Song Doctor Blog
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Motivation sure is a hot topic at the start of the New Year! However, in my realm, the repeated cancellations of performances have had a demotivating effect, even though one actually expects this is inevitable and fully understands that’s the safe and logical way forward.
But cancellations hit at one of the central tenets of performance life – ‘the show must go on’. Except when it shouldn’t, or can’t!
Certainly one is motivated to look for solutions and be prompt about the dismantling logistics that have to happen, but ‘cancel culture’ slows or completely puts a brake on the secret ingredient to maintaining motivation for the entire year - and that’s momentum.
Motivation only goes so far but it’s momentum that keeps you moving forward.
What I totally appreciated this last weekend was the momentum I gained or rather regained from the very motivated participants at our Stage Level Songwriting Retreat.
With several repeat clients, getting further tutoring and feedback on their songwriting and presentation plus sharing their successes from the previous year to like-minded folks was restorative and a reminder of how infectious momentum can be.
Some had restructured their free time or were in the process of rescheduling work arrangements to spend more energy on their music. Some had contacted producers and were in pre-production and some had performed their first sets in concert or at open mic. And one person had released an album two weeks earlier.
Each was working and tweaking their own particular pathway but sharing the small steps that had compounded throughout the year and was obvious in a ‘where I was then’ and ‘where I am now’ discussion.
This showed the power of converting the more ephemeral motivation into tangible habits, routines and behaviours that happened more regularly, needing not quite so much mental effort. Where motivation had become the hum of momentum.
Retreat had a reinforcing effect on this, with no one thinking twice about whether to harmonise or not on someone’s song – just ripping into it. Participants were stimulated by each other’s efforts and it rubbed off – on me.
So if you find yourself disheartened by the current state of play in our live performance landscape, please remember this too will pass and key into creating some momentum for your music.
It might be doing revamping your studio, finally learning that plug in or creating a practice schedule or revisiting a favourite artist’s catalogue or getting in touch with a co-writer or play some music with people, in whatever form you can – audience or no.
Rather than ‘should’, just do. Get the ball rolling rather than let the pandemic flat line your limited reserves of motivation.