Thursday, July 2, 2009

One Step Further...

Sooner or later you come to a crossroads. You've created all of this fantastic music/art/groovy-stuff, and you get to a point where you have to take a plunge to move forward. It's a first. Your first CD, exhibition, book, sale...whatever it is, it's filled with as much terror as it is excitement.

We live in an era where we can't make up the excuses we used to. Anything is possible. We generally have access to the tools to make this project happen, but it's fraught with the pain of "what if". What if it doesn't sell, what if i get bad reviews, what if I'm rejected? But here's the thing...nothing in this world is guaranteed. There is no water-tight solution for success.

And what is success? I measure success in the ability to create something out of nothing, regardless of whether hoards of people come flocking. How many times have you heard of artists struggling all their lives, only to be recognised after their deaths because of their extraordinary contribution to the world culture? How many films have been dismally received only to become cult icons decades later? And how many cds have had no airplay, yet warm the hearts of a few? I told myself at the beginning of my career that if i could touch the heart of one human being, and move them to make a change for the better, my work was done. Then i read my first fan letter, a stranger whom i didn't know changed his life because he was inspired. I was moved so deeply that my heart cried, and i made an oath to myself that my work had only just begun.

I remember the angst of creating my first independent release. The decision seemed agonising, but i knew it had to be done. I owed it to my children, to lead by example, and i had always believed that being a closet artist was a selfish occupation. Being creative doesn't come easy to many, so the rest of us have an obligation to share what we do with humanity. I lent on that idea every step of the way. I had to learn how to keep myself out of the way.

My first boxes of CDs sat in a cupboard for many moons. I had no idea what to do next, so for a long while i did almost nothing. Then i decided there was nothing to lose, and thought that even giving them away had to be better than taking up space in my office. I gave myself a hard time. I struggled with the "what if"s, but i was stubborn enough to not give up.

Things are a bit different now. Not because all i touch turns to gold, but because i have a method...a process. I'm experienced now, so the fear is assuaged. I still wonder about failure, but each time i release something new, i remind myself that the only failure is to do nothing. If i end up getting stuck with a few boxes full of CDs, well hey!! So what! I'll always have a gift to give to a stranger. And what better gift to give is there that a part of yourself.

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