With the upcoming year of music making, I decided that I would take some time to enjoy the remaining amount of my month. I currently work about three jobs, including food service, music retail, and teaching. It shouldn’t feel like I am doing so much, but during this month, it’s pretty wicked. I decided to focus on doing enjoyable things, since my holidays are pretty limited. I did get to enjoy some things that I would be happy to share
Meeting up with gaming friends. I enjoy playing tabletop games, and I’ve had experience in playing them for many years. Originally, I started with Warhammer 40,000 in college. I didn’t have a lot of friends on campus, seeing as I was the one of two people from my state on campus, but the hobby got me out of my dorm room on weekends to hang out with people I felt comfortable with. Admittedly, I wasn’t very good, but it was the assembling and painting that made me happy the most. I would move on from early paint jobs to improve greatly. Today, I actually play a number of games when I can, and have some very good friends to share them with, even if they are also working professionals with little time of their own.
I do think it’s important to have hobbies outside of music. The last thing that you want to have is serious burn-out and then you feel worse because it’s all that you are doing. Being able to distract yourself and get out of yourself for a time is something to be encouraged. Read a book. Paint Miniatures. Play some video games. Go to a Board Game Night with friends. You might even find some inspiration for something in what you do for no other reason than to please yourself.
Plus, I should add, visual arts of any kind are a good partner with music. Music exists in a state limited by sound and time. When it’s done, it’s gone and nothing else to be done than put the needle back at the beginning of the record, or do another count off. With something like visual arts, you can set it down, admire it, hate it, love it again, and then put it somewhere to enjoy later.
Composition is a rather lonely sort of thing, with lots of time being spent working however you produce, with a lot of pressure to perform and to have brilliant ideas. Maybe pick up some paints, or a sketchbook, or a copy of Space Hulk and go meet up with someone to play?