Dear Indie Girl,
Happy Friday. I hope your weekend plans are shaping up nicely. James and I are headed up north in just a few hours to spend time with family and to sit and relax for 3 whole days! GLORIOUS.
Recent weeks have been filled with lots of ups and downs. I’ve been trying to soak up as much information as I can about booking and promoting shows. I’ve been booking for our band for a while now, and it’s gone well. I’m just trying to set a clear path out in front of our feet so we know where we’re going.
I can get so overwhelmed with businessy things. I was talking with my friend Mallory the other day (she’s in a band called The Rough & Tumble check them out!). We were talking about how easy it is to get swept up in the work of the music business. As Indie girls in bands, we book, promote, and fund our own bands and projects… but we’re artists. We’re not business people. We didn’t dream of spending hours emailing venues and networking at shows for new contacts when we were kids! If someone had told me I’d be doing that when I grew up I probably would have chosen something else to do. We do it because we love music, and we want to do all we can to succeed. But pretty soon, the business end of music takes over the creative end of music and you wake up one day and realize it’s been 4 months since you last sat down to write a song, or you can’t remember the last time you last sat down to write a song. It’s exhausting.
But if it means we get to share our original music with new people at our next gig… we’ll do it. We’ll labor for the miracle of music and how it connects people.
James keeps reminding me that I need to put writing music first. I’ve been resisting this, and I don’t really know why. I think it’s anxiety. Because I’m not great at being a business woman, I spend more time working in that area so to improve it and less time working on music. The problem is, I very quickly begin resenting music because of the business. Why? Because I stop having fun.
I think I forget to have fun, actually. I forget that I’m supposed to have fun. That a part of making great music is the joy in creating. People are drawn to that. When they sense that you love what you do, and you do it well, I think it’s magnetic. People will want to know why you’re having so much fun, and want to be a part of that.
So I’ve made a decision, and it’s not an easy one. But I’ve decided I’m going to have fun. Weird, right?
I’m reading these two books side by side. They’re both on writing. One is called “The War of Art”. The other is called, “Take Joy”. “The War of Art” compares art (specifically, the art of writing) to War. The enemy is resistance. That invisible force that distracts you, frustrates you, and does pretty much anything to keep you from doing your art. This is an interesting and compelling concept, I think. At least I thought. Until this morning. The section I was reading this morning talked about being a soldier. Pressfield (author), says artists need to know how to be miserable, much like soldiers. He went on to describe how terrible being a soldier is and how being a writer is similar. My stomach turned. Why would anyone want to be an artist or a writer if this were true? I get what he’s saying, I think. Being a writer for a living is not an easy job, and you need to get used to that idea. For a long time, it doesn’t get easy. Maybe it never will.
The other book, “Take Joy” is about taking joy in writing. Yolen (Author) says, you need to enjoy writing because you may never get published, you may be the only reader- so you might as well make sure you enjoy what you’re reading.
I’m much more drawn to the second idea, aren’t you? I’d rather take joy in what I do everyday, or else sooner or later, I’m just going to give up.
Bottom line: Booking, promoting, managing a band is important work. But it’s useless if your music sucks. The first killer of my music is stress and anxiety. But when I make writing music one of the first things I do in a day, my skills as a writer are sharpened daily, and everything else is a little bit easier.
Let’s have some fun!