It’s been nearly a year since I last blogged. It’s been about 2 years since I last wrote a song…all by myself. “Why?” you may wonder(I have many theories). Every time I sit down to write explanations of my absence: I get lost,I freeze up,I ramble on, I lose my focus. The blog turns into a sloppy stream of consciousness that arrives at no conclusion. I save it as a draft and never look at it again
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Honestly, I don’t know what happened to my songwriting flow. In all my years I have never gone more than 4 or 5 months without a birth of songs emerging from that creative canal. 1 year of nothing freaked me out.
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2 years, and I’m in a full fledged spiritual surrender. I had to give up worrying about it, thinking about it, trying to control it. Yes, that’s it… I lost control. I may have hundreds of songs in my repertoire, but without active songwriting, I have no confidence in moving forward with my career. Without fresh content, there was no future. What if I never write again? What if I had spent my whole life working towards something that suddenly vanished? I didn’t know what to do. I froze. I hoped for a while, I got distracted with successes of 2012 and 2013, but then 2014 came, and the distraction turned to panic, which manifested itself in paralysis. I shut down. Try to talk to me about music? Not a chance. Ciro tried it daily. All he met was a brick wall and a quick attempt to change the subject.
[aesop_image img=”http://www.kendallpatrick.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_2563-e1436596792500.jpg” align=”left” lightbox=”on” caption=”When my friend, Matt (left), changed my perspective. A semi-fateful day on the playground.” captionposition=”left”]
It was a bad time to shut down. Momentum had been building like crazy up until then. Indie Week 2013 brought in an awesome publicist who was so so good to us. She set me up with all sorts of opportunities and industry folk. They told me to write.
“Keep writing.” “I like Cannonball. Write more Cannonballs.” “CoWrite.” “Write with her.” “Write with him.”
I didn’t want to tell them about this block.I felt like a had a dark secret every time I met someone new in the industry. I kept it from my publicist, too. I wanted to keep their hopes up about me. I felt deflated that there was more excitement about future writing than about the hundreds of songs I’d already written.
Truly, it was a lack of perspective. A friend sobered my thoughts many months later telling me, “It’s AMAZING that a former EMI publishing exec came to one of your shows, and even MORE amazing that she LIKED some of your songs.” He was so right. I felt better… for about half a day.
The spring of 2014 found me with two major application rejections. This is when the momentum came to a speeding halt. I was sure at least one of these applications would be accepted. Pages upon pages, professionals helping me put it together, weeks of pouring my heart and soul into what I considered to be immaculate submissions. I was confident I’d soon receive a letter that would say “CONGRATULATIONS! Your year is now laid out for you!” But I didn’t, and it wasn’t, and there I was, feeling aimless and song-less. My spirit, which was already sinking with panic, just broke.
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But I didn’t admit this to myself. I continued trying to trick myself into thinking that I was not freaking out. However, the energy I was expending stressing out about my secret career doom and gloom was hitting the limit. It wasn’t long after that when I officially broke down to make that deep surrender of control. I clearly had none, or so I felt. I called up my higher power on the prayer line and said, “I can’t do this. I need you to drive the boat. I fully give up investing any more energy into the anxiety of this writer’s block and career-fog. I trust you will take care of it and it will work out just how it is supposed to be without my claws digging into it. It is now completely in your hands.”