As a music producer, we all know that our craft is something that takes a lot of care, inspiration, and dedication. It can be tons of fun and the most exciting thing in the world if you're the type of person to dive into it. Even so, most of us who have been at it for long enough know that it's possible to get burnt out, and even emotionally distraught when we get too obsessed and attached to the work. Let's discuss some of the ways we can harness the passion we have for our work without sacrificing our physical and mental health.
This is a multi faceted idea, but staying grounded is extremely important. This means scheduling time windows for music and when the time is up moving on to other responsibilities and tasks. It also means keeping your expectations steady and not getting so emotionally invested in the results, it's all a learning experience and we must keep going, no matter the result. When we overwork ourselves and over-expect from our projects, this can lead to depression, frustration, and anxiety. It can also have a toll on our relationships if we aren't taking time to be there for our friends and family, and our physical health if we aren't taking time to eat properly and regularly exercise. It may sound extreme but I for one have definitely fallen into this trap numerous times in my journey, and one thing that really helps avoid this is to simply schedule a reasonable amount of time for music a day / week that works with your lifestyle and other obligations, making sure to leave plenty of time for the rest of your activities as well as some down time and flexibility for things that come up. This also has the secondary benefit of making it easier to do your music work even when you don't feel like it, because you've scheduled time for it so you just go do it and don't sit there questioning whether you want to or not.
We also must try our best to let go of the expectation of what each project will turn into, and focus instead on creating and giving it our best. It's easier said than done, especially if you are doing this work for a client or are depending upon it financially. However, we still must try our best to emotionally detach from the result in order to create at our best and to be in a good mental space when the work is done. There is always the next project, and it serves no one to ruminate on past works not living up to expectations.
Keep it Interesting
Something that I have found helpful that may or may not resonate with everyone is to switch it up often. I find that it is much easier not to get bogged down and in the dumps about one project if I can simultaneously have a few things going at once, switching between them as often as needed. It can get difficult to stay focused on a single thing after so long, and especially if frustration starts to creep in and you're finding yourself stuck trying to move forward with something. Having multiple projects to switch between can help keep the momentum, and maybe some ideas that you have while in the flow state of one project can inspire some solutions for another one where you may be at a standstill. Even having projects that are different genres and maybe different types of work such as mixing something for someone else or producing for another artist can be really helpful. Consider and try as many things as you realistically can to find what works for you!
Support and Community
Another important aspect of maintaining your mental health and staying motivated in this field is community. If you're not a part of a community of other people in your field in one way or another, I'd highly recommend getting involved! For me, it's been the one single thing that's had the biggest impact in my growth as a music producer in the past few years. On top of that, having people who are involved with your craft to talk about things can really help, since a lot of times they will feel the same way as you about a lot of things, and that can really help to overcome some of the difficult feelings associated with being a creative and particularly a music producer!
If you are looking for more community in your music producer life, feel free to click the discord icon on the top of this page and join the chill space community! Everyone in there is quite friendly, and there are frequent events and activities geared towards producers that you can participate in, especially if you are interested in lo-fi music production.
Burnout is a real concern for music producers whether you are doing this as a career or hobby. To be a fulfilled producer and foster long term growth, it's essential to prioritize self-care, set achievable goals, take regular breaks, diversify your projects, seek support, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you enjoyed this blog post please leave a like and comment below so I know whether to keep making them! As always, I encourage you to listen to my music at Ryahu for dance music or philip j loaf-eye for lo-fi music!
Until Next Time!