Being bold should not be confused with the desperate act. Sometimes it's easy to confuse the two because a desperate act can contain so much excitement. It's a thrilling story, isn't it? We often confuse the two because, if masked well enough, desperation can look like confidence. And, objectively, there are moments when it works.
With art, it gets more confusing. We love emotions and unlikely stories. We love artists that can frame their world, capturing the specifics in shades to illuminate spaces we can visit -- discovering new truths, giving words to what we knew but couldn't say. Yet, while the best art seems bold, most of the time it isn't desperate.
We need to stop celebrating the desperate, and embrace step-wise progress. The most interesting people seem to have the most boring lives, day to day. If viewed from the outside on a Tuesday afternoon, most would seem underwhelming. But that's the point: They are building big projects that change the world, not running around looking for attention, not chasing the next thrill.
Being bold really means taking the long road. Being bold means believing even when the path looks most bleak. Being bold means putting in the effort consistently, and being kind along the way.
Mixed Messages Day 8
Today began the second week of creation. We skirted working on the first song of the album, the song that remains frustrating, and wrote two verses to a new song instead. The verses came naturally and seamlessly. An hour in, we were lucky enough to reach a state of flow, which is why we didn't force our minds to fix the existing problem. When in flow, it's best ride the wave as long as possible. Creativity is at its peak in that state -- attention focused, in the moment. Flow is part of phase one of writing and recording.
For me, the two phases are creation and editing. Creation is a divergent-combinatorial. It's where one idea leads to the next until there is progress, It's joyous. It's when I am the most happy. Even if it's temporary, the voice of criticism fades. In its place is a "let's try it" attitude. Messes are made, and errors happen frequently. But I love them all. In this phase, regardless of what's true, we are magnificent artists and the work we make is flawless.
The second phase is editing. That's when the songs are reviewed several days, months, or years later, and "let's try it" is replaced with "what were we thinking?" It's painful, like running into a wall again, and again, and again. Editing is hanging onto the sound as long as possible in hopes that your mind can rewrite in real time. It's being daringly honest and removing the excess.
Editing will come soon enough, but for now, we are free. I'll happily carry that joyous feeling into the long weekend!