Creativity is an ongoing, living, changing process. It demands attention, nurturing, guidance, rest, and refreshment. The process regularly interfaces with your confidence and comfort levels. It is also hypersensitive and will sometimes seem fickle or unresponsive, especially if there’s a lot that has happened such as an emotional or physical trauma.
Whenever you experience major changes in your life creativity tends to either slow down to rest and sort things out, or it gets busy trying to process things. It is a vital part of who you are as a singer, singer-songwriter, or singing musician. And it must be respected and encouraged by being acknowledged or engaged each day in some way.
A Few Key Questions
You know how you feel when somebody you respect or care about checks in just to see how you’re doing? When that happens, it usually perks you up. It makes you feel you matter. Or sometimes it’s simply a sweet surprise that just makes you feel better. When it’s someone you know well or care about deeply, it can make your day. When it’s someone you thought didn’t even know you existed, it can make your week.
The same sort of positive impact occurs when you check in with your creative process by acknowledging its place in shaping your singing success. So, it’s important to take time periodically to check in just to give thanks, see how things are going, and find out what it needs.
Feed The Need
What you’re looking to nurture and encourage here is the mechanism or process that stimulates, feeds, and supports your desire to sing. You want to create a checklist of activities, behaviors, practices, and tools that can be indulged so that your creative process stays happy and healthy.
To help you determine what is needed to keep your creativity comfortable, confident, and curious, start by setting aside some quiet time to ask yourself a few simple questions. These will help you gain a greater understanding of why you create, what you want as a singer, and will help you stay in tune with ways to keep yourself creatively healthy as your pursue your singing success.
To get started, close your eyes as you ask yourself, who do I sing for? This is a very simple question that we’ve looked at before. But it’s potentially very powerful and revealing. It makes an emotional connection that heightens your desire to please someone, to communicate a feeling, and to honor or to serve.
Some people draw a blank when they ask this question. If that happens, make note of the feelings or reasons for resistance, and then turn the question to: who are the people I know that are my biggest fans or supporters? Then, make note of one or a handful that clearly stand out.
The Please Factor
For those people or that person that comes to mind, ask yourself what pleases you about pleasing this person or people when you sing. Ask yourself what seems or seemed to please them the most about hearing you sing? Note any specific incidents where you were complimented, rewarded, or simply felt much better, extra encouraged, or more accomplished because of their approving presence.
The Why Me Factor
Now, follow up with this simple open question: why do I sing? Then, ask yourself: what pleases me most about singing? And finally, ask yourself: what is my first memory of singing? How does recalling that first memory make you feel? These responses will give you a clearer picture of what matters most for you personally when you sing.
Now, consider the following questions to get a read on what you respond to and are driven by creatively in terms of taste, image, and identity. These questions are: what are my favorite songs? Who are my favorite singers? Who are the people I admire most as role models? Who are my mentors? Who is (or are) one or two of my closest friends?
Once you answer these questions, note any connections between your responses. In other words, look for any common qualities or strengths. You may discover that a role model has a certain trait or triggers feelings in you that you also find coming from a mentor, a close friend, a few of your favorite songs, and a favorite singer or two. Then, look for any connections between these qualities and what pleases you about singing, and any connection between these qualities and feelings triggered by recalling your first memory of singing.
These recurring qualities will serve as triggers or sensitive areas that need to be regularly encouraged or nurtured in some way. These qualities might be used to help you develop or find new material or the courage to audition or find a new venue. In reviewing these common qualities, you might discover an activity that you enjoy that could appeal to or reinforce the energy, drive, comfort, or confidence represented by these commonly recurring qualities. You might discover a deep need to feed that’s rooted in that first memory of singing.
Celebrate – Stimulate
These activities are things you can periodically indulge to celebrate or stimulate ideas. It could be something like hiking, biking, or checking out a favorite venue or restaurant.
You might find that painting or cooking or even cleaning can be a therapeutic activity that appeals to these triggers and honors your creative spirit. You want to discover activities that are connected to feeling good about wanting to sing. You can even engage an activity or two with someone from your list of those you wish to please.
Prime What Pumps You Up
To further explore triggers for your creative well being, you can even consider the following questions: why am I turned off by or don’t like this type of song or subject or artist or genre? Who has interfered with or has been turned off by my singing? Who did I want to appeal to that ignored me? Who or what would I like to prove wrong?
Once you have your responses to these darker questions, immediately turn them to the light. In other words, make note of what you stand for, believe in, and offer that validates you as a vibrant, creative, gifted singer. And then, give thanks for each of the qualities you note that affirms your gifts.
Finally, engage an utterly self-indulgent fantasy by asking yourself: what is my ultimate live performance experience, where is it, and who is my dream audience? Allow yourself lots of playing space and playtime. Dream big and let your faith and drive grow accordingly as your feed your creativity healthy portions of belief on a daily basis.
Take Time for Break Time
This is an ongoing process, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. It can be overwhelming. This is a lot of sensitive material to explore, and it will require varying amounts of time to process. So don’t rush your responses as you explore the questions we’ve talked about.
In fact, it’s best to devote several days to your initial self-examination. You might even spend fifteen minutes each day, or every other day, on taking just one question at a time. Then, take time to make the necessary connections between your responses.
Make it a practice to periodically revisit and review the questions to see how your perspective, tastes, dreams, and triggers have grown or have even changed. Remember, creativity is a living, breathing, thriving process.
Check Your Gauge
Use your levels of comfort, confidence, and curiosity as a gauge for your creative well being. Then, feed your needs so that you stay refreshed, rested, resourceful, and positive in the pursuit of your singing success.
Share your cares and concerns for the creative well being of other singers, singer-songwriters, and singing musicians. Choose a handful of others that you will stay actively committed to encouraging regularly. Find at least three people in the www.singingsuccess.tv forums to connect with and encourage on a weekly basis. Look for fun activities to engage that will feed your creative spirit and keep you positive in the pursuit of your singing success.