As it turns out, one side effect of my re-engagement with playing music has been a minor change in my brain. Specifically, I am generating ideas again. Bits of songs pop in to my brain, little threads that don’t amount to much on their own, but could lead to actual art if I were to pull on them. This is a problem. I don’t have time for this sort of thing.
I can’t compartmentalize my thoughts. When these ideas show up they don’t wait patiently for my attention. They prod and prod until they are either pursued or forgotten. I would love to be able to file them away for later use, but no — they poke at me while I’m in the middle of actual paying work, when I can’t do anything with them. They are a constant distraction. I mean, yeah, if I were to run them down, most of them would come to nothing and be abandoned. But I can’t run them down, so they just sit there.
Like many people, my day job consists of my being presented with difficult problems that require a great deal of effort and creativity to solve. Often, I’ll go from one problem to another, giving my subconscious time to work on one thing while my forebrain grapples with something else. Sometimes, a solution pops out. But not lately. Instead my subconscious is more likely to ignore the real issues, and send me a guitar riff every now and again. This is not helpful.
I really don’t know how amateur artists do it. To go hammer and tongs all day on paid brainwork, only to do the very same thing all night on their unpaid art. It’s enough to drive a person mad.