I Don't Care What Happens Next
on the spiritual state of the world, the implications and utility of love, the definition and methodology of enlightenment
Sometimes I go months without writing a song. Sometimes I write so often and so prolifically, I can’t even remember all the songs I wrote. The older I get, the less often I seem to experience that latter, manic phase. Recently, I’ve been stuck in a bit of a block. It’s not so much like what I think of when I hear the phrase “writer’s block”; I don’t sit at my desk (keyboard) trying desperately to pen (finger) some poetic words (melody). It’s more like…apathy. I just am never inspired anymore. You see, the writing never truly came from me, from my mind. It sort of spilled through my mind and into the keys and out of my mouth. So, this variety of writer’s block is a little less like lack of creativity and a little more like the loss or dwindling of some incredibly beneficial but intrinsically unknowable connection to something beyond my self.
If that idea doesn’t bog you down too much, then maybe you know what I’m talking about. I believe—or would at least like to—that we all have experienced that (for lack of a better word) divine connection. Maybe you’ve felt it in your work; according to psychological science, that’s the most common place people tend to enjoy these so-called flow experiences. Maybe, like me, you’ve never been a big fan of work, and instead you find it in your art (whatever that may be to you). For me, it’s usually in my music. But, as I explained, music is not a reliable source of flow for me. Sometimes I have nothing to create. In those times, I find myself turning to consumption instead. I’m not talking about the old-timey disease; I mean that consumerist mentality that leads you to goals like “watch all the Netflix” or “eat all the junk food”. With such ideas as my guides, I careen toward useless, non-productive squalor and hedonism. Not that I’m not a fan of hedonism. I just think it would ideally involve a lot more expression and a lot less futility.
So, as this time is upon me, I hunger not only for my favorite junk food (cotton candy), but also for a way out. How can I break this cycle and become a meaningful, active songwriter again? Well, I try to do the things I know will always help me with every problem: I meditate, and take mindful breaths throughout the day, and make sure I always express my needs and emotions. The problem with this method is that I’m terrible at all of those things. Maybe what will help is that eventual breaking point, where I’ve been so fruitless for so long that it begins to eat away at my sense of self-worth until I have no choice but to express the pain through art. (Mind you, that’s several steps after expressing the pain through eating chocolate or expressing the pain through sleeping too much.) I suppose the only real solution is to develop those healthy habits I mentioned, but I was really hoping for an easy way out. (Eating chocolate, for instance, is very easy). Or maybe simply finding it in my awareness to accept my lack of inspiration will help me to dissolve some paradoxical block. Sometimes the only thing keeping you from doing something you love is the fear that you might not do it.