Losing the Passion for Creating


Over the last year, I’ve been losing interest in a lot of things. That includes music. Because of this, my skills have deteriorated to a point where I can’t play things that I’ve written over a year ago. ( for example: https://on.soundcloud.com/T7rmG ) When I try to practice them, I just get frustrated and depressed and I give up.

If practicing my instruments is causing me so much stress, I guess the obvious solution would be to just stop, but I’ve spent too much of my life learning my instruments to just give up now. I just can’t seem to let myself do that. So I’m stuck in this limbo of mediocrity that I can’t figure out my way out of.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? If so, how did you handle it?


My guess is that admitting you’re not as good as you were some time ago is a good step. But, I think that if you were able to get to that level before, you can get there again. Knowing that you aren’t going to be playing these parts outright, I’d start with the old standard of playing them slower and building the speed back up, rather than trying to jump in at full speed.

A big lesson I’ve had to learn in my life that has applied to my music, career, social life, and more is that progress is not a straight line. You’re going to have ups and downs on your way towards your goal, but as long as you’re able to keep going towards your goal after a “down” then that’s OK.


It’s just so difficult for me to keep that in mind and not get discouraged. I’m fucking trying, though.


Believe me, I feel you. I have a dead end job I hate and I’ve been looking for new work for over a year. I get interview after interview and pretty much every company I interview with really likes me and takes me all the way to the final handful of applicants, only to hire someone with more relevant experience (seriously, I’ve gotten to the final round and passed on in 5 jobs this month). I’m even interviewing for lesser positions than my current one just to try and get out of this company. Every new interview still brings real hope for change and every rejection still stings. And you better believe this has put a damper on other aspects of my life, trying to find a job while working full time is very time consuming.

BUT, I continue to send out applications and go through this over and over again, and I do that because I know I’m unhappy where I am and I’m never going to be happy here again.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is I know it’s not easy, but you’ll never get to where you want to be again if you aren’t willing to put up with some failure.


I really do appreciate you sharing all of these things with me, but as heartbreaking as this may sound to you, I’ve basically given up on getting to where I was. I’m accepting that I’ll never be that musician again. Fuck, who am I kidding, I’ll never fucking be that PERSON again. For reasons I’m not comfortable with getting remotely into here, I’m realizing that as much as I desperately want it, it’s simply NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

And that realization is not as painful as it sounds. It’s actually kind of freeing to be honest. It’s easier to just focus on enjoying the craft, instead of trying to “perfect” it or reach the level of skill I used to have.

For what it’s worth, I do hope you find a way out of that job. I hope there’s some way for ALL of us to reach some kind of level of happiness and contentment some day. But I don’t fucking know, man.


Go and practice on the instruments if you really have lost decades but studying them.

Or / also take a break.


YMMV but I have found, recently, improving other areas of my life have made me more creative/productive as far as music and writing. Like keeping to a regular sleep schedule, eating better, exercising, dealing with my personal bullshit (ie; mental health), switching careers to something manageable, working on my relationships.


Wow, cool track, OP. That’s a really nice guitar riff you’ve got going on there.

I personally fall in and out of love with creating quite a lot, but usually I end up switching to something new (changing DAWs, genres, instruments, or even creative avenues altogether within the realm of music) and it reignites the flame. Spending a whole year on guitar would seriously burn me out as well, and it would likely make me feel like a worse guitar player than I currently am to stick one of my talents hobbies under a microscope like that.

Not being able to play your tracks from the past sounds pretty normal to me, unless you’re touring the globe and playing them almost every night. If you asked me to play some old songs of mine (even from just a few years ago), I’d really have to rehearse, like I’m learning someone else’s music from the very beginning.

Most of us are only going to be mediocre at what we do, and if you can, just remember that it’s perfectly fine! Whether or not you enjoy making music is the part that counts, not how well you can recall some past riffs and play them on command.




This is part of growing up. Nobody is who they were 10 years ago and nobody is who they are going to be in 10 years, even if they like to pretend otherwise or flat out deny that simple fact. Good & bad experiences happen, tastes change, there is the natural, difficult process of aging that makes things less new and exciting (“been there done that”) and it can be difficult to still feel “alive” when the reality of job, family and all kinds of life situations constantly come in the way of your peace of mind.

A long time ago, in what feels like another life nowadays, I moved to the UK to try & get a music project running. Didn’t work out, rather unsurprisingly in retrospect, for many reasons, and after 3-4 years trying over there, I stopped playing guitar entirely for almost 20 years. It was only bringing some sadness and bitterness, to the point that I also stopped listening to a specific type of music and/or seeing bands that played that music because I felt I could/should be on that stage, not in the public. Then I simply forgot about it and went on with my life.

In 2017 I started fiddling again with music software/electronic music, as this made me happy. Released 2 albums since that almost nobody has heard of and it made me feel alive again. Late last year I even started playing guitar again. I am incapable of playing songs I had written in the late 90"s, my fingers feel like Lego hands, but I’m enjoying “re-learning” because there is no grand plan - just having fun - and I’ve made my peace with who I was and what happened or did not happen.

So all of this to say, maybe you are headed for a streak without music. Maybe it’s what you need. It can be a long one, it can be a short one. You will grow, change, let go of the past, the anger, until one day a lot of things are not painful anymore and you can look at them with some type of amused memory. Then you’ll start appreciating your present the way it should be appreciated.


Totally experience this. I think it’s the ebb and flow that comes natural. It’s like a new romance, it’s exciting and wonderful at first but then comes the work and tenacity to keep it great. Ideas are fun, but everything takes work and that zaps the flow. I’m starting again after a hiatus and half assed attempts from Covid till now. I’m in it too.


Yep. We just get older and then regret our stupid decisions of youth. This is my philosophy- dump the past there’s nothing you can do with it but learn. It’s a new day/ pretend you’re brand new and make a new path.


Sounds like a minor bout of depression, I usually deal with this with some daily mindfulness practice and going to the gym more. Not sure how helpful this will be to others in similar situations.

Best of luck though.


Yea. Here I go w my online armchair diagnosis, but “losing interest in things you once enjoyed” is an A1 depression symptom.


I have to agree with this one, too. I quit drinking a few years ago, started working out daily and the passion stuff kind of skyrocketed. I don’t think it does the same exact thing for everybody, but it can definitely improve the general umbrella of symptoms like this and enhance creativity and drive quite a lot


I just quit drinking myself and started walking everyday and my passion for music and writing is coming back. I try to do a little of one or the other every day to try and even out the amount of dopamine it takes for me to enjoy those things again.


I feel bad for taking so long to respond. I’ve been trying to change some things in my life and the last week has been hectic, to say the least.

Forgive me, but I can’t understand your post. Would you feel more comfortable posting in a different language and I could try using a translator?

Yeah, all of those things sound like great ideas, but they’re easier said than done. I’ve been trying to start doing a lot of the things you’ve mentioned, but actually maintaining them over a significant amount of time is another story.

I appreciate that man. I think I really needed to hear that right now.

That’s fair, but I do think that an important part of improving your craft is to put it “under a microscope.”

I do think that enjoyment is extremely important, but I also think that maintaining my skill level is also important. It’s just extremely frustrating trying to make myself do that.

Just out of curiosity, how long did it take for you to forget about and make peace with it? You did mention that you stopped playing guitar for 20 years. Would you say that it was around that amount of time?

Yeah or maybe that WON’T happen. I mean, who’s to say, really. The problem I have with being optimistic or pessimistic about the future is that none of us know what’s going to happen. But what we CAN do is look at the way our life has been and how it’s going, and based off of that, things aren’t looking that pleasant for me.

I’m sorry to hear that you’re in it to. Hopefully we can both get out of it.

I can’t do much exercise at the moment, but I think I will look into some mindfulness practices

Yeah, I’ll definitely have to start working out again once an injury heals.

I’m not sure what you mean. Do you think you could further explain this concept?


@ life style improvements – yes, they are very much easier said than done. My life had reached a crisis point, so I had extra motivation.

re: dopamine – I wasn’t using great methods of producing dopamine (normal things like exercise, making music, reading, writing etc). My brain got used to those not so great methods which happen to produce much higher levels of dopamine than normal, healthy things. So, now I have to retrain my brain to get used to those lower levels of dopamine again. If you want a clearer explanation feel free to PM me here, I don’t want to “preach” more than I already have publicly on the forum.


I had the same problem but after some time, but after some time I started creating again.