Apathy Is Your Friend

November 23, 2002

You get a little spooked out and suddenly everything changes... inspiration disappears, dries up, evaporates. Makes you run away from it for a while, for a month, for half a year, until something shakes you and wakes you up again. Suddenly the inspiration comes flooding back and you've got to take advantage of the moment before it slips away.

I've started writing a new track, with the working title "Desecrate". It comes from a line I found in my old lyrics journal - "desecrate the world and the treasures it hides". Strange thing is, the line isn't even in the song anymore, it was just the first thing that came into my head when initially writing the music. I'm learning to go with the flow a lot more now, and it doesn't matter as much if the song title changes or the lyrics disappear. I don't need to hold onto everything now.

See, I've started to learn that apathy is my friend. I've always been obsessive about detail in everything I do, to the point that once I have a finished product I'll feel paralyzed and unable to release it, because I'm sure there's some detail I missed out. (And of course, everyone is going to notice, right? ;) But now whenever I reach that point, when I "hit the wall", I'm switching into apathy mode. I don't care whether it's any good anymore. I'm just gonna throw it out there, see what happens. Who cares if it does well or if it's a failure?

It's a bizarre attitude, but it's working for me - particularly when I'm writing lyrics. Instead of worrying that my lyrics aren't conveying what I want to say, I switch into apathy mode. I start writing lyrics stream-of-consciousness style, singing over the music over and over until it starts forming words. I don't care if it makes sense, if it fits the sound I'll take it. Perhaps surprisingly, it's coming out better than when I was trying.

Take some of the lines I came up with this week: "They're sucking you in like a fisch on a spoon". Nonsense, right? Nuh-uh... there's a band called Fischerspooner who have embraced lip-sync, they're not afraid to hide it (unlike Holly Valance at the ARIAs... anyhow). In just a single line you can condemn the whole commercial-kiddie-pop scene. Now I just have to work out what "May I suggest the best has left us / rotting away in pink asbestos" means.... any ideas?

Basically, what I'm learning is that I should stop worrying about what I'm creating and just create it. I'm being pleasantly surprised by the results more often than not.

You know, this diary entry isn't quite what I wanted to write about. I was going to list a bunch of tips on making the most of bad vocals through digital effects - but I don't care. I'm just gonna throw this out there and see what happens. Hey, it's another diary entry right? They seem to be a rarity nowadays.