So if not aforementioned for you readers something you should know about me is that I work (for money) as a Technical Director and Editor for a live webcasting/video production company based in the Greater DC Area. It's one of the best jobs I've ever had but it takes a toll on my creative faculties. Similar to the attitudes of most employees, my job is something I'm good at but it doesn't satisfy the things I want to do creatively or fulfill the things I'd like to achieve. It does however take up a good portion of my time, effort, and energy and I know I'm not alone out there.
So then how can we go about making music again? Every day we go to work and come home (hopefully on time) and just want to veg out and recover. We walk in our front door saying "Oh, Television! Be my moderately entertaining solace and salvation!" But when those 5 hours of sitting and staring have passed do we feel any better? More inspired? Or do we look at the clock and see that in just a few short hours we're going to have to get up and do it all over again?
I've been in a very busy time at work lately that does not even allow me the opportunity to veg... much less make music. So what do I do then?
I've resolved not to let myself slip back into old habits and so I have been going through an ebook on my ipad in any spare time that I find between meetings or while traveling from place to place and it's saving my determination.
It's called The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. I highly recommend this book for any creative people trying to balance their lives and still be able to come up with creative ideas all throughout the day. One of the biggest things that I've been implementing to get back into a creative mindset is to take the extra time I find during the day (such as right now) to do things.
One of the most important aspects of Henry's outline for finding creative "rhythm" (perfect for a composer) is to surround yourself with inspiring stimuli. He has separate sections for energy and relationships but I'd lump those two into stimuli as well... it makes a huge difference to do things that will energize you, spend time with people who inspire you and push you, and to take in art and information that makes you want to write music.
So even during this busy time at work I've been using google music to keep my inspiration up get my mind flowing with musically creative thoughts again. I've assembled a playlist of only music that makes me want to write music... quite a variety but also very specific. As I notice patterns and elements that I want to try I make a note for myself. I use Evernote because it synchronizes to my iphone and to my computer at home where I'll do the eventual composing, but making notecards or writing in a notepad could be just as good provided that note-taking system is with you whenever creative inspiration may strike.
If you're looking for tools to help keep your motivation high and to capture inspiration even during time-crunches check out the links mentioned. It really is working and I have a host of ideas ready for me to pursue on thursday when I may actually be able to sit down and record some of them. oooh! Another idea! Better write it down...