Beware The “Death Spiral”

On January 23, 2012 by Eddie

This post comes courtesy of Aussie Dave in NYC (Thanks for the link, Dave!). It’s a pretty amazing infographic about the creative process that Fast Company blogged about a few days ago.

I think the reason why this strikes home right now is I’m trying to finish songs for a full-length record to release later this year, and I feel like I’m trapped somewhere either on the death spiral (Spaghetti-junction style) or in the “Desperation – Fear – Pettiness – Insecurity” loop. It’s hard for me not to let the anxiety take over in this process. Writing and recording songs is such a final process, and I’m paralyzed by the fear of what others will think of the end result.

Obviously, this isn’t the “freedom” that I repeatedly sing about, and on the surface it can be pretty discouraging. The positive of this experience, though, is that it has unearthed a dependence on my own reputation as my main source of comfort and worth. The paralyzing fear of “What will ____ think of it?” is a telltale sign that I’m being directed by something other than what I should be focused on. The fear is an indicator, a light on the dashboard that points the way to the real issue that is rooted somewhere deep in my soul. Now comes the task of uprooting what has been uncovered, and that of course is the hard part.

In a strange way, I’m actually kind of thankful for the “Death Spiral” and the fear it induces. Without it, this problem would remain rooted in me for a long time, and I’d go on living with a terrible dependence on the opinion of others for my value and emotional stability. Hopefully because of this painful process, I’ll find a way out of the “Death Spiral” and not just end up with a finished record, but a more peaceful, anchored soul. That’s the goal, anyway.

Where are you on this road-map? What jumps out at you as all-too-familiar?

One Response to “Beware The “Death Spiral””

  • It’s like somebody crawled up in my brain and drew a picture of it. Thanks for posting that…really good stuff. I’m working on songs for an ep right now & I so need to keep out of the spiral. It’s a tough task for sure, but it’s really encouraging to hear that I’m not alone. Crazy? Maybe. But not alone.

    Good luck with the uprooting. Can’t wait to hear the new album!

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