I figure that with the recent environment and the impact it has had on music that maybe I can take another avenue to entertain for awhile. I think that most people aren't exactly the same in writing versus the spoken word. In the written world, there seems to me to be more time to think about precisely what you will say though I have been trying a bit of creative writing lately so I may jump around a bit here. I'm not sure how many people will read this, if it will even be visible to anyone, or if it is at all interesting but I'm up for something new so here it is.
I haven't read more than a paragraph or two of any blog so not really sure what to write about here or if there is a standard format. My interpretation is to basically write about whatever pops into my mind. Perhaps today a glimpse at my own introspection?
Recently, I have been kind of taking stock of where I sit in the music world and where I want to go. I have determined that I am simply not working hard enough. There are some people who know me who may say that statement is ridiculous; but it is true. I released my last album in August of 2020 and believed that the music would just kind of speak for itself. That I could send it out there and watch it ride off like a kid that just kept pedalling a bike for the first time without falling. My expectation was that it would get shared; that the songs I released would get added to radio, playlists, etc. That definitely happened, but not to the degree I was expecting. There are many reasons for that I am certain but ultimately there one specific one. Often I hear, "How is this not getting played on radio?" or "How come I haven't heard of you before?!" or "Why aren't you in Nashville?!". The answer that I convinced myself of was that you have to be signed to a big label; radio won't play indie musicians (which isn't completely untrue in my opinion); I don't have the time or the money to market the way I need to, etc. Excuses.
The real reason is this, which I have been pondering over the past few weeks....I haven't put in the work. I am super proud of my albums. I believe the songs are good enough to be played, featured, added, to almost any country format. Take me completely out of it, and the musicians that are on them, the production, etc are world class in my opinion. What I haven't done is consistently put in the work after the fact. I celebrated that it was out there. I hustled for a bit to have a few added to playlists. I took to social media and shared. I did a few interviews. I did all the things that other indie musicians were doing and that is the key statement. I did what everyone else was doing. I did that and expected a different result. To quote Robin Sharma, if you want to be in the Top 5%, you need to be willing to do what 95% are not. I didn't do what 95% are not. Instead, I promoted my album on social media...like everyone else; I released it on a Friday...like everyone else; I sent it off to different stations...like nearly everyone else. I didn't get up like Kobe and hit the gym at 5, come home for breakfast, work on my trade, get another workout in, work on my trade, journal, meditate, improve. I did what nearly everyone else does. I got caught up in life and lived in the 95% category.
When I began to play, people were astounded at the fact that I improved so quickly. That I was playing live shows in some great places with my own songs in such a short time. The secret....I put in the work. I practiced everyday for probably 3-4 hours. l didn't even realize that the time was passing by. I had help from a lot of people, but the more I put in, it seemed the more of those type of people were attracted into my life. I still had time with my family; I still held down a day job; but, my "spare" time was dedicated to practice...and I loved it. That was the path to the 5%.
Somewhere along the way, I lost focus on the process and without realizing it wandered off that path. My life is admittedly different now than it was when I first started on that path. My kids are into more things; Like many "maturing" adults, I have even more responsibility in my day to day; the environment and the scene are truly different...but...when I looked inside recently, when I took stock, when I stripped away all of the excuses, I realized I let "good enough" get in. I settled. When I started, I didn't realize that I was truly good enough to be a professional. It was a dream, but it wasn't something I was focused on. It just happened organically because I was focused on the process.
I recently vowed to myself that I needed to get back on that path. I have started actioning a few things...this blog I guess is one of them! There is hard work to be done. There are some early mornings in my future. There are some sacrifices coming. I am back to a mindset of enjoying the process without as much focus on the end result. I am back to putting time in with my guitar. I am back to writing. I'm grateful to be doing that.
I'm going to wrap this up here. I'm a little nervous about posting this which means that its probably right. My goal is to share a few thoughts most mornings. It will keep me honest and will help get my ass in gear. With any luck, and a lot of work, I will be able to reflect back at this day 1 blog and marvel about where this path led. Thank you to all of you who do listen to the music, both live and recorded. I am truly appreciative in sharing the experience with you and I look forward to sharing some new ideas and projects with you soon.