Dreams are Free: Hustle is Sold Separately

Recently I was giggling with a good friend and fellow songwriter about what a typical day looks like as an indie artist. This particular day, in addition to my eight hour day job, I...
  • Reviewed and completed a music license for specific TV pitch
  • Reviewed and completed a music license for another company to represent a song of mine
  • Had a conversation with a friend about possible music for her weekly podcasts---and researched typical rates for podcast licenses
  • Followed up on a local play that is licensed a few songs
  • Finished a song in a co-write
  • Spent an hour on social media scheduling and interacting
  • Spent an hour on email following up, replying, reaching out, etc.
I'm not sharing this list to try to impress anyone---and I'm certainly not complaining because it took me a long time to build my career to the point I have this much to do! I'm just saying that unlike popular opinion THIS REALLY IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. Day in and day out.

And it's what I want to explain to people when they say, "Oh I'm so jealous! You're living the dream!" Now, I fully agree that pursuing any dream is a privilege, but that privilege comes with a ton of hard work, grit and disappointment. And we as artists tend to forget that it's day by day, inch by inch.

For example, I once heard an artist announce that their goal was to write a hit song that year. That's a good goal, right? The reality was, though, that this particular artist didn't schedule co-writes, didn't work on writing alone and had never even finished a full song. And at the end of the year (and the following three years) there were no songs at all---forget about 'hits.'

I loved this blog post from MusicConsultant that described the way the media views success as an artist, and how certain stories are more compelling than others.

So, I think my point here is that in general no one wants to hear about the work---they want to skip to the big payoff. At the same time, in my opinion, the work is what makes you who you are as a person and an artist. And, personally, I would never want any success just handed to me.

Pretty much this quote says it all: "Dreams are Free: Hustle is sold separately." And there is a of lot hustle in the music industry...

So what do you think?