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The invisible wall in creative processes

The invisible wall in creative processes

Living from creativity is something that many want to do, but forget that obstacles can stand in front of the mirror.

Let’s imagine an obstacle course: there is a start, a certain time to do it and a goal; and depending on the abilities of each one the obstacles are being overcome to a greater or lesser extent. But little by little fatigue begins to appear, difficulties weigh more and more and despite these we try to reach the goal victorious in the process by virtue of so much effort.

Obviously this is a metaphorical scheme allusive to what those people who are part of group or individual projects live.

The creative and artistic imprint when working on a process of such characteristics usually leads to the creation of greater obstacles than reality demands: we run into by mere and exaggerated perfectionism, an invisible wall.

"The invisible wall"

The possibilities of action are inexhaustible when we confront the blank paper or in my case with a blank “musical project”. We begin to make decisions based on our knowledge and experiences, according to our social and cultural context and we move forward. The problem arises when one of these “invisible walls” appears: something of what I am doing “does not convince me at all” or “it is not exactly as I imagine it”. We spend hours after hours polishing details by a way of focused procrastination of something that most likely nobody will notice: or only the minority of those who dedicate themselves to the same in your profession.

Be careful with this I do not want to remove the dedication of those who are perfectionists and detail-oriented (a necessary virtue to develop and progress in life) but rather I find it necessary to show and verbalize an event that many of us usually go through: grow fond capriciously with imaginary walls losing focus that the main objective is to reach the goal. These walls are fictitious but at the same time so real that they can even make us start all over from scratch because “X” wall does not let us advance.

In music this wall can have many names: Chords used, unclear melody, rhythmic disagreement, harmonic mishandling, organic imbalance, quality and timbral quality, equalization and effects, musical form, extension, etc. And it can also be the interaction between each of these parts that causes all kinds of nonconformities to arise.

But luckily becoming aware of and visualizing this type of event changes the panorama for us.

Many “cliche” phrases tend to come in handy: “Let go” of the wall, “take your time”, “clear the mind” and return to focus again on what is important: reaching the goal. But I would be contributing little if I only said that… right? So below I will briefly develop 3 aspects that I consider important.

Goal as end

People need many times more results than creativity. Quickly sketch what is the end of what you plan to do. Advance in the most essential and ask for feedback from your client.

First the technical... then the creative

Whatever your discipline it is very important that you learn as soon as possible to master the basic schemes of what you are wanting to do. Once learned and mastered, diagram and plan your work to the “standard”. In this way you will reach the goal of your work faster and in case you have done it wrong or in disagreement with your client, you will be able to correct yourself and lose as little time as possible.

Be organized

This may sound absurd but sometimes it is often more difficult to condition yourself to a “no work scheme” than to one in itself. We all procrastinate and even more so when we don’t have someone “Goal-setting” us and it’s normal! But I assure you that the more organized you are the less “invisible walls” will appear in your work.

And finally I would also mention Self-knowledge. There are days where things just won’t turn out well no matter how much you apply all of the above. But don’t despair! It happens to all of us just go ahead and remember not to become fond of invisible walls.

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