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Monday, 30 June 2014

Staying Motivated

I have a friend who's fairly new to production and fairly new to electronic music in general. He's always really excited to produce music and it's actually really refreshing to be around someone like that. It reminds me of how I was when I first got into music production. It was new and exciting, I could easily finish a song a week even on a bad week. I see this type of attitude all of the time in students at SAE Institute where I teach. Eventually however you get stuck in a rut and it becomes harder and harder to stay motivated. You've gotten used to the way that you like to work, nothing is new anymore and suddenly you find you haven't finished a new track in a couple of months.

I'm currently stuck in this kind of a slump and it's frustrating to say the least. I spoke recently about doing different things and being playful in your approach to creating music to stay interested. Thats definitely part of the puzzle, but another part is your reasons for making music in the first place. It's definitely a good idea to find your reasons, and be conscious of what they are. I can't tell you what your reasons will be, they are different for everyone. I can give you an example and share with you my reasons for wanting to make music which are firstly to learn, and the process of mastery. I love the fact that as I make music more and more I become better and better at it, that process in itself is immensely satisfying. Secondly I really love exploring textures and sonic spaces. I love creepy and unsettling atmospheres and i'd really like to bring a paranoid type vibe back into Drum and Bass music in the way that guys like Photek and Teebee (think of Black Science Labs and similar albums) were doing in the 90s, in an original and modern way.  Finally the last reason that I like to make music is that the more I learn and the more creative I become, the better person, teacher and mentor I become for my students to learn from. In short, by getting better at making music I become better at my day job.

So what are your reasons? Have you found any yet? If you have great, write them down and stick to them. Just make sure the reasons you have for making music aren't reliant on external factors such as money and fame, your motivation will pretty quickly dry up if this is the case. If you haven't found your reasons, then do what you need to in order to find them. You could do something like start speaking to people older than yourself and find out what their regrets are. You'll pretty quickly find that pursuing something that you love to do, such as music, is far more important in life than pursuing other ends. When you've found your reasons stay true to them and try your best to disregard any other distracting factors in life that may detract from you doing what you love.

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