The waiting is the hardest part - Tom Petty
Happy New Year! Like most people, I spend time at the beginning of the year analyzing the past and planning for the future. It is usually a very fun and exciting time for me because I am a goal-oriented person. I really enjoy doing my research and coming up with a plan. I know exactly what I want to accomplish and how to go about doing it, it almost seems too easy. However, as an independent musician it is never easy and reaching my goals can become extremely frustrating. This is not because it is difficult to come up with music that I am passionate about or because it is difficult to set goals, but because the plan takes so long to execute. As an independent musician there is a limited number of resources at my disposal (i.e. money, time and people), which means that I have to do everything on my own with a limited budget. Things start to take way longer than anticipated and my deadlines get extended. So for me the hardest part about being an independent musician with a plan is the waiting.
Tomorrow I will be stepping into the studio to record songs for my new EP. I have been planning the release of this EP for what seems like an eternity but in reality it has only been a few months. It has given me some anxiety lately, not from fear or uncertainty but from just waiting for the plan to unfold. I had written the songs for the EP a while ago and I have been eager to release them. However, there are so many steps in the process that it takes a lot of time and this is frustrating. Finding a studio, finding musicians, designing cover art, distributing the EP, booking shows to support the release and all the other things that a team of people do for established artists all need to be done. Some of these things cost a lot of money, some of these things can’t be done until another is finished and some things just aren’t up to me. For instance, I scheduled studio time at the end of November but the only time it fit into everyone’s schedule is the beginning of January. I was ready to record the day I booked the studio! Stuff like this gives me the feeling like I am not in control and that the results are out of my hands.Coming to an understanding that this is how it goes as an independent artist has really helped me chill out. I am doing all of the work that a team of people usually do and it is going to take time. It is ok. It will sometimes take months for an idea I have to come to fruition. It may even take years or a decade before I even feel that I “made it” as an musician. Stressing about it will not make it happen an faster. Once I realized this, I was able to start working and living in the moment. I constantly make lists of tasks I need to do and then devote my full attention to each task, one at a time. I can’t do it all at once. I keep my mind on what I am doing in the moment and try not to worry about when it will be finished. Finally, I find other ways keep my mind busy and fill the void that “waiting” creates. I play darts, I exercise, I write blogs about “waiting”. Even so, it is still hard for me to wait. Luckily, I don’t have to wait any more, I’m going into the studio tomorrow!