How to maintain creative momentum as a musician

Momentum is the grease that keeps things moving.

When it comes to music, one of the greatest keys to finding success is maintaining momentum with your work—but how do we do so in a way that’s healthy and sustainable? In the video above, iBEENART discusses the following three tips that can be invaluable in helping you accomplish your goals as a musician.

1. Use the two-day rule

Hustle culture is something that’s highly prevalent in recent times, both in modern society at large as well as specifically within the music creator community. “You really can’t go anywhere without having people tell you that you’re not doing enough or you’re not hustling enough—that you should be grinding every day,” iBEENART observes. “I used to think that if I’m not producing 24/7, I was slipping and that I could never live the life that I wanted.”

While it’s important to work hard towards your goals, doing so at the expense of sleep or compromising other key pillars in your life will inevitably lead to burnout. As a healthy middle ground, iBEENART suggests the ‘two-day rule.’

“The concept goes like this,” he explains. “In the beginning of each month, you identify a goal, and you try to stay as consistent with it for as long a possible. But, if you miss a day, that’s totally fine—just don’t miss two days in a row.”

The two-day rule can be an incredibly powerful way to build confidence and consistency, while still leaving room for balance and self forgiveness when you need a break or other aspects of your life simply prevent you from working on music.

2. Recognize how broader goals connect to your creativity

When it comes to building continuous momentum, it’s important to realize the intersection between music and your other goals in life. As an example, iBEENART highlights three areas that are particularly key to him: creativity, finances, and health.

While finances and fitness may feel unconnected to creativity on the surface, the reality is that they also indirectly—but powerfully—contribute to it. “In order for me to feel confident and protect my creative ideas that can inspire and help others, I have to be on top of my finances and also learn more about the business side of things,” he reflects. “Eventually, everyone needs to build a team, but on the way it’s important to understand these things.”

“Meanwhile, we all know that the producer lifestyle is unhealthy,” he continues. “Our sleep schedules are out of whack, and it’s not good to be sitting down all day while looking at a screen… I’ve learned that if I don’t have any physical activity like going to the gym or running, I’m going to feel off. I don’t like going to the gym at all, but I do like the endorphins and the way you feel afterwards.”

“Your focus areas will be different from mine, based on your lifestyle. So, see that hitmaker who you look to be in five or ten years, and ask yourself about what kind of day they have, what attributes they have, etc., and just start applying those things today.”

3. Focus on one thing at a time

Last but not least, focusing on one thing at a time is an often preached but under-practiced key for building momentum. “If you try to divide your attention in many directions, it’s just going to ruin your focus and creativity,” iBEENART says. With that in mind, try to remove your primary distractions to the best of your ability when you’re working on music—whether that’s your phone, Google Chrome tabs, or gaming console.

How do you maintain creative momentum?

Hopefully you found the above tips helpful for your own creative journey. Do you have any best practices for maintaining creative momentum of your own that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section of the video.

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August 9, 2022

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and produces vocaloid music as Namaboku.