Author Topic: The Balance Between "Maintenance" and "Absolute Dedication"  (Read 1585 times)

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The Balance Between "Maintenance" and "Absolute Dedication"
« on: August 10, 2016, 06:15:13 am »
I think there are two ends of doing something which is not a one-time task: maintenance and dedication.
Maintenance is just doing it as a daily task, you may do it happily but it's just one of your daily activities. It doesn't necessarily mean that you don't think of it seriously. You focus on it only when doing it.
Dedication is just thinking about it all the time. Whether or not you have enough time to do it, your brain is full of thoughts about it, and it becomes part of your thought process sometimes.
So for example, you see a rose on the sidewalk - you get inspired by it and you think of a chord progression.
You hear crickets - you get inspired by it and you think of a pad or lead that sounds like it.
You look at the physics textbook - you immediately think of additive synthesis when studying about electron shells.

..and so on.

Being at the dedication phase is very fun, I get super productive and I have tons of ideas in my head, I get really happy when producing and when I study about it. I also improve rapidly. Dedication usually happens when we first start something or get a mind-blowing inspiration etc.
However, we have other things to do, and producing time doesn't come so easily. As time passes, I realize that music isn't made as my expectations or I run out of ideas and willpower, so I go into the maintenance stage. When I have time, I produce happily, but it's just a task sometimes and I drain energy because of it.

The two sides have pros and cons. You struggle for ideas and workflow when maintaining, but you can do other things in your life and have a healthy balance between life and producing. You have amazing progress and inspiration when in the absolute dedication stage, but sitting in front of the computer for 10 hours every day is not good, and it can harm what you do in work, school etc. In this phase, I get easily disappointed when my producing abilities don't meet the awesome music that is playing in my head. (somebody said that happiness = reality - expectation)

So, I just want to hear how everyone here balances the amount of dedication you give to music?
I'm currently in the bare minimum of the maintenance stage because I'm so busy right now.. I can't wait to be more dedicating.  ;)

Lydian

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Re: The Balance Between "Maintenance" and "Absolute Dedication"
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2016, 07:42:04 am »
I'm generally not very good at balancing multiple tasks. I'm only really good at focusing on one thing very intensely. Strangely enough it's these "dedication" periods of my life that have allowed me to go through the most growth. Only after I've become completely obsessed with something do I begin to notice myself making rapid progress. Nowadays I've learned however to pay a healthy amount of attention to other aspects of my life aside from just music. I used to think in order to get really good at anything I would have to sacrifice pleasures like friends, partys, money, and relationships but in reality that was just a self-limiting belief. It's a lot easier to focus on music when I'm not in poverty and I have friends to keep me inspired. Not to mention when things aren't going my way sometimes taking a step back is the best thing i can do to recharge my batteries. You don't need to become a savant and practice 16 hours a day. Quality over quantity.

The problem with being in a dedication phase in the way that you described it is that you miss out on other things in life which can be just as satisfying as writing music. If you're eating dinner with a friend but really you're thinking about chord progressions in the back of your mind then where are you at mentally? In reality there isn't any difference between dedication or maintenance. If you are truly dedicated then you should be doing it daily and you should be focusing on it when you're doing it. Just don't let it ruin other aspects of your life in the process. It isn't worth it. Your health, needs, and well-being are just as important.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 07:44:33 am by Lydian »
A young 14 year old me with a really bad haircut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eMbftWV75w