There is a point in every writer/artist’s career that you say “What am I doing this for?” Everything you do. Particularly recording, costs money, you never seem to catch up, and 90% of the time, even the most carefully thought out, carefully created, produced and elaborately cared for, mixed with blood sweat and soul don’t earn enough to pay even half of your costs. Most of the public could care less and everyone that used to buy music now expects everything for free.
In the lines of a song I wrote, “Tables and Chairs”
“YOU DON’T CHOOSE MUSIC, MUSIC CHOOSES YOU.”
Be careful what you write. It does come true.
I’m writing this as I am putting the finishing touches on what may be my last physical CD,
“A LIFE WELL LIVED.”
It is a ten song compilation of my favorite songs, recorded the way I WANT THEM TO BE, without regard for publishers, labels, pitching to artists, or acceding to demands of others, worried about budgets, cutting corners and sacrificing one’s soul. This is all me. Stand or fall.
So why do it?
As the Internet has become more and more involved in our lives, and more and more driven to the brink of bankruptcy trying to stay involved with our chosen way of life. For those of us who have done it for a long time (some 40 years of living this dream for me) we’ve seen an entire industry virtually disappear from our lives. Venues, gigs, publishing, record, production deals, all have given away to social network platforms, unending competition, talent contests, with even major artists being less and less able to monetize what they do. Basically overworked, and undercompensated.
Welcome to life.
A lot has always been that way. (there is a reason there is a term, “STARVING ARTIST”) but now with 30-50 million artists and writers and a billion songs a month going out there, it is easy to lose hope and just give up. And for someone like myself who tries to TEACH this stuff (I work as a teacher/mentor and consultant to writers and artists trying to find their own way in all this) you constantly ask that question. WHY DO THIS?
You fight the urge constantly when someone asks your advice or some parent of a teenager asks for direction with their kid, to say “RUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!”
But you don’t. First because it’s not your place, and second, this might be THE ONE who breaks through all the odds. Or because it might just make their lives and those of people around them a little better. I’ve always said that when you sit across from someone going through the death of a loved one, Cancer or some other health or emotional problems, and you make their lives a bit better by helping them with THEIR DREAMS.
That’s why I do it, I guess.
We do it for personal satisfaction, to leave a record of WHAT WE DID. And of course, you do hope people will care enough about you to actually PURCHASE it from you. That would be nice. So I’m doing it. I’ll be back in there with one more CD, (No, I’m not retiring or quitting or anything even recording, I just don’t plan on any more physical CD’s. Most all is going to digital downloads, so I will too.) I’ll do some pictures. Probably a video. Have it on social networks, I Tunes, and the other avenues that we all have to do these days.
But the key to me is THE MUSIC. As I have sat and listened to what myself, Jay Verne, and several amazing musicians and singers have created, I would think to myself, “THAT IS WHY I DO THIS.” Cause it KICKS MY OWN BUTT!!! I’m really proud of this. Hope some of you will get into it. And thanks for always supporting all of us who try to write something down and record it.
I hope you feel it is worth it.