Friday, September 10, 2010

"I Got Nothing"

One conclusion I've come to within the past few years is that people tap out.  I didn't do extensive research, it's my own conclusion.  What do you think?

I first wondered about this as a music lover who appreciates songwriters more than musicians.  I'm sure you've noticed yourself that as a whole, our favorite musicians, many of whom are songwriters, simply don't come out with the great songs they were so prolific with early in their careers.  I'm not just talking about Three Hit Wonders. Even "superstars" like Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Sting, Lionel Richie,  and Michael Jackson, who write/wrote much of their own material, haven't had memorable hits in the last decade.  Am I wrong?
Next I noticed that I was abandoning my favorite novel writers, one by one.  Where their early books brought me thrills, laughs, and joy that ended too soon, I noticed that a couple of writers were getting so tedious to read that I couldn't get past the first chapters.  Another author--I mercifully will not reveal any names--seemed to have a computerized "subsequent novels" template because she used the same lines and situations over and over in every book until it grated on my nerves.  Was it me?  I went to and looked up four of these "favorite authors" and was amazed--ok not really--to see that where their earlier books were getting close to 5 star ratings, their later books were each getting fewer and fewer stars, and the reader reviews expressed the same complaints I had.  Ah ha!  More evidence of tapping out!

And then there's the most personal evidence that people get tapped out: me!  When I first began my clothing craft business 19 years ago, designs simply poured out of me.  Where some clothing lines may have a few truly unique ideas per season, I produced literally dozens of designs in just a few years.  As the years passed, I had fewer and fewer new designs and even when I introduced something new, I noticed that the old designs outsold the new! 

So why am I providing evidence that younger people may be "better" than we seniors?  Don't we have enough going against us?  In reality, if you plan well in your youth, you'll find that you're much happier and better adjusted as a senior, even if you're "tapped out" in your field.  Sure it was exciting to be "flavor of the year" and it's always better to be a "has been" than a "never been," but for most, age brings the comfort of no longer having to keep sharpening the edge.

The message, therefore, is to make the most of whatever you excel in and don't assume there's a never ending source within you.  [This may sound negative, but it's not written in stone, in the same way that not everyone who smokes gets cancer.]  My point is to plan for the future even though you feel your creativity will support you forever.

And just because I may be tapped out of new clothing designs, does NOT mean I'm tapped out in every other creative genre.  I will now attempt to write some music! 


  1. I'd love to hear your new music.

  2. I did try once to write a song and it's not easy. I always wonder if all the good songs aren't already written and how do you know if you're not plagiarizing? There really should be some huge database now that we have the technology...or is there one already??


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