The creative process can be really unpredictable at times. Sometimes, you think you’re going in one direction only to be pulled in a completely different direction altogether. Other times, you THINK you’re finished with a project, only to realize that you are just beginning to scratch the surface of your original vision or idea and have a long way to go. Sometimes you need to destroy what you have already created and start all over again. There are even times when all of these things happen simultaneously.
Working on a creative project can be like traveling to an unknown destination with an unpredictable travel companion at your side, pulling you along on a crazy adventure, because you never truly know where you are going to end up. As in life, the best approach is simply to enjoy the journey, with all the unexpected surprises that can crop up along the way and all those little moments of serendipity that make it all worthwhile.
A while back, when I thought I was all ready to release Blisswave’s Manvantara album, I kept having this nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right and as I pondered it over, I realized that I wasn’t fully expressing what I had set out to express. This necessitated some re-evaluation, while giving me a fresh perspective on the direction I was taking.
As it turned out, I decided to change things around, re-write some of the material, and also ended up writing two additional pieces of music, so everything ultimately took a little longer than I expected. It really made a difference, though, because I was much happier with the final outcome, and with the evolution that the entire project took in the end. By doing this, my music was able to grow and become more aligned with my overall vision.
It is not always easy to do this type of self-evaluation – it means being brutally honest with yourself and asking yourself some tough questions: Is this the best I can really do? Am I holding back? Am I really taking this idea as far as I am capable of taking it? As artists, we never really want to start over again and destroy our own work, especially when we have already put so much time and energy and so much of ourselves into it.
In this era of the need for “constant content”, it can be all the more difficult to go against the grain, listen to your gut feelings, and take the time to start fresh. Yet if you are having a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right with your current project, it is probably a good idea to listen to that little voice in your head that is trying to tell you that you can do better. In my opinion, it is far better to be known for the quality of your work, than for the quantity of your content!!