Well it’s been nearly a month since I quit my full time job and threw myself into pursuing a career in music, so I thought I would reflect on some of the things I’ve learnt…
I suppose the main thing is that you need to quickly discover where to concentrate your energies. You meet a lot of people through gigging or through friends and online musician networks who might have contacts to help you move forwards. You’ll also encounter all sorts of “artist development” companies and online music promotion companies, all promising to take your raw talent and turn you into the next big thing. It can be very disheartening meeting people who could help you but turn into dead ends, never responding to your emails or phone calls. It does make you question whether you are worth investing in. But that’s where if you’re going to make it you just need to suck it up and carry on. The trick is trying to quickly work out who is genuine and will really try to help you, and who are flakey and will become a vacuum for your time and energy.
The other thing I’d like to share is that you need to stay positive! I find this incredibly difficult. I find it so frustrating when I meet people who say they can help, and then are unresponsive. I also feel quite depressed (as I’ve written before) if I don’t feel I’ve done much to move things forward. If that spans over a few days it can quickly turn into a week and suddenly without realizing your motivation and energy levels have dropped severely. And that’s the real dream killer. As cheesy as it sounds, you really do need to treat every single day as a brand new day. If I was rubbish yesterday, today I have a fresh start and can put things right.
Reflecting more on being positive, I’ve noticed that I have been very insular over the past two weeks: thinking about yesterday (things I haven’t done) or the future (how the heck am I going to pull this off!). I find that I’m not really in the present or allowing myself to enjoy the journey. Sometimes I brain dump stuff onto a blank sheet of paper to get it out of my head and recently I stumbled across something I wrote on 11th April 2012:
“Life is happening right now. It isn’t waiting for you to join in. It’s just passing on by and will outlive us all. Worrying about the future, always having your eyes focused on tomorrow, next week, next month means you’re missing the precious moments that are passing each millisecond right now. Stop to enjoy it. Before it’s too late.
We all have dreams and ambitions and we all strive to get there, but it’s still possible to enjoy our lives during the journey. Taking time to do things for yourself is essential. Stop, breathe, sit in the moment and take it in. Relax, unwind. Sometimes it’s ok to put that thing off until tomorrow. Don’t get lazy of course, but make sure there’s time for you and time to relax.
Take the time to enjoy the wonderful people around you. Sit and listen to them and entirely focus on them forgetting your own thoughts and concerns because theirs are just as important. Spend time with them, make them feel appreciated because they are the ones who prop you up when you are at your lowest. They are the ones who help you through the bad times and their support is what’s going to help you achieve your dreams.
Dream big, but enjoy those around you, and most importantly, enjoy the life you have NOW!”
I guess I need to take my own advice! The truth of the past month is that I’ve put a new band together, I’ve done a lot of recording, learnt a whole bunch of new music production skills which I’m putting to good use, I have some exciting gigs coming up, and I’m slowly getting my marketing kit together and honing my approach to promotion & networking, essentially getting my house in order ready for an assault on the music industry. I’m a better singer, better pianist than I was a month ago, and I’ve also started some new collaboration projects.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself this month, and I hope that at the end of next month I’ll be able to give you an even more positive report!
As always, if you’re an aspiring artist and want any advice or if my blog has provoked any questions then please get in touch. Similarly, if you’re one of those lovely people who would like to get involved in my project and can help in any way I’d love to hear from you.
To anyone trying to achieve his or her dreams, this new song is for you: Don’t Walk Away
Wishing you the very best in life,