When you first start out and earning an income is your priority – especially if you consider the amount of music you need to compose to make a good living – it’s very tempting to work every hour of every day and right through weekends.
Have a strong work ethic is essential, and composing quality music at a productive speed will stand you in good stead for the future; however, it is easy to fall into the trap of music not only being your life but taking over your life.
The most important consideration is balance. Make sure you get out of the studio, go for a walk, go to the gym, get sunlight on your skin.
If you neglect your mental and physical health, it will come back to haunt you in the future, affecting your productivity further down the line. ‘Burnout’ is surprisingly common.
It can happen to anyone, in the following video Tom Holkenborg (also known as Junkie XL) talks about suffering from writer’s block.
Some of you may have the challenge of flatmates, family and kids who will never leave you alone while you’re trying to get work done, but many composers now work alone in a studio at home, often their only regular human contact is through social media.
As you would look after your physical health, look after your mental health. Make sure you keep meeting friends and getting out of the studio. Do something completely different.
As human beings, we need interaction.
Not only will you give your ears a rest, you’ll also continue to have life experiences, which are the very bedrock of musical inspiration.