How do you "get in the zone?"

Shine

Squier-holic
Nov 29, 2016
3,274
West Coast Landia
Sounds like a very interesting project! Here’s an idea:

Each term I ask my students when they do their best “thinking.” Usually it’s early in the morning, late at night, at the gym, going for walk, in the shower, when driving (careful!), and so on. The main point is to know when your creative cylinders are firing.

For me, it can be doing housework (washing dishes, vacuuming) or gardening, neither of which my students seem to do! 😊 But despite not asking too much, these tasks free my mind up for some serious thinking/problem-solving, and there is a tangible reward at the end!
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,266
Honolulu, HI
Sounds like a very interesting project! Here’s an idea:

Each term I ask my students when they do their best “thinking.” Usually it’s early in the morning, late at night, at the gym, going for walk, in the shower, when driving (careful!), and so on. The main point is to know when your creative cylinders are firing.

For me, it can be doing housework (washing dishes, vacuuming) or gardening, neither of which my students seem to do! 😊 But despite not asking too much, these tasks free my mind up for some serious thinking/problem-solving, and there is a tangible reward at the end!

Most of my creative best seems to happen late/early in my day. I'm a night owl, so my late is everyone else's early. At that time I take a hot shower to cleanse the mind and body. At this time my mind is at it's most wont to roam freely. If I need extended roam time, I'll switch to a hot tub after the shower. (Nothing more gross & muse-killing than climbing outta hot tub only to realize ye gotta shower AND clean tub of the accumulated grime from the day.)

I also keep track, using the cellphone, of any flashes of ideas, inspirations, etc. as they occur over the course of my day. At a later point, usually prior to shower/bath and bedtimes, I'll review the musings I've done for the day, then maybe mull over them during the shower. If needed, then I'll hit the guitar afterwards instead of bed.
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
15,091
The Monadnocks, NH USA
Might do to watch that soon for inspiration. Seems the soundtrack has that exact iconic sci-fi thing I'm going for
It is literally where that sound started.

Look at the credits. None are for “music.” Instead ’tonalities’’ are mentioned.

In part this was movie industry politics, but also literally true.

That film created the genre that we now accept. So much so that watching it for the first time the ‘shock’ of its originality are not even any longer seen. It is instead “just another space movie.” Nope! ;)


And yes, it is a space retelling of Shakespeare s “The Tempest.”

“Oh, those poor Krell!” -Such stays with you for a lifetime.

-don
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,266
Honolulu, HI
Might do to watch that soon for inspiration. Seems the soundtrack has that exact iconic sci-fi thing I'm going for.
It is literally where that sound started.

That film created the genre that we now accept. So much so that watching it for the first time the ‘shock’ of its originality are not even any longer seen. It is instead “just another space movie.” Nope! ;)

And yes, it is a space retelling of Shakespeare s “The Tempest.”

I can’t speak for music writing, but when it comes to other creative writing, drawing or visualising video treatments, I find it helpful to begin my session passively engaging with something stimulating or inspirational and then build my creative engagement.

Like watching "The Forbidden Planet?" 😉😁

Seriously tho, methinks it would also fall under the engaging/stimulating banner in its own rights. I think I'm going to build a library of musical genre sources. Thanks @duceditor for getting me started with "Space Opera!"
 

Shaytan

Squier-holic
Apr 10, 2018
1,532
Lisbon, Portugal
Nothing like some of God's leaf to get me in the zone!...

... just kidding, ahah, I'm pretty much straight-edge. 😂

Both in my personal projects as well as in my band's stuff, oddly enough I find creativity either when I'm trying to follow video lessons or when I'm trying to sleep but cannot due to too much energy. Perhaps it has to do with ADHD, but I find it quite difficult to follow those lessons that aren't strictly an how-to play X song - for instance, my favorite idea I'm still trying to work on for a personal project surged when I was following a video on the percussive playing style of John Mayer. I simply begin to drift away from whatever the lecturer is teaching and start noodling around some of the taught concepts that caught my interest, something cool may end up developing!

The other way I've found to spontaneously come up with creative ideas is not as possible to put myself into, but when I can't sleep I find myself thinking a lot about whatever comes in my mind and, in some rare instances, that happens to be a melody which I try and record myself singing the notes to use at a later date.
 
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Nadnitram

Squier-Meister
Jan 1, 2020
305
Ohio
How do you "get in the zone?"
According to the radio ads, I think you're supposed to start here:
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(If you think my dumb jokes are bad, understand that I delete 90% of my comments before I ever post them. While you only have to read the top 10%, I have to suffer through ALL of them.)

Now for a serious answer:
(1) @Lanaka is spot-on. The better you understand your own personal creative cycle, the better you van take advantage of it.

I teach writing, so I'll also share a couple of tips I use with students to fight through writer's block.:
(2) Start with what you know. I encourage kids to start in the middle of the paper and write outward from there. In your case, start with whatever seems the clearest to you, even if it's buried in the middle of the production. Build outward from there.
(3) Fill the voids. It doesn't matter with what -- just fill them. Perfectionism can be a curse for gifted people -- you'll start and stop over and over again and feel frustration that you can't find the one "perfect" solution. Even if it's an artificial process, create something, anything, to temporarily fill the spots you need to fill. Often, it is easier to correct what's already there than it is to fill a void. Plus, the task occupies your conscious mind and frees your subconscious to come up with the really wonderful. solutions.

Good luck!
 

Nadnitram

Squier-Meister
Jan 1, 2020
305
Ohio
Sometimes there was frantic eleventh hour activity but I got it done.
Perfectionism is a curse... for everyone, gifted or not. Suggest forget perfection and just do the best you can.
I'm with you! That eleventh hour is the only way some folks can overcome perfectionism. The looming deadline allows us to flip the switch from "it's gotta be great" to "it's gotta get done." Hopefully, as we age we learn how we can flip that switch before the stress of the eleventh hour.

My brain allows me to trick myself by making a checklist of small pieces of the task. For example, I know can't accomplish grading 150 essays. I could work for 8 hours straight and still not accomplish the task. On the other hand, I know can accomplish grading 3 essays. So before I start, I will take ten minutes to draw 50 boxes on a piece of paper. Every time I grade three essays, I get to check off a box. It sounds silly, but it keeps me going -- I can be exhausted and feel like quitting, but I know I'm only three more essays away from checking the next box, so I grade three more.
 

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,127
Lucerne, California
This likely isn't any help but I'll mention it only because I don't think it's been mentioned. Is there anyone in your musical life that can help you with this? Someone you could bounce ideas off and maybe contribute a bit and help you move things forward?

Well the director of the play is the guy for this...it's been tough to meet because he's busy leading rehearsals with the cast and whatnot. But yeah he's the guy who I bounce ideas off, and he says "what if it was like this," or "can you change this around" etc. Still, I have to generate some raw material for us to work with. And I do have quite a bit of stuff already, I just need more.


Really the struggle right now is just when it's time to do the stuff, I've got to sit down and do the stuff, and not watch reruns of the Office or whatever dumb thing I feel like doing when I finally have a moment to myself.
 


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