I'm Not Ready
This title has been sitting in my spreadsheet of things I want to talk about, and I’ve always put it off because I’ve not really known what I actually meant when I put it down. All I know is that it was added to the sheet at about the same time this week’s song For the Winter was written so I think they’re linked somehow and I’m gonna try and dig into that a bit.
This time last year, I was in a bit of a cave. I’d deleted a bunch of social media off of my phone in a desperate attempt to try and find a bit more balance. Understand this isn’t a holier-than-thou kind of statement and believe me my Twitter usage stats would be the first to give me away for how much of a fiend I am on there. That said, I was oversharing at that point. I was putting out too many misinformed opinions on Twitter and painting a very dishonest picture of my day to day life on Instagram. Obviously, I’m not adverse to putting content out but as the title implies, I wasn’t ready back then.
With social media as a platform, it’s very easy to fall into the thought trap of thinking you need consistency, especially with something like music. Once you’re on the promotion and engagement wagon, it feels like if you get off, you’re behind forever. The audience will move onto the person making more consistent, better content. In attempt to stay on the treadmill, we make a whole bunch of content to try and fill that schedule. We take gigs that don’t really benefit us just for the sake of gigging consistently, and it burns us out. And instead of accepting this need to take a break, we grind on through it, never really stopping but never really planning our trajectory either. I’m not saying that creating and releasing content isn’t a great thing, neither am I denying that having it seen and validated doesn’t feel good, it totally does. But these kinds of engagement should be the by-product of having a thing you want to say, instead of finding things to say to maintain the engagement.
I want to touch on all of these ideas a bit more in depth at some point in another blog (there’s a reason I’m putting it off) but I want to address the obvious thing. This is a reasonably hypocritical thing for me to talk about. I’m sharing a large amount of content right now, with a pretty emphasis on sharing it on social media, and to that I say… you’re not wrong. The only reason I find it somewhat justifiable is that this is all planned. It took me saying to myself that I didn’t have anything to say and going away until I had a thing I wanted to come out with. I needed to stop sharing what was going on in my day to realise how I actually felt about the things I was doing, and often my feelings were fairly different from what I was putting across. This whole period is when this song was written, and it was all about taking a whole bunch of time and just listening to myself until I realised where I wanted to go next.
This came out as a bit more of a ramble than I wanted, but I think my point is that if you don’t feel ready, you’re probably not and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As soon as you stop presenting yourself, you can actually start evaluating yourself. Mute notifications on a bunch of stuff, reshuffle your home-screen and just write a bunch of stuff. Speak into an audio recorder, write a journal or something, but do it in private for a bit. Do whatever it is you need to do to really hear your unfiltered self.
I really need to get back to preparing for this new project on Tuesday, so yeah, see you then.