It’s happened to all of us and seems to be happening to me more and more. It’s that really uncomfortable moment when your brain just seems to stop working and you can’t come up with the name of someone OR something that should be very easy to recall….
Yup….. nothing there, NADA…. a complete blank!
The good news is? Well, it happens to all of us. (NO getting older jokes)
but it happens to musicians and other people that are of the creative type more often than they would like to admit. Every kind of artist suffers this at some point. Sometimes it’s called writers block. Some artist write it off as just not feeling like being creative. Others come up with interesting ways to try and get some sort of creativity to come out of their minds and be transferred to their preferred medium, be it canvas, paper, recordings or some huge block of granite that you chip away at a little at a time.
Interestingly enough, the most creative times for me, and when I do some of my best stuff is just after I wake up in the morning. Another interesting and very annoying time is in the middle of the night. I don’t know if I dream this stuff and wake up with it on my mind or if being surrounded by the darkness shuts off the sensory input and forces the brain to entertain its self. It’s just annoying that I wake up in the middle of the night with lyrics, melodies or bass lines in my head. It’s also the most inconvenient time!
That leaves me with two options. Option one is to just forget about it and go back to sleep. While that’s the easiest way out it’s not the most artistically productive. Option two is get up, write it down or record it then try to go back to sleep. The penalty for following option two is a long and tired day at work with almost no productivity and a long series of really bad decisions brought on by exhaustion.
So…. the question is…. What’s a person to do?
After thinking about this for a really long time it has finally occurred to me. There’s not a good answer. I think the right description of the problem is that I’m stuck with an unanswerable paradox. I once heard Bart Simpson describe as paradox as “damned if you do, damned it you don’t”.
I’m certain he got one thing right…. it’s the life of the damned! …lol….There sure are a lot of people that have the desire to write a book but never do and that leads up to the empty part.
This isn’t something you can set aside time at “4 pm on Friday afternoon I’m going to sit down and create something”. I guarantee when 4 pm on Friday rolls around you’re going to have one thing and one thing only. A completely empty brain. The results will be NADA, NOTHING. You will stare at a wall with a completely blank look on your face. NOTHING will happen. It’s a guaranteed thing. In fact that empty brain thing will begin to make you feel like a village idiot at approximate 4:05pm….
HEY, there’s a new song title “5 minutes to stupid”. Wish I could drop what I’m doing and work on it….
Let’s not confuse this with the times that you have a strong desire to sit down and think about nothing. Well, nothing except maybe a cold beer or a margarita in your hand.
So, the next time you see someone walking around with that totally blank look on their face please be kind and hand them a sign. Prefereably one that says “Artist in Training”.