Giving up (or extended break)

So late last year I had a bit of an epiphany as to the direction I should take with my studies - which has resulted in a significant shifting of goalposts. Before, I only had my final year of engineering left to go before I could rejoin the rest of society. Finding the time to balance this with musical pursuits has been tricky but still doable. Now I’m facing a helluva lot more work and really need to focus if I want to succeed.

I suspect that the whole music thing is likely to become a distraction that I could really do without. Sure I could box everything up for time being, but it’d still be there in the back of my mind. Perhaps it’d be better just to give it all up.

(Edit: Forgot to add, there’ll also be a brand new baby in the house in the next few months - my sister’s, not mine. Plus I need to find a job now that I’ve exceeded the limit of my student payments and have zero income).

But that’s enough about me…

I’m curious if anybody else here has given up on the music thing for a significant length of time in order to focus on something else.

Unfortunately this is life.
Responsibilities matters to our private life but I think you should not give up because you don’t find enough time, if you sell all your stuff you will truly regret it one day for sure, it’s human being.

You goal now is to find a way to share time between these two important things that matter for you !

I’m still student and it’s hard to find time for me to manage between exams, learnings and digging into gears.
But I try to take a short time every day to have fun and deal with it.
Even if it’s only one hour in your day, it’s enough for me to feel fine, in the mood.

I don’t think that we can say work is more important than music, they are like a balance to my opinion.

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If it was mere work, then I would certainly agree with you. Which is why I haven’t previously given up even though my previous studies would probably have seen some improvement.

To me this is more than that - a calling perhaps? Not to mention the sciences tend to be an extremely competitive environment with limited opportunities - really need to be at the top of my game for this one.

Agree it’s all about balance. And priorities. And necessities. And dreams. Lots of people give up exercising regularly or spending time with their loved ones or with their passions - reading, movies, nightlife, music… - in the name of “not having enough time” or “having higher goals” or just because they land a job and a commute routine. I have been one of these a few times in my life - sadly I am no longer a student, albeit I am still learning every day - and you know what? I realized Time is a finite resource and yet I was wasting so much of it. There is literally nothing one cannot do - it’s just a matter of focusing on the things we love and cut the rest. I can assure you that living a life where you put your passions, dreams and loves in a box and store them in the cellar is something that will bite you back at some point. It depends how much you care about making music among all other things that you think are important to you.

Woke up this morning at 5:45, had coffee, fired up my gear and made music until 7:15. Then I put a suit on and had my first meeting of the day at 8:30. Will be at the gym in a couple of hours, will have dinner with my family later and maybe watch a movie or read a book, looking forward to tomorrow again. Now I am having a break on Elektronauts with a lovely cup of tea :slight_smile:


Get yourself a pomodoro timer and allocate 60 mins a day to music. You might end up actually being more productive when you have less time!


Discovered the pomodoro technique last year when I overloaded a semester and needed to optimize my time.

Great stuff!!!

Could be an excuse to pare down your setup and stick with a couple of favourite or most efficient pieces of gear? I always feel guilty/overwhelmed when my stuff outnumbers the time I have available.


Heya @rex_mundii - I share a similar challenge in my life. I’ve posted a bit about this before and talked people’s ears off about balancing life, family and work. I will comment that I’ve been tinkering on and off with writing music sine the mid 90s and every time I used to stop or take a break it was for one or both of 2 reasons: 1) lack of time to really dig into what I was working on and 2) a feeling that what I was doing wasn’t good enough to share/release.

I now have a wife, 3 kids, a very demanding job and life is busier than ever. So why is it I’m still writing music - why beat my head against the wall and stay up late … wake up early … tired all the time bags under my eyes … no clue but I can’t stop!!

Well I found a trick about 3 years ago and in that time I’ve written more music than I ever did in 20+ years. It’s a couple tricks actually:

SIMPLIFY - not only your setup, but simplify your daily music jam/writing/designing. Sometimes just work on 1 single thing at a time. A thousand small steps can get you closer to the end of a long journey, but giant leaps and bounds will tire you out quickly.

SET DAILY GOALS - I sometimes only have 30min and maximum maybe 1.5 hours to practice, jam, write and record music. I bought a notebook and just like I do in my professional career, I carefully plan out every minute of that time with a short list of simple things I want to accomplish in that jam session. IE: Goals for today - 1 design patch for insane 0-coast generative squelchy sound 2 record with zoom 3 load into Reaper and chop some good samples for later loading into OT. (Those were in my notebook for yesterday hahaha took me 45min and I felt like I had time left over to turn on OT and RYTM to work 15min on a beat)

GO EASY ON YOURSELF - Don’t apply any pressure to your music related hobby/career/dreams/goals. Don’t worry. Don’t stress. Just have fun. Music is a meant to inspire passion in the heart of the maker and listener. If you enjoy it it will happen naturally - even if it’s as much as picking up your acoustic guitar for 10 minutes … or banging out a quick beat on Analog RYTM for 5min. Every little bit is love.

Anyways … don’t give up man. I figured out some solutions with help from people here and just lots of reading, dreaming, hoping …

Mini Daily Goals works !


I never gave up.
My mental health depends on making noise once in a while. Now more than ever.

I made sure this was clear for everyone around me, and chose a job close to my house so that I have time to play music, besides the family everyday life.

When I’m too exhausted, sometimes I feel like I can’t play music.
My secret weapon in such case is the MD. I always feel like the groove comes from itself, like I’m the tool.

I can’t imagine giving up.


Bang on What on off on said.
Go easy on yourself. Enjoy. Im terrible for beating myself up about my output or lack of. I get very little time for my music, i work shifts and have a family and spare time is a premium. But i fire up all my gear and sometimes mucj around for 5 mins learning new stuff and sometimes knock up a quick idea, and work at that when i next have time.
The thing is i put myself under no pressure - i do it because i actually just live doing it. Even for stolen moments every now and again… i gave up teaching guitar and playing in bands for years… and slowly regretted getting rid of gear and not having sound around me. So for what my tuppence is worth,live your life and pave the way for your future, but always have music/sound as an escape. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…


I can feel your struggle - not exactly on this matter as you pointed out - but it’s always there.

A baby, or better a growing child will keep you on the run, no matter what. I suggest this should be your first priority and of course your relationship with your partner. A good job is a part of this priority as well.

About making music or twiddling knobs just for fun … in the worst case it will distract you from all the relevant topics.

Either you sell your gear or you have deposit for it, far away from you (this is the way I’ve chosen, cheap and only 10,76 sqf in size).

When life calls me for more responsibility or i feel over-saturated from my ‘musical artwork’ or being haunted by the lack of ideas, i am going to pack my gear and put it in the ‘box’, so i can focus on actually important or simply other things. And this works pretty well so far. The longest time i detached myself from my equipment was about 10 month without any regret. After that time i was wondering what I’ve produced on my machines and i sorted out projects, and within projects patterns! That helped me quite! This is the way i handle my things on this topic and under certain circumstances, if it is required, i would sell all the things, as i did before the :3lektron: .

Anyway, you have a clear lead, so stay focused on the important things you mentioned. The music will always be with you, no doubt … and don’t forget the community here

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Since discovering music-making at age 10, I have had two periods in my life lasting longer than a few weeks during which I willingly stopped making music. Responsibilities compelled me to do so, yes, but those responsibilities stemmed from my own choices.

It took more than a year in both cases before I realized I was making myself ill. I felt off balance, like I was withering. Fortunately it only took a few weeks after returning to regular practice and creation before I started to feel right again.

I’d imagine that we all go through periods when we have to make tough choices about life and time management, and we all react differently to them. You may be fine for awhile, and the benefits of changing your commitments may help you and the people around you so much that you don’t miss music making – a commitment to which admittedly brings its own forms of stress. Breaks can be good for the soul too, so maybe you can turn this one into an artistic recharge.

Whatever you do, if it turns out you simply can’t maintain music in your life for the near term, I’d suggest keeping at least a portion of your setup packed away but still in your possession. If you have fluency on your instruments that has taken time to gain, avoid the temptation to think of your box as a financial investment deteriorating in value; think of it instead as a piece of your soul, or perhaps an emergency medical kit. If you discover you’re like me, you will only need an expense-free walk to the storage closet to find what you lack, rather than a costly (and perhaps lengthy) trip to the marketplace.


Cheers for all your replies guys.

Think I might avoid doing anything too rash and just put everything but the OT in storage for the time being. I’ll either miss it or I won’t.

I totally understand people who say you must have a balance, don’t give up, just keep going, etc. Personally, at 42, having learned some tough life lessons about financial independence and security, I come from a slightly different angle. I would say turn down the dial for a while. Don’t turn it off, just turn it down.

I will always advise people to take care of the hard stuff first. Tough love approach. First and foremost, get your studies done, then get good employment, start saving and investing for your family’s future, and then after a while begin to turn more of your attention back to music. In the mean time, do what others have advised by simplifying drastically, boxing up 80% or so, planning your sessions, setting a timer, etc. Those were great tips. I think your future self will thank you for getting the tough stuff out of the way first.

I’ve bought and sold a couple of small setups. Regretted it. Should’ve just boxed it up. A couple of times I’ve had to put music aside to concentrate on earning income. No big deal. I’m just a hobbyist and probably always will be. A cool song to share with friends is not more important than having a dependable vehicle to get yourself to work, braces for a kid, a working washer and dryer, repairing a leaky roof, saving for healthcare issues and retirement, etc.

Music is icing on the cake. I know I can set it aside, work on it when I can, take care of the important stuff, and come back later refreshed. Besides, it’s hard for me to be creative and have fun if I know I’m neglecting the important shit to goof around on synths and drum machines, making tunes nobody will likely ever listen to. It’s tough for most hobbyists to admit that to themselves (not saying that’s your situation, but it certainly is mine). Clearing my mind by taking care of important stuff first actually helps music-making sessions to be more fun and productive.

With an engineering or related degree you should soon be in a position to be financially secure and make music on the side. Best of luck to you.


Let science to science and just play with your stuffs when you want to play :smile_cat:
I know that it’s a investment and I’m jealous of those who can live their live with music but
------>I hope you will not give up!<------

Did try to give up making music once… but it didn’t last long. It’s a drug, once you have tasted it you can’t live without it :slight_smile: Getting back into making music turned out the best thing I ever did in my life, since it actually lead me to my current job as a designer, which I totally love.
As others have said… there’s never too little time, there’s only too much time wasted. I also have a pretty demanding job, a hectic life and a baby… most of my gear is indeed packed up in the cellar, because our flat is so tiny, and babies take up so much space (be prepared!). I was close to taking a break (again) but I realized that music is playing an important part in keeping me mentally functioning, especially when I am stressed and overworked.
But again… there’s always ways. I basically created 2 albums with Nanoloop for iOS while sitting on the toilet. Though I spent just as much time editing and mixing them in Ableton to finish them. The editing and mixing was all done during breaks, late at night, or early in the morning. Having all those sketches made with Nanoloop gave me the necessary motivation to just go on and finish them with the little I can still keep in the flat. It took me a bit of time, but I eventually got there. This said… if you feel that music is in some way important for you don’t give up! On the other hand if you feel like you could live well without it, then maybe it’s better if you don’t let it distract you. I think that there’s only way to find out, out everything in a box and see if you miss your gear in a couple of weeks or a month.


“I basically created 2 albums with Nanoloop for iOS while sitting on the toilet”

You are a true inspiration :smiley:


I’ve seen people attempt this, pursing the “adult wall.”
I don’t consider my hobbies or creative endeavors a “distraction,” so we’re probably on completely different pages.
Whether it’s drawing in sketch books, skateboarding, playing in a band, learning Max for Live, or fucking with synthesizers, I have to have some kind of outlet like that in my life.
Even if these things don’t amount to much, they mean something to me, to give it up is never considered.
Sure, I take breaks and don’t do music stuff for weeks, even months.
Usually after some time away, I come back to it and make a bunch of progress in a short amount of time.

If I had a child, my toys would be their toys, and we’d bond in that way.


Logged back in just to applaud this quote but I see Josker beat me to it. I think it’s worth another superfluous quote though. Classic. :joy:


So this morning I tried packing it up. Couldn’t do it. :smiling_imp:
At least my room is clean & tidy now.