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Topic: Having Problems concentrating -

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    West Seneca, NY
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    Having Problems concentrating -

    I think I am suffering from total burn out. Last night I straighten up my studio, cleared my hard drive of all the music from the musical, then decided to do some writing. Started around 8 pm. Loaded up Cubase SE and armed with a template of GPO. Sat there in front of the monitors just starring and never touched the keys nor the pencil. Turned everything off around 11pm and went to bed. Just laid there staring at the ceiling. Hmm, time to fix that leak in the roof. I don't know when I fell asleep. This morning woke up at 5 am and had coffee. Went down to my studio and just sat there once again looking at the monitor. Got up on line and read some emails. My studio partner sent me good new of him making into the top 5 of the Song Writers Contest. Hmm, if he made it into the top 5 I must be below the bottom of the pile somewhere. This guy writes all the time. Me, I'm just one of those old wanna be's that can only sit there and stair at the monitors. I feel like guano on a stick right about now! Ever get that way? I think I need a different stimulus, yes? No? Maybe Not?
    I think I am quite burned out. Either that or I am just so over tired and can't think straight this morning. Oh, wait ... that's every morning! Eh! Soooooo?
    Wait, Mozart is on the phone ... Hello? "Hey Styxx, do what I do when I have that problem." And that is? "Rewrite a Neil Diamond song inside out upside down inverted!" Oh brother, not the Neil Diamond song writers block punishment! CLICK!
    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    I sympathise with you, brother. I have days or weeks of block... but it always returns.

    I think it's normal, especially for someone as busy as you are. Sometimes it's best not to try for a week, give it a break, do something else. Then you'll feel fresh again.

    P.S. Oo! Oo! I LOVE the new smilies !!
    Steve A. Gallant

    www.SteveGallant.com

  3. #3

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    Oo! Oo! Where are you finding the new smilies? I don't see them on the message composition menu.

    LGA
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  4. #4

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander
    Oo! Oo! Where are you finding the new smilies? I don't see them on the message composition menu.

    LGA
    I see them in my drop-down smilie box. "Heeee--Yaa!"
    Steve A. Gallant

    www.SteveGallant.com

  5. #5

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    I think I am suffering from total burn out.
    The only thing I find surprising about this is that you seem surprised.

    You just finished up a major musical production, which is both draining and a let down when it's finally over, and after 15 years you're staring down the barrel of either retirement or a career change (often the same thing for those of us who can't sit still). Burnout, disorientation, high and low emotions, lack of direction, fatigue, listlessness, and more are all on the menu for you at this point in time. Of course, just because something's on the menu doesn't mean you have to order it. These are just the normal responses to the transitional state you're in.

    Having travelled this road myself more than once, I'd say the best thing to do is allow yourself to take a break without putting pressure on yourself to "be productive". Maybe take a week or two and just chill. Forget about music. Drink some cold beverages. Watch old Bugs Bunny reruns. Let your body and spirit catch up to the changes you're coming into, and give yourself time to find your next groove in life.

    What do you want to do next? How do you want to do it? These are deep questions, worthy of contemplating in your robe and bunny slippers while gazing out at the stars. People warm up before exercising but often forget to do the reverse - cool down in gradual stages. Your lifestyle, like the body, hates sudden stops.

    So don't fret, man. You've earned the right to take a breather, so embrace it rather than fighting it. Once you've rested up and have caught up with the changes in your life, you'll start feeling the urge to pursue the next thing. When you do, follow the muse. Until then, keep those bunny slippers handy and just enjoy life!
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  6. #6

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    Styxx,

    Chris is OOOOh so right. Veg out for a while. After completing a major production like you have, it is only natural to jump in saying, "Oh good, now I can do something just for me." You will recover all your creativity. Hang loose, go for long casual walks (without those bunny slippers though), take your kids to a movie, go out to dinner with your wife or someone else's wife (I didn’t say that). Anyhow, just plug those creative batteries into that wonderful charger of relaxation and you’ll be running on full power before you know it.

    Karl

  7. #7

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    Yeah man you need to just chill. When I finish long term gigs that are like 18 to 30 days 5-6 days a week, and 10-14hrs a day- I TAKE a BREAK!!!

    I used to do EXACTLY what your doing now when I was freelancing. I would be like, 'I just finished a major project and now, if I'm as good as I say I am, I should be startin' ANOTHER One. TOMORROW' Right? W-R-O-N-G!

    I learned that when freelancing and doing long term projects (gigs that are more than 10 days) I have to take 1 or 2 day mental break.

    Here's my routine. I location record and mix film, not write/compose/musical like you. When the show wraps: I turn in all my receipts and invoices to my client/production company, I return any extra gear I rented, I cash checks and deposit all payments so far, and send thank you notes (if I like them-sike-it's a good habit). If I'm really good I update my files and credit list in my home office. My little after show routine takes me about 24-36 hours to do. AFTER that it's all about ME dude.

    I usually do things I enjoy. Maybe go to the lake and meditate. I'll rent 3 movies and watch TWO of them in a row. Not cook, unless my wife does, and go out for a couple of meals to treat myself. Sometimes, as my gig comes to end I'll call my friends to set up a get togther shortly after my job wraps. So I can look forward to it. Sometimes, I'll go and buy new music. For me as a mixer, until lately, this is when I start writing music (I'm slowly changing this).

    But as others have said, 'You got to rest your body and mind' I've learned that as an artist; when I'm under a paid deadline, dealing with unwieldy people, working long hours, and trying to prefect my art and craft-mannnn my adreanaline is PUMPING. EVEN when I don't think I'm working, my mind is ALWAYS working. I kinda see gigs as marathons and I try to pace myself. I just know when I cross the finish line, I have to let the adrealine wear off and then mentally I have to let my mind UNFOCUS and rest. If I do my routine, generally about 4 days after I wrap a gig-I'm ready for the next one.

    This is just me and my field and I'm starting to compose more BUT every pro I know takes a break after their job-even if they don't admit it.


    Sincerely

    Jonathan

  8. #8
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    I just did some gardening. How’s that for starters?
    Man Chris, you really have a way with words! Everyone, I thank you for the sweet advice and I am going to take it (less the someone else’s wife part) One thing is for sure ... you can have gardening! Doesn't make sense to me to spend hundreds of dollars on flowers only to rip them out of the ground in the fall. Then, spring you have to dig everything all up again and plant another batch! What the heck kind of therapy is that? Not for me I tell you... Just black top everything and stop being a slave to nature!
    Gonna have lunch with the wife soon. Later, we are buying a new outdoor grill and maybe have some hammagerz, hoddogz, and hoddikin beer!

    Thanks guys. Too bad we are so far apart or I would have yams all over for some road kill stew!
    Later.
    Note: It's so nice and warm out side in old Beeffalo that all the teachers are roaming senseless mumbling, "Oooo, what's this? Ahhh, what's that bright thing up there?"
    Styxx

  9. #9

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    I just did some gardening. How?s that for starters?
    Man Chris, you really have a way with words! Everyone, I thank you for the sweet advice and I am going to take it (less the someone else?s wife part) One thing is for sure ... you can have gardening! Doesn't make sense to me to spend hundreds of dollars on flowers only to rip them out of the ground in the fall. Then, spring you have to dig everything all up again and plant another batch! What the heck kind of therapy is that?
    Note: It's so nice and warm out side in old Beeffalo that all the teachers are roaming senseless mumbling, "Oooo, what's this? Ahhh, what's that bright thing up there?"

    Styxx,

    Everyone's comments are dead on...it's just the musical equivalent of "post partum depression"! That outdoor grill sounds lilke a great idea in a place like Beefalo (has all the snow melted yet?).

    And about gardening...I agree as far as flowers go, but you might want to try some veggies...something you can eat when it's finished. Nothing tastes quite as good, and there's all kinds of rare/exotic stuff available that you can't find in the supermarket.

    jim

    ;-)

    Jim Jarnagin - no not THAT Jim Jarnagin, the other one.

  10. #10

    Re: Having Problems concentrating -

    I have similar problems concentrating after listening to classical music or other people's demos . . . I just keep listening and listening and listening . . . very hard to get myself writing again
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

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