Wearing out with the finish in sight?

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I have a collab with @crisp1. I like his lyrics. I've had the basic tune, layout, harmony etc in my head and on paper and on MIDI more-or-less for nearly two weeks. I've even got to the point of having a proper fakebook lead sheet to get me through the trickier lyric sections. So why can't I produce a halfway-decent or even indecent recording? And I'm still struggling with another twisted collab. I think I'm starting to wilt, and Oct 1 looms!!!! Listening to others doesn't seem to be helping any more and I daren't read any more lyrics for fear of being hooked....any suggestions? (NB I can't afford bourbon at the moment, cash is short, so that's no solution)

I've been struggling for most of the past week, and the only solution that worked for me was, I'm afraid, to just step back and take a day or two away from it all. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I was pretty much a physical and mental wreck by the second half of September. Not doing that again.

Depending on your location, a couple of hours outside in the fresh air works wonders. Going for a walk is cheaper than bourbon; gardening gives you a feeling of satisfaction afterwards that bourbon certainly doesn't - not in my experience, anyhow!

-- In descent recording... interesting genre Wink

You're really from "amerika"? then Smile

-- Unable to focus, work, produce... as well, anything of value? Hmmm... well, "here" that's why THC Cannibis is now freely handed out as you de-board the Jet, and show you duty free Liquor and send you to a nice Motel 6 for 2 weeks of "new amerika" programming Smile I see cash is low... but that's okay... just swim in anywhere along our east, west, southern coastline... you'll be immediately housed, sedated and gifted. Oh, and you can steel and rob, so long as don't exceed the maximum, what is it now? $1500... but, our Jails are quite nice actually. Well, the one I used to run was Smile

Does that help? Smile

Otherwise, what I been doing is, as commented and I think you read, or Red?... Fool I looked for songs by artists I didn't like or know and trying to deconstruct their krappolla, get into their head(s) to break the Box a bit.

I definitely do NOT talk to the same folks as I might have since they only tell me what they think Smile and, I all reddy no.

Joining another, supplemental board and getting you ashes hauled in a new a wonderful way since "new" is another stimulating on-line thing to do. There's actually one, comes to mind you may fit in if serious about changing underwear and all.

-- Me, I stopped wearing underwear and shoes... even when grocery shopping, so, laundry is less of an issue and more time to write, right, rite, uNo!?

So, I hope you find that moderately if not ever so slightly hep-ful Smile

-- Reach out Brother, touch someone new, but don't get arrested for doing so!

There's a song in that above I am sure of it!

You should be giving the advice though, sea... we followed the land of Oz example, set our country on fire too, and etc... we may even move to a par-lia-mentary system b4 long.

I feel betta now. A bit, anyway. I'd write a nasty letter to the national newspaper but lately I seem to frighten them and they only print the odd one, or rather the less-odd one. @ustaknow and your rush to parliamentary system, at least you're not Victoria (Oz) with universal home detentioN!

I've been suffering through a lack of motivation on and off throughout the challenge.. Every once in a while I just FAWM a couple out. I'm close enough to 50 that I'm sure I'll hit it, but it's been a weird one.

Also, I've been doing some side projects. I made a couple of videos for songs and put them on my youtube channel that had 0 videos and 0 subscribers as of a couple days ago. I got my own website and file hosting. I started a new song list on google sheets to replace the one that got lost in hardrive failure. Sometimes a distraction can rejuvenate my writing motivation, however, this year, it seems to me to be doing the opposite.

When I feel like I'm getting burnt out these days, I know I have 2 choices - rest or keep working. I also know that I have an extremely strong inner critic who would like nothing more than for me to do nothing. What I've been doing this 50/90 when I feel like nothing is coming is to use a title generator or song prompt and just try to start with a lyric (the words have always been the more difficult part of songwriting for me). And each time I've come up with something decent enough to continue with.

I started off fairly active and after about the first three weeks was on track to do 50..and then just got slower and slower with new ones, taking a week or two between songs sometimes.. so now, I'm at about 29 songs (with another new one recorded but not mixed or posted yet) . Very unlikely I'll get to 50 at this point. one thing that helps all of us, of course, is getting comments on new songs, or ,, put another way, one further motivation killer is 'putting up a song and getting no comments for a long long time...' and of course the filp side of that is, listening and commenting on others' songs does tend to get me more motivated to keep on writing, etc... but yeah, its gonna be 'just a few more songs for me' i suspect, i guess we'll see! best to everyone!

I am finding, personally, that with the ramping up of things in day to day life, I have less time and so I'm falling behind (whatever that means!) because of that. But the music ideas are still there for me.

dzd's picture

I have one collaboration too I thought I was done with my part......sent it to a friend not a fawmer that was going to do bass and maybe some other stuff, he's a pretty well rounded musician, and with very little subtlety hinted he should sing it too.......that fell through(for now) but may still happen before Oct. 1st , and I'm hoping so, just because that took the wind out of my sails........well for that tune, but yeah I've been leery to read any lyric only work for the same reason you mentioned.

I've got some good recipes for homemade bourbon if you've got about 5-15 years to wait depending on your palette Biggrin , finished off a batch of some 10 year this spring/early summer, or just a few days/hours if you don't mind it clear, actually need to make some more myself.......I can't trust the guy that has it ..... it's probably already gone Biggrin

Might be a different way of looking at the creation side, so thought I'd add in my ten penneth.... I've just recorded an improvised crap art album walking home from town! It's probably a load of rubbish, but I felt inspired. Remembering when I saw a guy on a video talking to camera as he walked through a park, sorta relaxed chatting to camera. So I put two ideas together and rolled with it! Maybe look at your creation process from another angle. I burned out a few weeks ago and decided to keep recording, but my quality of output subsided. Now I have a bit more quality again, but with quantity in mind. Singing improv while in the car or walking has brought out other ideas I wouldn't have done before. I'm not suggesting exactly walking somewhere recording yourself singing, if you did that would work ofc cause I've done it :P but maybe look at how you can 'play' about with ideas differently, with a sorta avant garde angle, dadaist, or whatever crazy random nonesense you can do with a little change of scenery, instrument, or approach? Or you could do something else for a few days to let your mind rest, focus on another hobby, watch some series of something (i dont watch tv but ill watch youtube when i get chance to and feel i wanna explore new vids on my suggested videos feed). Whatever you can do to replenish, you will feel better for a relax and come back more ready to take on the challenge. You might just make a cuppa and there pops in an idea for your next inspired work? :P

I am finding that events and losses in 2020 seem to have more weight on me than in other years resulting in more-frequent-than-usual creative slogging. Even seemingly little things set me back further than in the past. Reading my counselor friends posts and article links on social media it seems that taking time for self-care is more important for me than ever. So I have. After FAWM 100/180 and 50/90 while I have crossed the 'finish line', I seem to have emptied my creative well. Still here because I can't stay away too long. I too have a couple of collabs, a morph, and a corpse to finish, along with the super skirmish for this upcoming weekend. The empty well is not just with songwriting for me also with painting. I have not painted anything since April. So as suggested above I exercise daily. Also I spend as much time as I can outside which will include playing/writing, and hopefully painting. Resumed reading (posted in another thread). I have not actually spent as much time on songwriting, and maybe average-for-me 50/90 quantity output, as I would have thought since I have been home full-time the duration of 50/90. Thats okay because I have had wonderful collab experiences and really like some of my solo songs too. @Tim Fatchen your presence here is always helpful and I hope you find what works for you.

If ours is 'the other twisted collab', @Tim Fatchen, I'm happy to wait for as long as it takes.

Ah @Stephen Wordsmith, such kindness and understanding, it really turns my guilt up to 11. On the plus side though, the meltdown has resulted in something coming through...

dzd's picture

hah! @Tim Fatchen so what you're saying is when nowhere else to go, go a little crazy? Wink

No, @dzd, not the crazed meltdown, all that brings is a headache and a hangover. It was the guilt engendered by Mr @Stephen Wordsmith's gentle kindness that made something pop out (and made me throw away the work of the last three weeks which wasn't worth a crumpet. No, wrong, it was worth one crumpet because I used the notation setup for what I'm now doing with that lyric!)

dzd's picture

@Tim Fatchen good deal! probably much healthier in the grand scheme of things. Personally, I usually find more value in my failed attempts than those that just seem to work by some weirdo unexplained magic, musically and in general. Just depends on how big of a failure the original attempt was though, some are pretty epic Biggrin

I think I'm done - the well has run dry! It's been an interesting experience and I hope to be back next year.

@dzd As far as I know it ALL works by some weirdo unexplained magic. The eyes, ears hands and hindbrain connect and leave me more or less out of it...

@Tim Fatchen I saw you're album release. I'm the ashehole that gave you all the red bars if track that, listens Wink All I had time for this morning. I and the wife heard #4 in particular, she commented being impressed, liked it. They all have your signature sound. I love the real piano versus keys (real or not, like that sound). One or two a little dirge-y and was hoping as I skipped around for you ripping into a Blues, flipping the song, change up. Maybe next album... "yeah, I cook for one..., [flip bridge], but I've got one hell'ove a stove to cook on"... ("my wife left me but still got my cadillac... Wink she left behind...", and etc. you know... just say'in, just say'in... my kind of "Blues Humor" isms).

Oh, I didn't read it/realize this was a general question as, "and you?..." Smile hahhh. I thought it was just your statement.

Me, no, I came "in" not motivated, but leaving the opposite, in a good place, not manic either with an insane need to "get it all done".

I had started on, as already commented (so my "statement"), looking at other artists that I may not like, every even heard/listened to, or heard as background music, backing tracks in other things, -- in an attempt to, if even do NOT like their stuff, "Cover" it ? in the coming "Rock-to-beer" as I like to call it, okt - toe - ber in a few daze.

It's been interesting doing that. And in "scoping" stuff out even did a, "folding" as I like to call it Wink (my own language, it's just so mea)... anyway, (great lesson too! for progressive students, -- musically speaking, not politically Wink ) if I "noodle", say more than 4 mins or so, I find, as one would guess with anyone, there's a pattern, or repeat of sorts (Clapton mentioned he worried that after one solo, folks would realise how little he had to say musically Smile on some obscure interview... anyone can look up from a loooonng time ago... ), anyway, back on point?... -- yes, so, I take that noodling and fold itself back over on itself, so, say I did 4 mins, at "2 mins" not likely but as e.g., copy/cut from there to end of noodle track and paste it UNDER the first half as a dup (so still a one-take, first-pass Wink hahhh!) and, it works. Immma jean-youse, aye? Anyway, did that already in the last project here I guess, and came to mind.

I was listening to another old popular band/player, and thought he/they literally changed guitars, from say a Les Paul to a Tele, in sound and level of "Fuzz" from distortion only, -- it was the same solo Smile again... hahhh! They turned a 3-4 min track into a 7-8 and the last half the hook and solo repeats. However, of course, works.

No I know for all the geniuses here, they already know that, all, -- but, for me and my little brain, that's the kind of stuff, little details I was getting. I mean, really, -- as great as I am now with all that I know, I struggle to learn anything new Wink (hahahaahah.... not enough coffee in me yet and kinda early, so, that's what you get).

So, derUgo! "at the end", what I did for my summer music vacation during this wonderful global jailing we all got to do together. Smile

IA's picture

It's ok to make something that's complete garbage.

I came in guns a-blazing. I've never produced as quickly as I did in the first 6 weeks. I'll get to 50 because I had most of it done in August, but it's a slog now. Most of my writing is for school anyway. We start in person teaching next week and we can't sing and we can't play instruments, so I'm recording myself singing so they can hear me and we can still play the games. Reinventing the wheel while the freaking car is on fire.

When it comes to guilt, Mr. @Tim Fatchen, I'm afraid I am both a sufferer and a carrier.

dzd's picture

@katpiercemusic I know a lot of teachers, that is very aptly put "Reinventing the wheel while the freaking car is on fire." Biggrin

They're doing some utterly ridiculous crap here, M/W/F people with last names A-M in person school while the rest are virtual T/Th, others are in person.....alternating every week. I'd like to meet the genius mind that thought that would be a good idea, just so I know what a truly delusional bureaucratic idiocy looks like.........wait nvm Wink

I Overheard last week, "I'm happy if my idiot children show up with pants, we really expect them or even worse their parents to remember this nonsense?" hahahah.

Good luck!!

@katpiercemusic @dzd hahhh Smile yeehawww!!

@katpiercemusic @dzd It must be millennial madness. Every thousand years AD/CE, we all go insane. Mr @Stephen Wordsmith, "He had a long chain on..." @IA I'd be happy to turn out garbage right now.

dzd's picture

@Tim Fatchen that and just America itself seems to already get pretty feisty about every 75-100 years....... told King George to piss off / Cival War and Native's attempted genocide/ prohibition/ this mess Biggrin the signs aren't looking too good I'll try to stay optimistic, but it won't be blindly so.

IA's picture

Yea so just grab a piano (how do you grab a piano?) and play I-IV-V-I for three minutes and maybe sing about what made you anxious last week. If it's multiple things, then you've got multiple songs!

So sorry @Tim Fatchen I don't have any useful advice, if I did know how to make things better then I would definitely tell you and everyone else. All I can say is that you do great stuff here and it's really appreciated by so many people and that doesn't even begin to touch on the support you give with your thoughtful comments and posts.

i got to 50, but the entire time, there was/is this one song which i never got done.... now it's been percolating as 'the only song needing work' for several weeks... this was 'the thing', 'the it'... 'that one which caught more of my attention than any other'... not sure i'll get a demo out... so, 50 could be an arbitrary number, and getting those 'favorite ideas' to gel... well maybe that's a whole 'nother thing...

be that as it may, if anyone makes even one song as a result of this (fawm/5090) exercise, i'd say that's a win... ymmv

A week or so ago I thought i might not do much more here, if anything. Wrote one that turned into two and then more and more, lately. Have about five new ones, if not more, in the last week or so. Partly its the whole larger-political mess that we're in that's inspiring some of them (tho not all), and partly i had more free time this week then I thought i would, but whatever it is that is getting it done is still here, or at least was still here as of earlier this evening! (don't want to jinx it and find it gone, of course!)

one of the other motivating factors is that i'm trying to figure out what are the 'best' songs/recordings of the 30 or so I've done, as I'll probably assemble them (with maybe some remixing and all) into another album on bandcamp sometime next week or so. These things are always fun 'time capsules' if nothing else, of what was going on at that time.

We just moved, so I've been too busy/exhausted to work on stuff. I did write a song last weekend but haven't gotten around to recording it. I think I'll be able to get it knocked out by the 30th, though. I'm considering participating in Rocktober, but I'm with @mike skliar in that I'm probably going to go back through my songs and pick which ones to polish and release into the wild rather than focusing on new stuff for awhile.

I’ve been MIA for at least a month. Between an unexpectedly busy September and increasing anxiety about what lies ahead, I have no creative time or energy right now. I’m hosting a couple of Super Skirmish slots this weekend and plan to participate as much as I can - it would be nice to write a few more songs before 50/90 ends.

It seems that people are weary! as i write this only 17 people have posted songs in the last 24 hours (26 songs) there are only 43 comments on songs in the last 24 hours! and 12 of them are mine meaning the rest is 31 . that seems incredibly weary!

@coolparadiso Part of the weariness too is the COVID situation and the politics--as a family we're split by the Plague Curtain around Victoria, including regional Vic which is where our daughter is stuck and which has no more COVID than we do--and there's the general politics of waiting for China to invade Taiwan or Trump to loose his, um, cool and nuke them first. Your comments are appreciated. It didn't snow this morning but it's cold and wet and I will make a real attemtp to climb out of the Slough of Despond and get the last collabs collabs and so actually reach my 50.

I think we need to view this 5090 as one of those disaster "fun" marathons run in extreme heat, where the hordes starting steadily fade away and those finishing are carried off in ambulances as they cross the line...wil we joke about 2020 in coming years? I doubt it.

Yup I hear you @Tim Fatchen I am sure there are heaps of Reasons. I'm just reporting what I see! and in response to the weariness question. As I've said before I listen just because I like to and i assume i have a bit more time than most! To my eye there has been a significant change in 50/90 behaviours in many ways but that's a story for another day! There will be lots this weekend with the super skirmish! Then a few will rush to hit 50 so I expect to get plenty to listen to in the last few days.

dzd's picture

@Tim Fatchen Yeah I just hope the 2020 jokes don't start...... "you remember when we all thought 2020 was bad"

I've dropped off some in my listening/commenting, but some of that is due to not as much posting.......but there's probably still quite a few people I haven't made it around to hearing anything of yet, I've had plenty of time so have tried to make the rounds as much as possible and at least hear/read a tune or two from everyone, I might have to take a little music break after Rocktober, but everytime I say that I end up with 5 more ideas. I thought going back to work(even if still mostly part-time, various odd jobs here and there stuff) would stop at least an almost manic level of output from me....but well........has really just hampered commenting some, as I will rarely comment on a tune if on my phone, or listening while supposed to be working Biggrin

@dzd ""you remember when we all thought 2020 was bad" "...please...no more nightmares...please...I know the output rush/reduced comment scenario, happening to me too. I'm worn, but I;ll make the 50 just. Only the second time, and I was YOUNG the first time round (2009) Biggrin

I've been following this post, and feeling a lot of what you all are feeling. This weekend was the first Super Skirmish in who knows how long that I took absolutely no part in. I do have one more song to record, and maybe one more idea to finish, to reach a nice round number of 60 songs.
This morning I was walking on the beach with my wife (yes, we had a bit of a beach getaway) and we both admitted that we're just plain tired all the time, mainly from low-grade but constant anxiety and depression. Yet a lot of people depend on us as their bosses and teachers, so we keep on keeping on.
Playing music has been an escape lately, but I feel my songwriting well has run dry and maybe it's time to take the ridiculous number of songs I do have and do some damn thing with them.
There, got that off my chest, knowing you good people will understand. And I do want to reach that 60-song goal, as well as 300 comments given. And I'll do a few Rocktober songs or two. But I'm weary, for sure.

2020 joke:

A great year for "Hind Sight" if looking for asheholes.

Wink Fool

Yes, definitely burning out.
I haven't posted a tune for a few days now (maybe over a week?).
Pretty much finished listening, too; after over 450 comments given my ears are tired.
I have an unfinished collab that we've agreed to save until FAWM, as I just don't have the energy or motivation to continue.
Plus, it's been beautiful weather here in Southern Ontario, and I'm trying to enjoy being outside for the last warm temperatures of the year.
Looking forward to cranking out a few tunes for Rocktober, though.
Covers are not as mentally taxing for me as coming up with an original tune.

dzd's picture

@ustaknow yeah Biggrin that's a good one! @Chip Withrow probably a good idea!! every time I try that though I find even just re-listening to some old stuff inspiring, and find that well not quite as dry as I thought it to be in the first place, and yeah I too always try to remain optimistic and "happy" as possible, but this year has taken a pretty hard toll on everyone, "2020 I tried, but I'm tired" ........might be a good album/song name for all of us Biggrin

@Fuzzy I'm finding choosing songs to do for Rocktober taxing Biggrin , but I agree with you about covers not being as much of a drain as trying to think up something new.

Re: the rocktober comment(s) at the end here... what I am finding this year, if approaching as I am (not like you folks Wink ) -- having to figure out their idomatic lyric rhythm, and syncopated beat patterns, and why they even made that song Smile and how it got pubished/popular more "taxing" (hopefully Trump will take care of that Tax too! Wink ) ... anyway, more taxing. Then you got these folks who tune down 1/2 step and use a flat chord, really -- "WTF"? Smile Wink Fool Uno?!

Tso, derUgo!

Anyway, I heard there's a good music tutorial on tonight between 9p - 11p ... so will be glued to that dictatorial templatism tutorial, and maybe musication will rain down on me for more-better music. Smile I keep looking for red white and blue rains... -- enough of the purple stuff!

Ah well, this thread at least got mew to do one more (instrumental) just before midnight Sep 30 (my local time. I don't cheat, see?!) So thanks everybody

@Tim Fatchen Wait doesn't it end at the *end* of the day on October 1st? If you actually count, the beginning of July 4th through the end of October 1st is 90 days... I'm pretty sure unless I'm counting incorrectly.

@Amanda Rose Riley

You're right and I'm muddled! But still, I've about run dry anyway!

I’m tired. The timer on the Home page says there’s 1day, 4 hours left, but I’m done. We’re going for a vacation in in the West Virginia woods, so tonight after work I’m packing, then when the site shuts down I’ll probably be in the car.

But I got 27 songs done, which is enough for me. Plus a couple of 4-track collabs that aren’t posted yet.

It’s been a good run, but I’m done. Hey, that rhymes, maybe one more....