Hi, Doctor Nick! - Staying Positive, the Role of a Muse, and Good Books

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Our readers have questions, Nick Hook has answers. It's a simple formula, which is why we have Doctor Nick pop in for a visit every Thursday morning. The XLR8R faithful want to know about music, production, DJing, travel, promotion, networking, love, life, and more. Luckily, Nick Hook has done a whole lot of living, and he's happy to share the tidbits of wisdom he's pick up along the way. Send questions to doctornick@xlr8r.com.

Hi. How's everyone? I'm coming off a high after spending the last five days with Salva and Epcot. I saw two of the Magical Properties Tour shows with Daedelus, Ryan Hemsworth, and Samo Sound Boy. It was great. Then we ate a lot of food and made some good music. I also slept in a bed with four dudes and one girl for the first time in my life. It wasn't that eventful, to be honest. Maybe next time. I played at Output last Thursday in Brooklyn and I saw Shawn Reynaldo in the crowd. Output is sick and shout out to TEED for being real cool and playing a great set.

Now I'm off to Texas. I got mad shows—come find me and we can do a confessional behind a taco truck at SXSW. It'll be tight. Keep sending questions to doctornick@xlr8r.com and thanks to everyone for all the good vibes. I'm getting scared that writing an advice column might outshine my musical career, but hey, I guess you gotta roll with it. Onto the questions...

Hi Doctor Nick,
I love your column, and I'm writing to you because I have questions about Life (yeah, with a capital L). You seem to be extremely positive about people, how do you manage to keep that mentality and make it last? I feel like I used to love people more when I was younger, and that I'm already becoming "un vieux con," as we would say in French. What's your secret?

Also, do you think that we have more inspiration when we are in love? What's your opinion on the role of a muse? I love reading, any advice on books?

Wishing you a late happy birthday, thank you for your answers and for the knowledge you drop every week!

Yooo. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's crazy that people do enjoy this. It makes me happy.

Life. Man, life. I'm still convinced it's not real. Perhaps it's all one giant dream. I'm the Forrest Gump of the music game I think.

On the positive thing, I'm not sure. I've always been that way. I feel super lucky for that, but I am a firm believer that you get back what you send out. I think energy is contagious, so if you are that hater being negative about everything, all the people around you are gonna be the same. It takes more energy to be like, "Nah, that's dope" whenever everyone else is like, "Fuck that," and I feel the same way about positive thinking. If you are emitting some good energy, everyone's gonna want to join in. Energy boomerangs or something, I dunno. At this point in my life, I think I love more now than ever before.

Also, after growing up in a small-ish town and actually moving to New York and doing something where all the odds were against me, it never gets old. Whenever I ride across the bridge, walk into my studio, or learn something new culturally, it blows my mind. There's really no secret. One thing that's fairly new to my regimen is exercise. It's not even for the physical, but for the brain—it makes me feel like I can accomplish anything and I feel like it opens up new ways of thinking that I didn't have before.

I definitely agree that loving is easier when you are young, just because your references are smaller. But I think if you put your work into finding the light, it's everywhere.

In my case, I would say a muse is more inspiring than being "in love." The allure of having something, wanting something, needing something, that's what makes you strive in all aspects of your life to become better. And the term muse doesn't have to apply to the opposite sex. It could be music, something someone did to inspire you that stays with you. I love the hunger of that. It definitely drives me hard.

Books—I've been reading The Savage Detectives by Bolaño for the last few months. (I wish I was reading more.) Roald Dahl's short stories got me back into reading. I'm also into Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne and Here Is New York by E.B. White.

Hi, Doctor Nick! appears every Thursday on XLR8R. Do you have a question for Doctor Nick? Please submit your inquires to doctornick@xlr8r.com. Nick Hook can help you.