The yin and yang of creative spirit and let’s-fix-this-thing attitude

Post no. 12: It’s not good or bad, it’s just different.

Testing out some ideas with Heidi Hietanen last summer.

I don’t think this floating between belief and disbelief will ever stop. And actually…why should it? Emotions are exactly that, motion. In a constant move. In one moment I’m confident, in the next everything but.

The endless waltz between determination and apathy.
Trust and hopelessness.
Clear visions and frustration of mediocrity.

The honesty of allowing anything and everything that is.

I’ve been so cautious of not slipping back to intellectual, shallow way of writing songs that I’ve rather lulled in strange formlessness. Yet I know my look for only certain kind of transformational dive into a creative abyss is not the way creativity really works. It’s not like every time the inspiration would just take over. Quite the opposite.

You really need to show up even if inspiration doesn’t. And also, you really can’t tell which one of your ideas are the best ones eventually.

…which brings me to a thought: in a way I’ve always despised these people that have told they stayed up all night crying while writing a song — and that it’s the best one ever. And when they play it to me I can very much see that the person is deeply connected to the song yet nothing (except maybe awkwardness over the sudden overflooding of emotions) is been transformed to me. I watch someone being super emotional but without it making me feel anything (except maybe uncomfort). The craft of songwriting isn’t there, only emotion is. Healing maybe to her, something not so enjoyable to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I very much think everybody is allowed to create whatever they feel like creating. What I’m trying to say is that there is a difference between therapeuting oneself with creativity and editing and fixing that into a shape that others can understand, too.

I mean in a way I’m jealous to that crying-over-piano person as at least she really felt something while writing. I miss that feeling. I know if she’d just allow me (which she probably wouldn’t) I could co-write and edit that emotional blurb into an actual, relatable song. That’s the intellectual part working, the handcraft. And it’s a super great thing to have. But if the original source of energy and intention isn’t there, if there original source of material which to work on isn’t there, then the tools are useless.

In short: if that original honesty is not there (and it can be something else, too, for god’s sake not just crying!) I’ve started to think people can hear the lack of the honest intention in the end product, too. And now I’m trying to get back to feeling the writing process instead of just using my chops.

Putting this down on words is a big thing. 
Finally I have humility and guts to admit I need both. 
And that I’ve totally overlooked the other half.

(What kind of a person overlooks emotions?? One that wants to become a robot?)

Again an analogue to relationships: you cannot only focus on yourself, though you must nurture yourself, too; as you cannot simply give everything to the other, because if you lose yourself in the relationship, the relationship will be over. So simple. But funnily and painfully — simple doesn’t mean easy.

I know I got the tools but I have needed to plug myself into that higher channel of souls’ vibration.

I guess the reason for this post is that I’ve felt embarrassed over writing back and forth between “boohoo I suck!” and calm, powerful self-belief stories. It has somehow felt pretentious, that how can I fluctuate so much? That somehow I would like this “story of mine” to be a more consistent build up: I dealt with that one emotion/thought in that one post, problem solved! Next!

But that’s not how it goes. Today I feel calm with all my late difficult emotions. Tomorrow it can — and will — be something different.

So I guess this is just a gentle reminder to myself once again:

The good and the bad will always coexist. No lightness without darkness. And it’s not even good or bad, it’s just different. Everything is good, everything is just different. What this means regarding music…well, I allow myself to lull in the vagueness of my ideas, but also, and this is important to me right now, show up to write just something, even something little, even something that doesn’t make me feel like that singer crying through the night writing that song.

Or like another songwriter friend replied to my rant about not being able to write anything even remotely nice:

Well then write a shit song.


I’m an artist working on my album until May 2018. These blog posts will be used as building blocks for a book about creativity once the album is done.

Listen to my music, and come say hello on any of my social media channels (FB,IG, TW). Also, don’t hesitate to send me an email at annimusicinfo (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks. xo