Is Fear Blocking Your Creative Energy?


Is Fear Blocking Your Creative Energy?

by Andre Gonsalves

by Andre Gonsalves

As creatives we are probably the most in touch people with our feelings because we know how powerful our emotions are.

We manipulate people with our words, with our sounds, with our ideas.

I’m manipulating you right now and I don’t mean that in a bad way.

I mean that in the way that we are emotion manipulators and for us musicians, music is our medium.

And once you take this view, music becomes very easy to make, because music is just up and down, up and down, up and down.

That’s all music is (and perhaps everything is as well!).

And the best music is where we know we’re being taken up to only be dropped down and then we’ll go up again and then we’ll drop down again and we’ll do this a few more times.

And it’s a fun ride.

And it should be fun and easy. This is music for Godsakes!

So why do we make it so complicated?

Why do we feel the need to get everything perfect?

Every lyric perfect, every note perfect, every lick of the guitar perfect?

Because our fear will never leave us.

The fear that we’re not good enough is always omnipresent.

It’s always lurking in the shadows, causing us to forget about finishing that song or give up promoting that song we worked so hard on.

And then we wonder why the person that’s less talented than us makes it further than us, and it’s because they’re not afraid to be imperfect.

Remember we are not only NOT computers, we are the antithesis to computers.

Meaning we are doing things computers can never do.

And I use computers because computers do everything perfectly. You click on a link that link is going to open every single time (unless you’ve unknowingly downloaded a virus from a site you shouldn’t have been on).

Instead of using our creativity to make perfection the goal, we should be using our creativity to make creativity the goal.

And the interesting thing is, the more creative you are, the less perfect you need to be.

I know that’s crazy, let me say that again: the more creative you are in your music, the less perfect you need to be.

Because you are creating for creating’s sake, in other words, for your own internal energy.

“Internal energy?!” Andre have lost your mind?

Yes all of our songs come from a build up of internal energy we want to release into the world.

That’s why making music feels like therapy.

Not that I’ve ever gone to therapy to know what therapy feels like.

But I do feel a release when creating.

So yes we should only be creating for creating’s sake (i.e. internal energy release).

Now you maybe saying, “Okay Andre you are nuts, I can’t release a really creative song with all these flaws?”.

I would say, if you’re a person like that, then you already don’t have many flaws in your music and you should live with the 2 to 3 flaws in your song.

But if you’re a person who’s like “I don’t give a damn!” and you’re completely fearless, and your song has hundreds of flaws that you’re not even aware of, then yeah you need to fix some of those things.

Or not and see what happens.

We are serial experimenters.

We’re seeing what works and what doesn’t.

You can’t make a good song without making a ton of bad ones.

You’ve got to be fine with making bad songs that no one will like.

I love when I work with a new artist and they start sending me the first few songs they’ve ever made.

And even though they are bad, like painfully bad, like I start questioning if my prices are too low?

I’m happy cause I know they are at least on the journey to making good songs.

Letting fear block you from this journey is just going to keep you in the same cycle of saying “what if”.

What if I finally released a song this year?

What if I finally drop the album I’ve always wanted to?

What if I finally let my voice be heard?

This is the highest level of ourselves.

When we create in-spite of being scared.

For me, I’ve trained my mind, to know my art is complete when I’m scared to release it.

And for me this happens, a lot, even with these blogs I write.

I’m sweating when I push that publish button, because I’m making myself vulnerable to criticism.

People will say, “Oh he doesn’t know how to write, he’s just an audio engineer?”.

And even though, nobody has ever said that, I still live with that fear.

I recently did a song where I did a love song over an Afrobeat, which is completely out of the music I usually make, and I was scared to even post it on my Instagram.

And mind you, I’ve been making music a long time and release music fairly consistently and yet am still afraid.

So I know the fear will never leave us.

But I just remind myself, why I’m doing this in the first place and that’s creating for creating’s sake (internal energy release), not for fame and fortune (external validation).

We may not be able to completely get rid of fear, but we sure can dance with it, which shouldn’t be too hard, we are musicians after all!



Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he's not hunched over a mixing console he's hanging out with his son and daughter age 6 and 8.

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