just kidding (she is a great songwriter by the way), but it’s the old ‘last project to get done’ scenario I’m afraid.
There’s always something that gets in the way of doing your very own thing. There’s bills to pay of course and a living to make and then the washing!! Sheesh! it’s a wonder I have time to keep up with what’s happening in Downton Abbey and Masterchef. The truth is that there’s always a grand excuse to procrastinate when it comes to you own creativity. We have kids and a dog and friends and jobs just like everyone but we have to make time..somehow for the things that really matter.
I call this theory my ‘spinning plates’ analogy. I figure life is a bit like the guy at the circus who has an act spinning plates on sticks. He starts out with one and quickly builds up to a lot of them all going at once. The audience gets more involved the minute one starts wobbling around threatening to fall and ruin his perfect record, but of course the day is saved at the very last minute and he completes his act without letting anything fall down. Yay!!
So when we are kids the only things on our minds is food, love, lollies and playing with friends. School kicks in there somewhere, learning a special skill, love appears in puberty, sport and health and so on. Pretty soon we have a job, spouse, kids, responsibilities and all sorts of stuff to juggle. Its like the guy with the plates except that he practices juggling them every day. So he gets really good at prioritising.
The rest of us mere mortals never even fully acknowledge that there’s a bunch of plates to juggle and pretty soon some important stuff falls down and crashes to the ground. Commonly it’s your own health and fitness, your self esteem, your creativity and your spirit that are the first casualties.
Often someone will come in to the Valley Studio to record music or usually to write songs and they ask “tell me honestly is there any point in all this? I mean it’s going to cost money and put me/us under financial stress and what are the chances of success, probably nil and am I just crazy??” Sure! Don’t make creativity a priority, put your self esteem far behind others, gently but firmly smother your dreams and get to the end of your life never having experienced what doing these things would feel like. Is that what you’d like for yourself?
Being creative, whatever your field of endeavour, is important and it’s one of the plates you need to spin all the time. Obviously I’m focussed on creativity all the time…….for other people…….but allow my own (and my wife’s) to wobble and languish in the dark. I guess it’s that whole “am I just being selfish” voice that starts whispering in your ear any time you pick up the guitar or open your songbook.
The truth is ‘be brave’ as I said last week both with the content of your songs and in facing down the world and saying “this is my life and I’m taking a little time to spin my creative plate. I’m also going to invest a little time and a little money in this part of my being and I’ll be a much better, more balanced person for doing this.”
We are only here for a little while, none of us know when the end may come and we don’t have time to procrastinate. Part of living your life to the full and being a person who stands as an inspiration and example to our friends, loved ones, family and our kids is tapping into the thing you love, doing it to the max and making ourselves feel whole and complete.
Find collaborators, conspirators and people who support you to do this, invest a few dollars, take a little time out and go for it!!
Oh, and Amanda’s ( my wife) – album will be out very soon!! I promise.
More Next week…Roger Corbett
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- Get your audience to ‘feel it’. What emotion do you want your audience to feel?