The Terrible and Amazing Creative Process

Three things:

  • Month 1 of 2015: check (almost)
  • My first two major performances of 2015: check check.
  • Coming to the painful realization that I am growing older, harder (inside, not outside, unfortunately), and the “recovery period” of every major life event seems to grow longer and involve way more alcohol and solitary netflix binges than is probably socially acceptable: check check check.

That’s how I’ve been spending my time, folks. I put myself out there by venturing into unknown territory (composing) with nothing but my two degrees in music education, a cup of hot tea (or 10-20), and some serious sayage (that’s “things to say,” for those of you who don’t know me personally).

And let me tell you…

The process is frightening. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THIS?

Here I am, an unsuspecting little bird falling into a vortex of terrifying, soul-sucking emotions. I emerge some sort of gnarly, scarred crone, only a vague shell of my former naive self. That’s pretty much the creative process. I only wish I was exaggerating. Here’s a few clever representations of this process:

pretty much this.
pretty much this.
Especially 4.
Especially 3-4…


Hyperboles aside, I wrote some music. I performed some other people’s works (links to come…) I stepped in and out of “managerial” role as arts administrator, and I did it all in 3.5-inch heels. It was simultaneously terrible and amazing. I wish everyone could at least once experience THESE THINGS:

  • A completely sold out house because people want to hear what you have to say
  • Actually making money doing what you love
  • A powwow of your best peeps, and by that I mean people who are there for you, who will give dimension to your art without tearing you apart (RHYMES…)
  • Knowing that risk is necessary and that without it, artists live in these ridiculous, self-enclosed (albeit, safe) protective bubbles…and sometimes you just gotta burst the bubble to grow.
  • Having people laugh at jokes you created because they get it, and you are not alone.


So yeah, I sort of broke my number one rule: don’t forget the pictures. All I have are these babies (I only actually remembered to take the last one).

Singing for the actual composer, who is sitting at the piano…not terrifying at all…
the aforementioned "peeps." I'm literally surrounded by them.
the aforementioned “peeps.” I’m literally surrounded by support.

And then there’s this, which happened in a perfectly introspective pre-show moment and absolutely incapsulates the vulnerability of showcasing and performing new works:

100% NOT stock photo, actually.
::poops pants:::


So there ya have it. If you as a musician have not experienced the pure dread joy of creating new works, do it. DO IT NOW. You won’t regret it.

Until you step on the scale when it’s all over. Then you might regret it.

It was worth it.

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