Sometimes when I play my music to an audience, some weird thoughts cross my mind. When I’m in the midst of a very stripped back, mellow song, I feel the urge to interrupt it for an upbeat, powerful one. When I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I would rather want to use the fragile part of my voice. When I play a cover, I feel bad for not showing off my original material. When I play one of my own songs, I would much rather sing something people recognise and are familiar with.
I guess you could say it all boils down to always wanting something that you don’t have. Or maybe you can trace it back to the erratic, black-or-white thinking, the constant switching between extremes for lack of a middle ground.
However, this time, I found a different explanation. No matter how (self-)destructive this way of thinking can be, it keeps you going. You won’t settle for anything at any point and that makes you want to change for the better over and over again. I won’t even use the word perfection – because it doesn’t exist and is very toxic if used in the wrong context, which would be a different topic entirely – but in the end, it’s about personal maintenance. Wherein lies the paradox: Of course that is a task that can never be completed.
Write songs until you like them as much as the music you listen to and the covers you play. Play them until people recognise them. Whisper until your insides are ready to make everything calm on the outside. Scream the words out loud until they match with the turbulence inside.
Of course that is a state that will never be achieved. But it is something to strive for. And that already serves its purpose.