I’m seeing a lot of producers questioning themselves whether they should continue producing or stop and focus on other things, a thought that all producers have had in their career at one point. This often comes into my mind and these are a couple of thoughts on that…
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Quit when music doesn’t excite you anymore and it feels more like a task than fun. If you’re bored with what you’re making, assess if you’re bored with your genre or with music, and ask yourself if you’re quitting something you don’t see a future to or just running away from a problem you don’t know how to face. Seth Godin has an amazing book called ‘The Dip’ which talks about moments in which we feel like quitting, and often these are more related to hitting a roadblock than actually wanting to quit. Take a look at yourself and question ‘What if I stopped producing’ and if that is something that you feel at peace with, take a break and ask yourself the same thing in a couple of weeks. Otherwise, it’s likely you need more of a motivation boost, rather than to quit.
2. You will fall into a dip if you stop learning and experimenting. When you stop learning, you stop evolving and you start doing things on autopilot, which is the easiest way to start sounding generic and to get bored with what you’re doing unless it’s going REALLY well. When you fall into ‘The Dip’, that’s when you start questioning ‘why isn’t my music evolving’ or ‘why haven’t I been signed by a label’, and, from experience, the answer often relies on yourself and your skills. However, this ‘Dip’ sucks our motivation and takes us to point #1, which is the real problem. Therefore, to avoid it, you have to push yourself to learn new things and experiment to always keep yourself fresh and excited while producing.
3. If you’re in ‘The Dip’ right now, you absolutely HAVE to experiment. Creative ruts and Dips often mean that we’re not happy anymore with what we have been doing in the past since it hasn’t taken us where we wanted to be. Therefore, doing the same things you did before won’t turn the situation around. Now, you have to try new techniques, try new genres, try new ways to produce and to come up with ideas. For example, during my biggest creative rut, I decided to start producing House music, different from my main genre at the time. The new way of producing, the new arrangement and the new vibe brought my motivation instantly back on and it was one of the most inspiring periods of my career. Therefore, if you’re in that situation, it’s time to experiment and reject old habits as they were the ones that put you where you are.
4. To keep yourself always motivated, you must have a strong goal with music production, especially if music is a side hobby or hustle. First, write down what is the big picture goal and why you started to produce, and I seriously mean writing it down. Often that could set you back on track and let go of external results as motivators which normally lead us to self-doubt and lack of motivation. Second, try to get small wins every day. Set yourself on a 30-day creativity challenge where you need to create one melody or chord progression, good or bad, per day and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ideas that excite you, which surely can boost your motivation back. Third, seek help from a mentor as often you might be stuck and unmotivated because you don’t know how else to develop, and a mentor can definitely help you push boundaries you didn’t know existed.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
Ask yourself now, ‘what if I quit music’? How does that make you feel?
1. If the answer is a ‘I can’t live without this’, then you’re not at all at risk of falling behind.
2. If that makes you feel relieved in a way, take a break from music. Often taking a break can make you regain your confidence
3. Lastly, if you don’t want to quit, but still feel you’re stuck, it’s time to change your habits and try new things. Remember point #3, doing what you used to do is what got you there.