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  • Writer's pictureCarol Hodge

Progress and self doubt

I knew it was coming, and today it landed. I finished off recording vocals for the final track on my upcoming solo album, and started listening through to all the songs, with a view to making arrangement notes. It started innocuously enough, with a "hmm is this really the perfect tempo for this song?", and stemmed from there. Right now, about 80% of me is thinking I've wasted my time, this album is nowhere near as good as the previous one, who do I think I am, hardly anyone will hear it, and the people who will are only being nice and doing so through pity. Phew. Thankfully the other 20% of my noggin is being more supportive and telling me "even if all the above is true, does it really matter? Just enjoy the process, and do it for you". Thank you, 20%.

I share all this not to invoke pity, interest or any reaction really. I think we are all way too hard on ourselves, and this is a recent example of this behaviour in my life. We often overestimate our own importance, and I am certainly a victim of self-aggrandisement. Being a musician and songwriter is a weird tightrope between lacking in confidence and basking in the limelight. I sometimes find it hard to locate the reality, and the middle ground.

Well there's definitely been some progress. Which is better than no progress.

As a slightly odd, but related aside, I had a dream the other night that everyone wrote and released solo albums. It was simply a part of society, like celebrating birthdays and paying the rent. This reminded me that what I'm doing isn't special, or different, but just a statement of my innermost thoughts, my view on the world and a record of my lifelong journey as a songwriter. It's always going to be different to my previous album, as I'm a different person now compared to 16 months ago, and I'll be a different person again for the next album I write.

In conclusion, as with so much in life, too much time is spent overthinking and making projections about the future, coupled with being overly concerned about the opinions of others. Some people will hate this album. Some will be quite fond of it. I really am giving it my best shot, and that's kind of what matters the most. My name will be on the front, so I guess I'd better start getting proud of it.

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