I remember sitting on an airplane, traveling to New York City, spending the entire 6 hour flight scribbling furiously in my little black book writing the intimate details of my latest story. A much needed breakthrough following a horrible bout with writer's block.
But the rush of figuring out the intricacies of a project, there is nothing else like it. Do you feel the adrenaline racing from your eyes to your fingers? Tingling in your body, like your cells are rooting for you, screaming for you? That's victory.
When you place the puzzle piece in its respective spot, and you can finally see what you're building, it's quite gratifying. Like you've been opening doors all night looking for the right room, and you've finally found it. Now that you've found it, you can get what you need from it.
I've had this experience several times throughout the course of the album. I've been more frustrated with this thing than anything else I've ever done. At one point I got so fed up with it I started an entirely separate project. At another point I was so pissed that I just walked away from it for a week.
Before the anxieties and doubts and insecurities I get before releasing an album, I get anxious that what I'm doing is useless and will ultimately be just another stepping stone to my eventual mastery of the musical language. And while that may be true in some respects, in those same respects this is not a good thing. I've become bored of working towards a finish line. I want the trophy in my hand. I want this album to be done, and I want people to like it, and I want some sort of taste of success.
Then, there are the blocks. Writer's block, creative block, blickity block.
Call them what you want. But these things are a huge pain in the butt. And not in a confusing but okay maybe we'll try that again another day kind of way. The circuitry in your brain just says, "EH MAYBE LATER, YOU SON OF A BITCH," and you're stuck with thoughtless thoughts, useless musings that help you none, and a broken hand because you didn't realize my wall was so hard. These are the lowest points in the creative process. You've sat around and done nothing. And sometimes, doing nothing is the best cure for doing nothing.
Hence the week off.
So now, here I am, the finish line in sight, and I am pretty damn proud of where I've taken this project. Where this project has taken me. More on that in another post.
Right now, all I want is to cross the finish line and be done with it. But I suspect that after my deep breaths and bottled water, I'll look back at the race with a smile. "That was fun. And good riddance."