Do one thing, complete it, move on...
Hi! It’s Charluxx.
Today, I have one thing to tell you: Finish what you start.
As a musician, that is one of the best piece of advice I can give you.
As a bonus, it works for everything in life.
That particular advice was given to me by a very wise young lady (shout-out to Maxime!) while working in the kitchen of a restaurant.
So, do one thing above all else: when you start a song, finish it. Do not leave it for later, do not start a new one—a quick demo excepted (more on that bellow)—however tempting that may be! Be in the moment, ride that wave. Create. Worry about everything else later. Don’t hold back. Put everything into it.
Coming back to a song after moving on can be a hard process. I speak from experience. You have to get back to the feeling, the groove, the state of mind you were in. You have to re-capture that unique energy, that fleeting musical moment. Sometimes to good effect. Sometimes you just cannot. Circumstances change, songs change, and you have to learn to deal with that. Embrace the change. Be the change.
One of the (many?) problems that we have as musicians is this: when we start a new song, it becomes so much better than the previous one(s) and therefore we just want to concentrate on it. Until a few hours—or minutes!—later when the muse strikes again... and then the new song is much more interesting.
You’re constantly enamored by the siren’s call. Yes your new song is good, great even, but no—and know—it is not better. It is just different. When you go back and listen to your uncompleted songs, you’ll realize that they are just as good as they were when you invented them, sometimes better... it’s just not as shiny as the new one you’re working on ;-)
On a societal level, we are, unfortunately, demented consumers by design. It’s in our DNA. We want the new shinny. We need the new shinny. Human nature and whatnot. Be aware of this. Take your time. Make it work. Be better.
My dad gave me a piece of advice when I was a teenager and working to pay my share. He said, and I paraphrase here, “whatever you do, always give your best, that way, no matter what happens, you can sleep well at night.” I love my dad. This has been my life’s mantra. Always give your best.
(Newer-itis)—like Hepatitis—is a real affliction. I pretty confident in saying that I speak for other artists as well—this is not just something that affects me as a musician—as I am beyond certain this is a condition that impacts many a creative type. Having talked to musicians friends, knowing they suffer from it too, I can indeed confirm its existence.
How do we combat this annoying scourge?.. Tongue firmly planted in cheek here because, let's face it, this isn't exactly a life and death situation here now is it?
Well, what I do is this: I start recording a song... Then inevitably another one presents itself. So, I stop and record a quick demo (thank you Apple for making the brilliant (free) Music Memos!) of this intruding song, with notes regarding what to do with it, then I immediately come back to the song I am working on and complete it before moving on.
When I come back to these demos, since I haven’t invested time into them, they feel new. And I truly start to work on them proper. One at a time... okay sometimes two at the time. But that one is on me.
Once in a while, I will allow for an invading song to take precedence and will leave aside the “main” song temporarily to concentrate on the new one. I allow myself these exceptions to be in the moment. Spontaneity is the mother of invention. When a new song is so compelling that it requires immediate attention, you listen, you need to heed that call.
With this is mind, I can tell you this: every single musician on the planet has many unfinished songs. That one icon you worship? Unfinished songs. These Legends© ...unfinished songs.
This is The Completion Hurdle. It is a psychologically factor: the fear of completion.
Finishing something can be very hard. It is an ending of sorts. It is a conclusion. Hard. Not everyone can take an idea, conceptualize it, create it, and finish it. Some can do it sometimes. Some can rarely do it. But some do. To be that person is the goal.
There is also the dreaded fear of failure. A head full of doubts... “Am I doing the song justice?” “I’m not sure I can make this song be as good as I hear it in my head.” Dismiss these thoughts! You can and will make it every bit as good as it sounds in your head. In most cases, even more so! You are a musician. You have a gift that few people posses. Believe in yourself. That is the genesis of it all. It is you. It is your soul, your voice, your sound, your music... How can YOU be wrong?
As a musician, I know in my heart that I will never reach my apex. I’m way more than okay with that. In fact, the very though of it excites me and motivates me. It stirs and awakens a healthy competitive spirit within me. I want and I need to be better than I am. I desire to be, as the (great Fiona Apple) song goes, “A Better Version Of Me.”
The best song I ever wrote? Haven’t written it yet. Not by a longshot. On my deathbed, I’ll let you know how close I got.
Until then, stay groovy my friends!.. we’ve a long way to go with so much amazing Sexy Funk coming your way! I cannot wait for you to hear! I’ve been giving little tasters with my weekly Video Wednesdays blog. I’ve got so many amazing songs coming up. They. Will. Make. You. Groove! ;-)
My album comes out August 21st!
Peace and Love,
p.s.: thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate it so much ❤️
The illustration above includes content from Vector Graphics by Vecteezy!