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Wednesday 2 October 2013

Of Opportunities and Appetites

As some of you may know, at the end of July I took the opportunity to leave my day job. I'd been there a while and as a result I got a reasonable payout - not a retiring-to-the-caribbean type payout, but a don't-need-a-new-job-straightaway kind.
A number of you who knew about this have asked me if I'm going to take this as an opportunity to try and do something professionally (i.e. full time) with the music. Some of you have even tried to persuade me to do so ;¬)

I've given it a lot of thought, and I've sat down and done the maths, and it doesn't add up.
Trying to make a living playing your own music is hard. Really hard. I know a few professional musicians, and I know a couple who are doing it sticking to their own songs. At the end of every month they're scratching around wondering how they're going to pay the rent.
And they're better and more established musicians than me.

Maybe if I was ten years younger, maybe if I didn't have the shared commitments I now have, maybe if I still had the backing from the label, maybe then (in fact probably then) I would have given it a go.

But I'm not, I do and I don't, and, to be frank, I just don't have the appetite for it anymore. I sometimes think that to succeed in the creative business you need a certain kind of delusion that gives you enough self-belief to try and persuade others to believe too. I remember hearing a radio documentary about Bob Dylan years ago where one of his friends explained how Dylan invented a back story for himself; when he went down south he told people that he was already this successful musician in New York, on the verge of breaking into the mainstream.
I don't have that kind of delusion or drive. For the past few years mostly I've just been tired.

So I'll keep doing some open mics, and the acoustic sessions with the double bass, I'll probably keep recording the odd song here and there as well, but actually, at the moment, that's enough.


Anonymous said...

Yes, you really do need to be deluded to do anything. If you think otherwise, you're deluded.

Anyway, so long as the odd songs are sufficiently odd, less could well be more.......?

Dr3w said...

As long as the path you choose allows you to keep enjoying it. Imagine going full time and starting to resent playing!

Drew Stephenson said...

That's pretty much where I'm coming from, and if I do ever decide I want to do more, I'll just have to do it the hard way :¬)