What's up Bass Campers, hope you're all staying safe during this uncertain time. Its easy to fear the worst when everyone in the world is panicking, but I've found believing the world will bounce back together and operating under that assumption is the only way forward for not only for the artists, but for everybody. Let's keep doing what we love and stay healthy and happy doing it!
This week I wanted to dive into a few of the things I've been doing to keep myself motivated and on track with producing and life in general while locked down. Its crazy times we're living in, but we don't have to sit in fear waiting for the next day's news instead of being productive. Instead, try some of these mind clearing activities to make room for more musical ideas:
1. Daily Journaling
We all know that our fear and anxiety has the ability to put us into a state of overwhelm and even depression. More often than not this leads to writers block. Nobody wants to feel like shit, and not being able to create due to a poor emotional state can be a vicious cycle. Forcing myself to write one full page every day has alleviated much of my anxiety and has led to countless more productive hours of the studio. In addition, this type of daily writing practices letting your thoughts flow out, no matter how stupid they might sound in your head. It is literally training your brain to be more creative. I can't stress enough what a critical tool this is to discover as an artist, especially with what we are experiencing with these lockdowns.
How I Journal:
- Start writing (in pen) and don't stop until I fill at least 1 page
- If I'm really struggling to fill one page, I stop once the page is full
- If I'm at one page and still feel a surge of thoughts wanting to spill out, I keep going until I can't write anymore
After I write a day's entry I don't look at it again. If you wanna get super intense you could rip it up or burn it after. The point is not to collect these pages, but to provide a channel to release some of those thoughts out of your mind.
Meditation is another critical add to an artists daily routine. The concept of mediation is much more mainstream in today's world than it ever has been in the past, and so there are a lot of different takes and style to dive into. For me, meditation is the practice of becoming present and mindful. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume everyone experiences thoughts like worrying about their career path, wanting to play this festival, feeling embarrassed by something stupid you did or said, etc. When your attention is focused on anything related to the past or future, you are not being present. During a meditation, your only goal is to experience what is happening around you AT THAT MOMENT ONLY. And that's it. But anyone with any experience mediating knows how difficult this is, but how fulfilling and relieving it can be once you taste a bit of the present.
How I got started:
- My first taste of mediation was with Headspace. If you haven't heard of them, definitely go check them out and run through their free trial. They were my first dive into mediation, and I found their style very approachable as someone who was very adverse to these "hippy dippy" types of things before I started.
- After a while, I wanted to try a different style of mediation. I shifted over to Sam Harris' Waking Up App. I LOVED the free 50 day free intro course, as it touches on some really cool techniques during your mediations I would have never thought to try otherwise. Would highly recommend.
- Eventually, I graduated to unguided 10-20 min mediations on my balcony. All I do during these sessions is try to focus on my breath and be aware of any thoughts that arise. I'd highly recommend going through Sam Harris' course first though if you want to be more effective with your unguided sessions.
3. Movement / Exercise
This one seems obvious, but for producers and other careers that leave us sitting at desks for hours at a time this can easily fall to the bottom of the priority list. I've found in my own life that if I don't stay diligent with exercise and movement, I quickly become unproductive and unhappy. And to add to that, whenever I'm feeling shitty, I'm always just a workout or walk away from getting out of my head and back in the game. You don't need a crazy workout plan to move, just make sure you are doing something active for 30-60 mins a day (even when locked indoors). Here's some ideas:
- Walk / Run / Hike: Movement outside never fails to spark new ideas and inspiration, especially when I'm sure I don't need it. Make sure you're careful outside though if you're reading this when "Social Distancing" is required
- Body Weight Workouts: When in doubt, hit some push-ups, pull ups, sit ups, squats and lunges. I also try to find personalities like these guys for exercise ideas and inspo: @jtm_fit, @davidgoggins