Reality Check: Does Good Creative Work Have to Be Private and Solo? Probably

John Lennon was dead wrong.  You don’t need love but endless hours of hard, lonely mainly solo work — to be productive.  Love is mainly a waste of precious production time.  I hate to see anything hurt my own or others’ productivity and not keeping good professional boundaries hurts the craft.

My experience with my day job work and music is that it demands extended periods of solo concentration and problem-solving.  It’s like keeping my skills up on the guitar, and songwriting; it is just many hours each day, by myself, working on dull, mainly repetitive tasks.  Usually 7 days a week.  There is good research that great productive work comes mainly from doing LOTS of work — for decades at a time.  Keep: writing-practicing-playing-producing is my motto.I also see friends and couples that mix romance and music and I see the music suffering.  Probably the relationships too.  In contrast, failed relationships seem very productive of good music!  lol  Even couples I know who play together.  The shared product always seems to stifle both individual’s unique gifts and result in a less satisfying compromise.  Put it this way — if you have a creative difference you are going to have to deny and ignore it to keep the relationship peace.  That is a bad compromise.

A romantic partner, or even friends or family, will never give you realistic feedback.  Plus, they don’t want you spending solo time on your craft/project.  THEY want your time!

People I see who use the music to socialize and especially get romantic partners also seem to give up their gifts to “git wid” the audience, or someone in the audience, that they meet.  Again, the music suffers.

Now, playing music to connect with people is the main motive.  But connecting with audience members personally rather than professionally just wastes energy the music needs to grow.  Sure, I socialize when I play but I do it in my professional role not me as a person.  Professional does not mean stiff, cold or formal.  I am relaxed and warm and open but I keep clear, polite boundaries.  I am at the place to work on my craft — not expand my social life.  I have other private ways to do that.

Of course, all this is counter to popular notions of teamwork, groups/crowds and production teams and bands and everyone working together happily and productively.  There is also the charming idea of couples inspiring each other thru their love.   I just am seeing the opposite.

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