Updated: Apr 8, 2020
What motivates you? Money, power, greed?
I struggle to find the motivation towards the things I want in life...But I always seem to be able to attain the things I think I need. I want to have a successful career in sound design, I want to make money via some form of creativity. Though, for various reasons that'll become apparent through multiple posts, I seem to be unable to get there, through my own blockages and shortcomings. I need to make money, from job to job I've felt that I have needed more money...So I've become a manager as a fallback career...Yet despite lacking motivation, I have needed it to get where I am. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time making music. Teaching myself how to use Logic 9, and learning recording and mixing techniques to improve what I was doing. I felt that the music I was making was in many ways a form of catharsis...A lot of the songs I have written have been about things that have happened to me, or ways of expressing how I felt about certain things. I would always write lyrics that I considered to be a bit convoluted in nature; I wanted to talk about what I was thinking and feeling, without actually giving away what I was thinking and feeling, because I was self conscious about all of it. I thought if I could hide away the truth of what it was through some form of perceived convex poetry, that I was getting it all out of my system without the sense of vulnerability that comes from talking about your issues.
Somewhere along the line, I started to feel that maybe I could establish some sort of career in music...So I tried my hand at being a sound engineer in a music studio in London, through the means of an internship I had found online. That is to say, no pay...Or essentially no pay. I thought this would be a good place to learn off some more experienced people, and see how other musicians work by producing their music, and working with them. But then I discovered that I hated it...I hated working with other musicians...Almost everyone I worked with (save for a limited few) I felt to be entitled with varying degrees of narcissism. Most of the clients criticised the process to the point of me thinking, they may as well have just asked to hire the room and gear, without the need of a sound engineer. Perhaps it was just some unfortunate bad experiences, the other engineers/interns were chill as fuck, but the clients destroyed the notion for me that working in a recording studio was a good career path. I became incredibly self conscious of my ability to produce music, and even to use the software properly...I felt like I didn't know enough. But I was an intern, I'm not expected to know everything. But to me, it never felt that way, trapped inside my own head, I always felt like there was more that I needed to know at that level, imposter syndrome crept in and suddenly the thing I felt like I really wanted, I didn't feel like I would ever be capable of. So I isolated my mentality of it, and continued to attempt music at home. Started working with a close friend to make some of his music a reality, where I felt like the judgements of my process were under my control.
Bit I bit, I stopped bothering with my music, and now I'm at a point where I look at my guitar, and I don't want to pick it up. I'm tired of playing other peoples songs, and I feel I have lost the creativity to make my own.
What was I doing it for...What should I be doing it for?
I am earning my money now, doing something different that earlier in my life, I wouldn't have thought would be something for me. Yet, somehow, in my current profession, I am able to come to terms with knowing that I don't know everything, that I still have things to learn, but that there is a lot of things from my previous experiences that apply to being a manager...I'm able to perform without question. Where is my desire to play music in my free time? I need to reassess my motivations towards it, I've come to the conclusion that I effectively need to reset. I can't force myself to do it, because it will feel like a chore, and I'll make myself hate it. I want to play and make music for myself - But I don't know what that means right now. Perhaps my motivations were career driven in the past, and the unmanaged and unrecognised imposter syndrome killed the notion that audio is a career for me. Now that the pressure of making it a career is removed, the passion should still remain? In my head, it is still something I desire, but I belittle myself into thinking that the things I attempt will not be good enough...But for who? Myself? Is it possible that my personality requires a definite rewarded motive in order to proceed with anything I attempt?
I manage a coffee shop. I've learnt from scratch everything that comes with the territory of hospitality and being a barista. I am not a great one, I may never be the best, and I may not ever be able to make anything near a swan on a latte...
I do the job effectively enough
Why is it that I can accept my shortfalls in this career, with the understanding that I will develop...But not with music? Dreams
The things I truly want, come with an innate baggage of pressure created by myself.
'I need to be the best in order to succeed'
It's not true, I know it's not true, but knowing doesn't change the effect it has on my life. Part of it boils down to the sense of reward, I can work for a company that assigns me tasks/expectations and provides me a sense of stability with regard to regular income. Yet only with the things I consider to not be connected to that which I am most passionate about in life. I know that if I turn up to work and do what's expected, I will receive a paycheck. If I exceed these expectations, even a little, I'll receive some form of recognition. To help me be better at my job, if I feel I could do anything better, they will support me with the things I ask for, in terms of development. Give & Take. If I write a song, or if I play a song, all I consider myself to bounce off of is myself...My own worst critic, and because it's creativity stemming from me, I deem my own opinion to be the only one of value. I am working towards my own agenda, so it needs to meet my criteria, yet when I set the bar so high for myself, I'll never obtain it.
It is as if I have created for myself an environment of certain failure...Expectations for my own creative explorations are so high, that I consider myself to never be able to achieve them. So why try, why bother, when I've predetermined the outcome to be "Not Good Enough".
Working towards an external objective and criteria, it all seems obtainable...Because the bar is set where I should be setting it for my creative endeavours. The errors are clear and appropriately communicated. I work to get paid, to survive. I am loyal to my employer because I need these things.
What motivates you?