I like to listen to music when I write. More than anything I like to put the same album on repeat, so that whether I’m at my desk for half an hour or for four hours, there is an endless loop filling the room with the same continuous vibe. Today it was Strange Days, the second album by The Doors.
But what I’m finding more and more is that as I’m about to write, and I’m scrolling through the albums I have saved, nothing is quite hitting the spot. It’s not that I don’t like the albums I’m confronted with – I love them – but there seems to be this growing chasm between what I find my ears craving and what I know already exists.
I don’t know how to describe it. A tone. A vibe. A sensibility. A combination of elements unique to my own tastes. What I do know, though, is this: If I ever want to hear it, I’m going to have to get busy trying to make it myself.
And that’s my point today. If you feel something is missing from your world, what should you do? I see three possible paths.
One) Deny the feeling. Ignore it. Pretend the world’s fine just the way it is.
Two) Complain. Whinge to anybody who will listen about the sorry state of the world. Crucially, stop short of ever actually doing anything about it.
Three) Do what you can with what you have. Try to make what you want a reality, even if you’re taking the tiniest steps imaginable.
You’re free to take any of those paths at any moment in time. You already know which one I think is the best.
If you want to hear the music you crave, start making it yourself. If you want the people around you to be more generous with you, start being more generous with them. If you look in the mirror and wish there was less of you, start taking a photo of every meal you have for a week.
Do something. And do it yourself.