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“Stay patient, but don’t hesitate!” — Five underrated songs that encourage and inspire you to get the job done

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Don’t you just hate staring at a blank page? Or a blank canvas? Or a blank Microsoft Word document, that tiny blinking cursor mocking you the entire time? [Sometimes, I swear the computer is rapidly telling me “YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK” to the beat of that pesky cursor]

Maddening, isn’t it?

Whatever your creative pursuit — photography, funk dancing, equestrian jumping, screenplay writing, anime illustrating, mushroom farming — the message is exactly the same: if you don’t get started, the metaphorical / literal cursor will keep blinking.

My love of music has come in handy many times over the years, and I have accumulated a small collection of songs whose rhythm and lyrics set off the fireworks of my creativity.

I shall share them with you now, but bear in mind: these are obscure. They are not current well known Top 40 songs, and they come from a host of differing genres.

If you want to listen to any of the five songs, just click on their name: it’ll take you straight to the YouTube clip!

Let’s dive in! In no particular order…

1) Illy – “The Chase”

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Why it’s so important:
The first time I heard this was 2010. I was working a 40 hour week in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. I was doing data entry for a major health insurance company, and I hadn’t written a thing for nearly 12 months.

When I heard this, my spark for writing returned.

I was still a bit of a newbie at that stage, so was working on building my portfolio. I bit the bullet and did some of those “GAIN EXPOSURE!!!” gigs, ignoring the awful taste in my mouth and instead replacing that taste with humble pie. All the while, I had stars in my eyes as I dreamt of being a paid contributor for Rolling Stone magazine.

I have not had a 12 month dry spell since.

Key lyrics:
🎵Don’t view it as failure if I miss it
I just figure I proved that that way gets turfed
In the process of elimination gotta keep proving wrongs til the right one works
So we’re persevering, polishing the tracks til it hurts to hear em
’bout to embark on the journey of an era🎵

🎵Do the hard yards, step by footstep’
cause with opportunity comes effort🎵

🎵for those who didn’t know how close they were when they gave in
Stay patient, but don’t hesitate
’cause everything comes to those who hustle while they wait🎵

🎵and I aint gonna wake when im old
and regret that i woke out of a dream, just to chase the gold🎵

2) Bliss N Eso – “Never Give Up”

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Why it’s so important:
Mid-2012, I went into another funk with my writing. I had recently moved interstate after my life as I knew it imploded.

I had had this song in my collection for quite a while but had never gotten around to listening to it. After several initial listens, I began churning out at least one article a week.

Not bad, considering I was previously on zero articles a week!

I was still redefining my long term goals and dreaming of a better life, but this song, once again, reignited my creativity.

Key Lyrics:
🎵They won’t clip my wings I will not conform🎵

🎵Never give up for your day will come🎵

🎵ride a magic carpet weaved out off positive thoughts🎵

🎵With the fight of a gladiator I write on my pad and paper

I trot through time canter where the path’s leading,
Work hard and use my head to hammer through the glass ceiling🎵

3) Husky – “History’s Door”

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Why it’s so important:
This is a deeply personal song for me. I cannot pinpoint a precise moment where everything clicked into place after hearing this, but let’s just say it inspired me to make some very tough decisions, way outside my comfort zone.

Since I first heard it in 2011, it stays with me. We would be here all day if I listed the multiple ways this song has nurtured me over the years.

I still listen to it ad nauseum. It still guides me to my true purpose as a writer. It helps me soldier on, even when it feels impossible to rise from the ashes.

Hopefully, it can do the same for you!

Key lyrics:
🎵Find your hope forget your home
Heed that feeling in your bones🎵

🎵Don’t look back
There is no use in wondering
Just how or why
If you leave now
You might just make it home
Before the morning light
Tired and poor
You kneel at history’s door tonight🎵

🎵*folk guitars and “ooooohweoohhh” chanting, to really set the wistful mood of adventure, while conversely making you feel as though you’re sitting on your front porch, sipping hot cocoa, and looking out at the amazing lush green views. Both unsettling, and settling, at the same time🎵

4) Death Cab For Cutie – “You Are A Tourist”

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Why it’s so important:
Oh my, yet another song where I don’t even know where to begin.

My journey with this tune is quite strange. I heard it in 2011 — wow, big life changing year, that was!!! — and I didn’t really take to it. I knew it existed, and I didn’t hate it, but that was the extent of my involvement.

However, in the last three or four months, I have decided to begin writing my fiction series. At one stage, I was feeling sooooooo creatively restless, and this song popped into my head.

I reacquired it, and now it is on regular rotation on my playlists, receiving countless plays. Because of the wisdom within the lyrics, I know now, for sure, I’m on the right path.

The #rhythmofword speaks for itself. Observe.

Key lyrics:

🎵When there’s a burning in your heart
An endless yearning in your heart
Build it bigger than the sun
Let it grow, let it grow
When there’s a burning in your heart
Don’t be alarmed🎵

🎵When there’s a doubt within your mind
Because you’re thinking all the time
Framing rights into wrongs
Move along, move along🎵

🎵And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then it’s time to go
And define your destination
There’s so many different places to call home🎵

*goosebumps, just writing these!!!*
If there’s only ONE song you check out on this list, please: make it this one!!!

5) Switchfoot – “Stars”

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Why it’s so important:
This was an eight year long, incredibly slow burner for me.

Now, I can’t get enough of it.

I still listen to this little gem, looking up at the stars in the night sky, and finding complete and utter peace in my entire being.

My anxiety regularly gets the better of me, and stops me from writing anything…. That damned blinking cursor returns!

But THIS, right here, soothes my soul. It brings my head, heart and spirit back into line, allowing me to refocus my efforts on my goals, and to stop worrying about that which I cannot change.

This song taught me to trust my instincts, and trust the universe, and to be content within myself.

Key lyrics:
🎵when I look at the stars I see someone else

When I look at the stars,
the stars, I feel like myself🎵

🎵I’ve been thinking bout the meaning of resistance, of a hope beyond my own
And suddenly the infinite and penitent begin to look like home🎵

🎵maybe start to wonder how the chaos in our lives could pass as sane🎵

🎵*special mention: that ripping guitar riff right at the start!*🎵

Rightyo! There it is. My top 5 “get shit done, get refocussed, step outside your comfort zone” songs, each belonging to my specialised playlist, each representing a different point in time and a different realisation about myself.

I hope some of my suggestions work for you. Test them out! They either grab you, or they don’t.

If they don’t, may you successfully find what works for you, and use the power of music to make the big changes and forever press on through this confusing maze of funhouse mirrors. AKA, life.

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1 thought on ““Stay patient, but don’t hesitate!” — Five underrated songs that encourage and inspire you to get the job done”

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