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I've learned a lot about the creative process over the course of the last 20 years. For me, it has always been a whirlwind of excitement, anxiousness, frustration, and release. When I'm wrestling with the details, I feel like I'm trying to solve a puzzle. There was a time when I would spend countless hours ironing out even the most minute details, only to find that the final product felt forced. That realization would often leave me feeling deflated, ultimately robbing me of the sense of fulfillment that comes with finalizing a piece of art.


As I've aged, I've tried to find ways to streamline my creative process by removing some of the excess baggage. An important principle has made itself known: you can't overthink it. Yes, you should obviously put thought into the style, cadence, and arrangement of your creation; but if you go too deep, you risk sucking the life out of it. Trust your intuition and let your creativity be your guide. Once you feel yourself starting to dwell or over-analyze, step away or move on.


I've found this process to be so helpful when it comes to writing music. I essentially ride the wave for as long as possible, and then when my natural tendency to nitpick inevitably begins to creep up, I table the idea for a later listen or call it a wrap right then and there. What I've found is that, when I come back to listen later, I'm pleased with the original idea. Had I gave in to the over-analyzation, I could've messed the idea up!


Here's the takeaway: trust your creative gut. Let the ideas flow freely without criticism. Get them out on paper or in your DAW and let them exist for a little while as is. Creators are often our own biggest critics, and we are notorious for disregarding ideas as "awful" when they were in fact a beautiful piece of art that was unique and special. Don't be so hard on yourself. Having the bravery to make something is worthy of praise.


Hope this bit of word vomit brings you creatives some peace of mind. Get out of your own way and express yourself!


CH

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