As artists, we are fortunate enough to be able to create. We create meaning for others that will often live on long after we do. Could there be a greater privilege?
Despite such a privilege acting as a Northstar, it's easy to get off track.
So here's the questions to always ask: Is the project part of my life's work? If not, will it get me any closer?
When such a system is compromised, it's likely that you'll eventually end up in an unkind place: halfheartedly going through the motions, tolerating instead of loving, and using the weekend as a temporary reprieve before the next monotonous repetition.
Pursue opportunities that help you continue your life's work. Disregard the rest, as they are distractions that will burn important energy and resources.
Mixed Messages is moving forward a word at a time. To this point, progress feels slow, one-step forward and two-steps back. It's a cacophony: The weird feeling of dissatisfaction, being pulled in many opposing directions, building tension, combining pieces, sifting though the convergence, disregarding the waste, and repurposing it for later use.
I know it will make sense in the future, but the stuggle is remaining actively engaged while the pieces are sorted out, continuing despite the confusion. When faced with what feels like being repeatedly kicked in the teeth, it's easy to disengage and walk away. That calms the confusion and the pain, but it also means restarting the project after each break.
I'm a big believer that with greater attention, deeper insights are uncovered. Each album usually captures my attention for a minimum of 12 months. I try my best to gently hang on, while thinking, hearing, and visualizing the details daily. Time off worries me. With a week or two away, the specifics become blurry. The distance leads to generalities and banalities -- the truths that are so obvious that they are obnoxious.
I'm trying to get away from inelegant noise, but there's a long way to go.