Confessions of a struggling musician…”Momentum”
Posted on March 22nd
It goes against general advice, but I’ve decided to use this blog to also be brutally honest in how I’m feeling and how I’m progressing in my quest to become a signed recording artist kind of like an online diary I guess but I will of course also talk about what’s happening musically and latest news. So here goes…
I have to admit that recently I’ve been finding it hard to keep myself motivated, or rather the motivation is there, just the physical energy isn’t. Momentum is critical in pursuing a dream or ambition. When you have momentum, things become so much easier and it’s like you’re riding on a wave from one great event to the next. I’ve learnt that it’s so important to plan out everything you need to do, and be organised in getting it sorted out early to keep feeding the momentum because if you lose it, suddenly your energy levels dip and it becomes so much harder to book those gigs, or set up that free download function on your website, and build that momentum back again.
At the moment I work 9-6, a bit like everyone else, so I have to fit pursuing my music career into evenings and weekends. Some of the things I’m trying do are: network, set up publicity events, practice, recruit musicians, rehearse, gig, promote, market myself, create some music videos, generate web content, keep song-writing, chase up the people who still haven’t got back to me…the list goes on. When you throw in a 3 hour daily commute, days starting around 6:30am, and not being able to start work on music until I get home around 8pm you start to feel like you’re being stretched pretty thin! Anyone feel sorry for me yet? Ok fair enough, it was worth a try!
I know I shouldn’t complain, it’s great to be able to have a passion and a dream you’re working towards, but life certainly could be made easier with a music manager taking the load off me. I guess I would just love to be freed up to focus on the creativity, and let someone else take care of the business. At the moment though it feels like you’re trying to balance 3 full-time jobs.
However I know I’m fortunate to even have a job so I can at least save up a little and try and fund some of the stuff I need to do. But I guess one of the most precious of life’s commodities is time. If only I had more time to dedicate to music! I reckon I could get so much more done quicker, I would also be happier and healthier no doubt. Also, thinking about the poor missus, who by the way does so much for me to free me up to do as much of this stuff as possible (yes she is a saint!), it’s probably not much fun living with someone who is always “on” all the time.
The funny thing is that I’ve often felt quite envious of my friends that are full time musicians. But they tell me how hard it is to live trying to scrape together money each month to live, not having a stable income, and not being able to take holidays because they know that when they’re not working, they’re not earning. They tell me they’re envious of me with a stable job and money to be able to get into the studio and record or build a website. Even friends of mine with record deals talk about the relentless nature of live having to gig 4-5 times a week singing the same songs every night, travelling, trying to find time to write, deal with press and media aspects…It all takes its toll physically and mentally. And even with a record deal, they’re barely making ends meet with tours barely breaking even. A career in music sounds glamorous but the reality to most is that it’s far from it…it’s a really really hard slog. Very few people make it to the top where they can truly live comfortably from music, and then fewer still live the life we all associate with someone that’s “made it”.
The grass always seems greener on the other side doesn’t it?
So then what’s the point? Because I love music! There’s no other reason for putting yourself through this level of stress that drives you to the limit of your endurance and patience. For example, the other night I was working on a little arrangement for a new song at home, it was about 1:30am in the morning, the missus was fast asleep, but I was bouncing around the room with my headphones on totally delirious with joy listening to this little creation. I am happiest when I’m creating music and the buzz and excitement you get from writing a new song and hearing it take shape is really unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
It’s nice to get recognition for the stuff you write, and it’s wonderful when other people listen to your music and like what you’ve created. However it really is all about the music and wanting to do something I absolutely love full time. Performing with top musicians, writing and recording is as good as it gets for me…so if anyone wants to invest to help me bring this dream to life, please let me know!