Have you ever gone mountain biking on a warm spring day? When the mud has dried into hard deep ruts? Have you ever gotten stuck in one of them?
Yep, so have I.
What happens when you’ve been in a rut too long? You fall over.
Your trajectory needs to adjust bit by bit as you move along your path, but when you’re in a rut, you’re fixed in place and can’t make these little compensatory moves.
Sooner or later, you simply can’t stay in that fixed path. Your internal momentum and balance is trying to send you in a different direction.
So, you have two choices:
- Build up your courage and jump out to a new path, or
- Stay in it and wait until you’re so off balance that you fall over.
Which do you choose?
As some of you know, I’m on vacation this week. I’ve needed to jump out of my rut, so I scheduled a trip. First vacation in 14 months.
In the last several days, I met about 25 musicians I’ve never met before, gigged out of the country for the first time (with about 20 songs I’ve never performed before), walked across tables in a bar while singing karaoke for the first time, jammed on the bass for the first time, played a djembe for the first time, visited places in Germany I’ve never been before… and completely shook up my sleep schedule. Definitely feels like I’m jumping out of the rut!
We can’t all take a big vacation every time we’re in a rut. But it’s important to know when you’re in a rut, and get out of it as soon as you can! Time’s a-wasting; what are you waiting for?
Musically speaking, here are some ideas for things to do if you feel like you’re in a rut…
- Watch music videos on YouTube
- Browse Live365.com’s music stations
- Try out new gear (vocalists: try out a vocal effects box!)
- Clean up or rearrange your studio or practice space
- Deeply study a song you really like – word for word, phrase by phrase
- Take a clinic on singing, performing, songwriting
- Get a book about singing
- Read a biography of a singer or musician
- Try learning a challenging song – something you really have to work for
Some nonmusical ideas…
- Go someplace you’ve never been before… a cafe you haven’t yet tried, an alley you haven’t yet been down, a web site you haven’t yet visited (try del.icio.us or technorati, or look at industrial, product, or graphic design web sites)
- Invite an acquaintance to coffee and see if they become a friend
- Go see a musical theater, opera, or dance performance
- Go see an IMAX movie
- Denver people: visit the Butterfly Pavilion, the Science Museum, art museums, etc
- Be a tourist in your own town
I’ll stop here. There are entire books on how to be creative, break out of ruts, and have fun.
Now go forth and jump your rut.
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn