Deeply feel and sympathize with all of the above. For me, personally, a year of therapy has helped me process so much in my life, including the relationship I have to my own creative process. I think it’s tough to get out of this feeling that in order for my music-making to be worthwhile, it has to fit in this narrow paradigm that often feels like work – in other words, evaluating whether or not my creative efforts are “successful” or “productive.”
I used to get deeply depressed and/or angry on the weekend when a day of musical activity lead to nothing, or to a set of ideas I didn’t particularly like. It felt like wasted time, and it lead to a pattern of self-judgement that’s been hard to break out of.
There’s nothing wrong with being goal-oriented, but it feels good to step back and remind myself that whatever I create isn’t any better or worse than the work of others – it just is. Once I strip away a lot of external pressures that used to make music agonizing, the process feels more meditative and exploratory. It’s not a perfect process by any means (it’ll never be), but it feels healthier.