If you haven’t noticed, I have taken a long break from the blog. A few months even. Now, to the “professional blogger” out there, having a break in content that long is “blog suicide”. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t consider myself a “professional” blogger. Blogger… yes. Professional?
What am I a professional of? Sometimes taking a break can make questions like that a little more answerable. Whether we are suffering writer’s block, wallowing in self doubt, experiencing an artistic identity crisis, or even in a depression, sometimes all the tricks in the world don’t work save for one… taking a break.
Taking a Break Can Grant Us Clarity
Sometimes we forget who we are. We’re going along and all is well and for some reason something changes as we try new things and discover others. Habits form. New habits replace those. Even newer habits can replace those. It’s sometimes difficult to remember the original piece of stone that we were chiseling away at to reveal ourselves to the world.
We can get lost in expectations of others and the hustle and bustle of where we want to be in life. Our desire to be better and have better can sometimes be our downfall, our Achilles heal.
That’s what vacation is for. I don’t mean vacation to the Bahamas (although that wouldn’t suck), but rather a vacation from who we are now, from what we are doing, from where we are going, and how we are getting there.
If there is one thing I have learned in life, who we are, where we are going, and how we’re getting there is not always good. The one true way to examine ourselves, where we want to be, and how to get there is to just stop. Stop everything. Peace and quiet and the sweet relief of no expectations in ourselves or from others. Just… take a break.
And It Was Revealed Unto Him…
Taking a break can grant new vision. Hindsight is always 20/20. Foresight is cloudy at best. We can have an idea of what we see ahead, we can imagine what we see ahead, and we can even try to make what we see ahead a reality.
The truth is, sometimes we are so concerned with we see ahead and how to make it a reality that we are blind to what we see right now and what we have seen in the past. The future is important, but not at the expense of the present or the past.
Knowing where we are, and where we have been are just as important variables to musical careers as where we are going.
Don’t be too busy to see where you are. Don’t forget where you have been. Taking a break can grant us clarity of those things and maybe it’s exactly what we need a dose of.
Having clarity of mind about the present and the past, our accomplishments and our progresses, can unlock the clarity needed to realize our ambitions. Taking a break can be a vital tool for just that.
Think of it like a map. When we are in a hurry, we grab a map, find out where we are, and scramble to find the quickest route to where we want to go. It’s the hurry part that really limits our vision.
Flatten that thing out. Sit down and be calm, your taking a break, you have no place to be. As you run your hand over some of the places you have been, and smooth out the map, you see roads you recognize and discover new ones that your tunnel vision didn’t allow you to see before. The map you are looking at suddenly reveals to you a multitude of possibilities when before you were just looking at how to get from point A to point B as fast as you can.
You notice dead ends you turned around in. You see paths you could have taken. Shortcuts you took suddenly don’t look all that interesting. Parks pop out. Downtown areas come alive. New ways to go and new things to see become evident.
Pick one. Hell, pick three. You have just been given the clarity needed to find new directions, and for musicians, new directions can be gold, baby.
And Thus Ends the Funk
Last but not least in this post, being a musician can sometimes just be flat out depressing. Sometimes we hit a creative wall so hard it hurts. We can feel uncreative. We can feel unaccepted. We can feel like we have lost our touch. Sometimes we are so discouraged by our lack of creativity that we let it affect our personal lives, our moods, our minds, and our day to day.
Take a break. Be a human being. Know when to not be a musician. Go visit old friends. Go visit new friends. Go walk in the park. Maybe you hate walking in the park, at least when your there you can realize, “I hate walking in the park”. Remember who you are and be you. See your family. Family is always good for reminding us where we came from and even what motivates us to touch peoples lives with our music.
My name is Heath Close, and I have been taking a break. I feel so much better.