Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to spend my "music time"

Lest you think there is anything glamorous about writing music in your spare time, I would like to fill you in. It’s true that during the best of times, music is rewarding enough to be worth all of the work, but that’s my point … it’s a lot of work! And at the crux of that work is the fact that it takes much more than creating music to find lasting success; it requires budgeting time regularly to promote yourself. Remember the old saying, “If a tree falls in the forest but no one hears it, does it make a sound?” Musicians have to spend time making sure they are heard.

I don’t have a lot of discretionary time (who does?), so when there is time to work on music, I often face decisions like, “Do I work on a new song, or transcribe a new quick riff, or plan gigs, or do media outreach, or develop marketing strategies, or touch base with fans on my social sites, or update my website, or play with audio mixes, or just jam?!?”

Experienced music coaching consultant Tim Sweeney said, “Too often when I speak at a music conference artists will say to me, ‘I don’t want to do all the work you are talking about. I just want to play.’ I tell them if you are serious about your music then you need to focus on building your career so it will last.” Take it from the expert.

I once spoke with a friend whose book was picked up by a well-known publisher. He was thrilled but felt apprehensive at all of the self-promoting he knew he would be doing for the next several months in order to meet his obligations. He didn’t naturally like to draw attention to himself, not because of a lack of confidence but because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. I told him I knew exactly what he meant. I guess I’m always hoping that my music can do its own talking rather than me having to say anything.

So I guess the point tonight is that you may see me posting a lot about new songs or the new website (thanks for being so excited about, btw), but know that I am very grounded and that I don’t take myself too seriously. Ok, well I guess I spent my “music time” tonight blogging instead of working on new songs, so back to work…

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