It’s the end of the office work day. My energy is flagging, my mind is fuzzy, I’ve been alternately bored and stressed for hours. There’s no way I can work on music tonight, right?
WRONG! One of the things I’ve learned over the last decade is that my brain is lying to me. It tells me it doesn’t have the strength to be creative after dealing with the work day’s demands. It tells me it wants to zone out and watch TV or take a nap. It tells me it needs rest or tomorrow’s work day will be a grueling ordeal marked by exhaustion and depression. But it’s wrong.
The way my brain functions while playing or writing music is completely different than the way it functions while doing unfulfilling office work. It’s kind of like when you exercise a muscle and it gets sore. Just letting it sit doesn’t make it feel any better, but gentle stretching does. Creativity is like yoga for my brain. All those overworked, logical pathways are stretched gently by the dreaming rhythm of expression.
Obviously, it is possible to over-stress your brain to a point where just letting it sit is necessary. But I’ve also learned that my brain’s threshold for this is way too low. It’s a whiny brain. At the slightest discomfort, it’s ready to put on pajamas and eat potato chips. But I’m wise to it now.
Making music not only fills my brain with light and color, it brings joy to my soul. And that joy lasts a lot longer than the time I spend being creative. It sustains me through the next work day. If I bow to my brain’s whining and hide under the covers, I wake only to find my soul grayer and more brittle. It takes that new song, that interesting riff, that freedom to say whatever I want to heal the damage done by daily drudgery and self-suppression.
Music is the kind of work that makes me feel like myself. When I decide to create even though I’m tired, I find myself with more energy afterward, not less. More dreams, more joy. More life. Don’t listen to that whiny brain! The music will give you power! Power, I say! Mwahahaha!