I had a couple of new friends here at the house this weekend, Steve Lawson and his wife, Lobelia. They are awesome folk, incredible musicians and purveyors of all things social media related; i.e. Twitter, ReverbNation, Facebook, etc.

Steve gave an awesome workshop on the future of musicians (in particular) and the rise of social media. It was engaging and for me, eye opening.

I had a moment there when the room went dark and I had this startling realization. I was robbed. My dream of pursuing music, songwriting, performing, recording…this was taken from me. I know exactly when it happened too. It happened the moment I saw that I wasn’t going to get a record deal before I was “too old” to get a record deal. It happened when my band broke up the first time and then the second time. It happened when I had my first child…then my second and my third and my fourth. It was taken from me each and every time I saw the unlikeliness of a “record deal” in my immediate future.

And I quit trying.

I wish I could say that I quit trying to get a record deal because that would have left my art intact. That would have left me an artist without a record deal rather than leaving me an artist soul without a motivation to make art. But I didn’t just quit trying for a deal, I quit making art.

I was robbed because I believed a lie. I believed the big commercial machine that was still very much large and in charge in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The lie was that without a deal it was useless to try.

And I’m angry that I believed that. And I’m thankful that I started writing again, starting pursuing the muse again, that I met Steve and Lo and all the other working artists I’ve been lucky enough to add as friends this last few years.

It’s not too late to pursue your dream, you know. I know the machine that fuels the economy which sells the “product” of your art (whatever it may be) will try to tell you that there is a deadline and a set of forms to be filled out in triplicate and a wall of fire and burning coals for you to walk through before you can continue but they are wrong…and they are no longer large and in charge.

Make your art. The world needs beauty. Don’t forget.


4 thoughts on “robbed…

  1. What’s interesting is how many people I currently see in the same spot. I can’t tell youi the times that I have debated to switch from music altogether (I am not a writer, more management), and I have many friends who have given up on music stuff in the last year. Simply put, it’s a daunting task to work with music, and there is no guarantee putting your all in will mean you will succeed. Reality sucks.

    However, your point that you were wrong about “without a deal it is useless to try” is spot on, especially today. I think you got some solid stuff going on with your music, so please keep at it!

  2. Yes. It is true for a “record deal.” It is true for a “publishing deal.” The old and false standard of needing to acquire a deal in order to “be an artist” is crumbling. I think if your recent creations are any indication, the “years that the locusts have eaten” will be restored. Are *being restored*. And you are helping teach and lead others in the process. It is beautiful to see.

  3. I did the same sort of thing, thought someone else better and smarter had written my books for me. Then I thought no, nobody writes the same and wrote the damn thing anyway. It’s taken 10 years, it’s complete but not finished! Go-ed I say! I doubt anyone will ever want to publish my book, it’s fantasy, it’s humour (the only thing agents and publishers are less interested in is poetry which I also write) and I’m not famous for anything else.

    What the heck? I’ve written it and I intend to ask them.

    Good luck.



  4. Chiming in here as what you say goes for the Arts World too. If you’re a musician I think you can do your own PR through social media… It depends a bit on where you’re at with your music. Musicians have been very quick to understand how to use Social Media to their advantage. Good for ya’ll! Seems to me artists less so.. Probably something to do with how much more easily it might be to reproduce what you do and sell it online than something “handcrafted” and in one-off original pieces, if you see what I mean. Anyway, all the best to and your music 🙂

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