Creativity Induced Depression

It’s currently 5:05 PM on Monday September 1st. I have just wrapped up, what I thought would be a productive afternoon recording.

See, I had the great idea to attempt a cover of Lincoln Brewster’s song Sinking Ships. I have been grooving the the song since Oxygen was released two weeks ago.

I recently purchased an Akai MPK Mini MK2, that I wanted to try out. It seemed like it would be a great afternoon. I had mapped out my plan of attack for producing the cover, learned the chords and the lyrics.

I started by tapping in the drum pattern and then laid down the main chords to go behind the song.

Time was flying as I worked to add in some extra elements to thicken the sound. I have to say, I was really digging the sound of the track. What I had invisioned in my head was begining to take shape in the Logic Pro X window I had open.

I was happy and excited with what I had created and was loving my new MIDI controller.

It’s been a year since I’ve recorded any new music, despite adding to my recording equipment collection. The reason for that is I have been experiencing a creative drought.

The reason that I haven’t released any new music has nothing to do with a lack of songwritting or recording work being done. I have started several projects only to be halted in my tracks at the vocal stage of recording.

This is what has been happening to me for the last year:
I spend a large amount of time, building a great track, however when it’s time to record vocals, the whole song falls apart. Generally, it’s because I lack the vocal power or range to actually pull off the song I’ve written or chosen to cover.

It’s frustrating. I have this great music that I’m excited about and pumped about, but shortly after starting vocals I lack the motivation to continue the song.

All that joy and excitement is gone. Replaced only by depression and a lack of desire to even try.

 Why do I even attempt to record songs if I know I can’t sing them? Why even try? It’s just going to end up in the folder of abandoned songs like all the rest.

This is something I’ve dealt with since I started recording, I get wrapped up in something that I think is going to be great, but I can never execute my vision. Because of that lack of execution I put it down and die a little inside everytime.

The struggle is having something to express and that I need to get out, and not having the tools to adequately express what I am feeling in that moment. It’s devestating. The reason that this hits me so hard is because I rarely have something to express.

Songwriting is very hard for me. I can work and arrange music easily, that part comes naturally to me. However lyrics and melodies are the hardest part. It is a rare day when I have enough words for a second verse of a song. The most common pattern I fall into are a chorus and verse and no idea where else to take the song.

It feels like there is something wrong with my brain when I get stuck. I feel that as a creative person I should be able to finish the song. I’ve heard advice given on how to become a better song writter is to no matter what, finish the song.

Generally that advice is great if you know where the song is going and where is should go next, then yes finish the song, even if it’s horrible.

What if it’s not possible? What if that wall that hits me every time I feel like I have something to express can’t be overcome? Why does my mind go as blank as the blank pieces of paper I often have in front of me?

Is the problem that I’m having directly related to how I think about songwriting? Am I too left brained in my thinking? Too analytical?

Is it even possible for me to be a songwriter? Am I just unable to access that part of myself? Or is it even there?

Sorry it got so heavy there, I just had to express something in a way that I have the tools, since I can’t use the medium that I want, I have to use the medium I can.