Chris Boardman Music Blog: Are you asking the right questions?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Are you asking the right questions?

The beginning of any project creates a wave of excitement that is the fuel of creative endeavor. It is powerful. It is seductive. It can be blinding.

Of course, in that endorphin-laced state it is easy to think that you have all the answers…that you know all the answers- in advance. When these feelings subside it is easy, and common, to lapse into your own personal vortex of threatening storm clouds and wonder: “OMG! Now I have to do something! I have no idea what to do?”

Truth is we all end up somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios but the fact remains that you still have to deliver on your promise to complete the creative work (to yourself, your bandmates, your employers etc). 

You may know the answers but…are you asking the right questions?

To be successful, we must learn to be both subjective AND objective about our work. I call this dichotomy: being the participant and the observer.

What has helped me develop this schizophrenic ability is viewing my work as an entity unto itself. That way I’m talking about the work…and my personal self-worth is not at issue.

If you are blinded by your emotions at the beginning you run the risk of serving your ego… and not the project.

If you are cold and calculating the creative work can easily be dry and uninteresting.

The key to developing this participant/observer skill is to be aware of your emotions during and after you write something. Get to know yourself. Know how you feel emotionally and physically when you are in either state. Then you will be in control of yourself during the process…and not run by your ego. (There is definitely a time and place for ego…just not when you are evaluating your work).

Benefits you will receive from developing this skill?
  • You will ask better questions
  • You will listen better
  • You will become your own judge of success or failure (in terms of your efforts. We can’t control others opinions….only our own). 

If you can’t ask the right question….you’re dead in the water before you begin.

For more about creative tips and tricks:

1 comment:

  1. I love that this applies to all aspects of creativity; from the recreational to the professional.

    It does come down to asking the right questions. One thing I always say when we start a brainstorming session... Let's find the holes. For me, finding the holes (the weak spots) generally will dictate if the idea is feasible or if it is a pipe-variety.

    Great post. Thank you for sharing!