For any artists out there that are feeling down, feeling like you not moving forward, feeling like you should give up; I have been there. I fight every day not to stray from my path. The struggle will never go away, but you can better position yourself to deal with it. Here are some things that help keep me sane and focused.
-Do not compare your success or ability to the success or abilities of others. We ALL have unique traits in our abilities. You are unique, your story is different, my story is different. Measuring yourself up to other people is a sure way to feel inadequate. Don't try to be better than others, try to be better than YOU were yesterday.
-Focus on what you can control, not what you cannot. We are living through a pandemic. We can't tour, we can't even play at a local venue and it blows. Use this time to practice as much as you have ever practiced. Experiment with new recording techniques. If you are not recording yourself, you best start doing it. Learn how to be self-sufficient.
-Try to stay positive even when everything sucks. The universe responds to our energy. I promise you if you can manage to REALLY feel positive, find the good in almost any situation, you WILL attract positive things into your life.
-Cut ties with negative band members or negative people in general. I cannot stress this enough. People with bad energy WILL bring you down. It is hard enough being in a band with people, clashing on ideas, and whatnot. If on top of that you have someone who consistently has a bad attitude, either you get out or get that person out. Don't waste any more time, do it now!
Lastly, do not let anyone tell you that your passion is not worth pursuing. If you truly believe in your heart that music or art is your reason for being than you BETTER tell those naysayers to screw off. This is very personal, but I have gone through that first hand. Since my early days as a musician, I had always been steered away from music as a serious profession. I won't make any money they say, it's not a career. A smirk here a giggle there 🤬. At one point I actually did give up on music and guitar playing altogether. I went to college, got a Bachelors and an Associates's degree. All the while feeling completely dead inside. That is what if feels like to deny yourself your purpose. Let me tell you.. I don't give a shit if I make lots of money as a musician. I am going to find a way to keep pushing forward in this life. I AM where I want to be right now and I WILL be where I want to be tomorrow.
Rant over, this is what helps me cope and progress every day. I hope it helps someone else 🖤
Photo by Adam Sue