by Liz Gre
Step 1. Cool your jets.
Actual title: How to make it through this period without burning out.
1: Explore new ways to make sound.
Remember when you didn’t write for deadlines and you just played with your instruments or tools? Wasn’t that great!? I find most inspiration for melodies, themes, and sounds from the natural, external environment. Being locked inside has been a detriment to my wells of inspiration until I realized the world that I had been ignoring in my home. Consider that being in your home has given you new eyes and new ears! What can you do with the sounds that you may have overlooked? Like the sound of raw honey riding a spoon on its escape from the jar or the sound of your nine-year-old’s markers hopefully not on the wall?
2. Challenge yourself with childhood joy
When was the last time you giggled? Or doubled over laughing? I believe that the creative’s Gift is one of JOY - that of a child. We are able to seize the purity of a moment. Remember the things that you did as a child that brought you joy.
3. Take it easy on yourself
You don’t have to tick off a to-do list every day. Shifting from one way of life to another is jarring! And placing an expectation of productivity on yourself is not necessary. Easier said than done, I do realize. The moment I rest, my mind buzzes up with anxiety over the things I “should” be doing. So it is a constant decision to release expectation from myself.
4. Reconnect with your “why”.
Now that we are slowing down, it’s a great time to take a moment to reflect on why really you’re pursuing your work. You were divinely engineered to do what you are doing. No one else can do it like you can. Others may try, but let’s be real - you’re one in a million, baby. Take a moment to ask yourself and be radically honest about why you wake up every day and chase after this dream.
5. Bonus: Check out COOS's online offerings
Not only does COOS post a weekly BIBA Blog here, but COOS has created virtual programming that includes 18 world premieres of miniatures by Black composers, Kids Korner storytime readings, and a Poetry Nightcap Series! Find out more at castleskins.org ... naturally!
Liz Gre is a composer and vocalist writing strange, experimental, ethnographic compositions with Black Women for Black Women. In 2017, she performed the title role in Mother King, an opera about Alberta Williams King (the mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). She was a 2019 Inside/Outisde Fellow at The Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE). Currently located in London, UK, she is working towards her MPhil/PhD in Music at City University of London. Social Media : IG/Twitter - @lizgrelizgre
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