Have a break

It would have been a great way to start this blog by saying that I was involved in the ‘Have a break-have a kit-kat’ campaign. An iconic and memorable jingle that appears now as a regular catch phrase and be part of our language DNA.

Sadly, I was not involved but it was one of several ads that I remember that made me want to be involved in writing potentially unforgettable jingles.

When you first start out, you’re hungry, desperate, eager, enthusiastic and scared all at the same time. You want to get it right! And this often leads to hour upon hour of slaving away over a keyboard, computer, fretboard or in old money, a piece of manuscript, until you hit the seam that you imagine is in the client’s mind and you can commit something towards getting a completed project. The irony being that most clients don’t really know what they want and are relying on you to come up with something so they can make some vague judgement call, either for good or bad.

This was often the reason why I didn’t pitch. Firstly, I didn’t need to and secondly I resented the fact that out of five pitches for any job there would always be four disappointed ‘pitchers’ and one rather smug successful one. Or the client could take the best bits of all five and comp them to give to a new composer who was a distant relative or someone’s friend from the office print room. A wretched situation and best left alone.

Having spent many an hour slaving away thinking that the more time you spend the better the end product will be, my poor old mechanical body is now telling me differently.

I’m undergoing a rather painful course to correct my spine. Thankfully this doesn’t involve going under for an operation but the ‘sessions’ I am enduring include clicking, thumping, banging, being punched, enduring needles, lying on a rack and being pulled in unimaginable positions and intimately picked up while being squeezed forcefully around my rib cage. “Do I know You?!”

But as I’ve been told, this process is necessary now as there is a good chance that I’ve overdone the bits that require the most support.  I love running but even that is now on the back burner until all of this is sorted.

So, it’s painfully led me to the point of trying to re-educating my body and my posture especially when working. I’ve bought a special cushion wedge that raises the part where the chair sinks and encouraged to make the sign of the cross when approaching a soggy sofa.

They do say (whoever ‘they’ are?) that you shouldn’t work for more than ninety minutes in one stretch, take breaks and move around at regular intervals.

I do remember that this works perfectly especially when you get a little stuck about the next direction you should take whether it be a song, instrumental or any creative work. I definitely used to pay attention to this and make my way to the gym or local park to clear the brain and try to ignore the ever present conflicting ‘voices’. Every time without fail, a break of an hour doing something else, especially energetic, would always reinvigorate and give me the next steps in the process,

Finally, when you turn off the computer (Yes, turn it off!!!) always leave the project especially if it’s unfinished, with an idea of how you will continue the next morning. It’s far easier than switching off with nothing and no clue, especially when you come back to it and spend a couple of hours just staring at the screen. And it’s a great way to start a new day with energy both physically and creatively.

Now, Have a break……..