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The Artist with a Day Gig
December 12, 2005 | 2:42 am

Ever notice how hard it is sometimes to devote yourself to your music, and your family, and your job, and etc., etc, ....? This may help.

One of the hardest things about being a musician is finding enough energy to spend on your music after everyone else has been paid. I mean, most of us have a "real" job, and or a family. We try to balance relationships, our spiritual walk, and our bodies, while making sure there's a little left over for some occasional down-time. It's hard enough to do all of this let alone find a few minutes here and there to scratch out some lyrics or work on becoming better musicians.

Musicians in this sort of a squeeze will often become jaded. They begin to feel that they have been given an artistic gift that just _needs_ to be shared, but they are stuck having to do rediculous things like work and pay bills and talk to their kids once in a while. What a curse! Seriously, I have talked to artists that get really depressed about this and I admit that I sometimes fall into that trap.

The problem is that the frustration does't work for your craft but against it. I think it's one of those hard-to-learn life lessons that the struggles of life come for a reason. They shape us, and so they shape our art. The more we struggle against our struggle, the less we learn. Maybe we need to let life roll and ask God what it is He wants us to learn or we might condemn ourselves to meet the same struggle again until we "get it".

So, I guess I'm trying to say that during this upcoming new year, we might do well to pay attention to life a little more and fight against it a little less. That boring job you're stuck in may just introduce you to a future spouse or best friend. You might find out that spending extra time with your family inspires your music in wonderful ways. It could be that putting God _before_ your art will involve Him in it in a truly beautiful way.

So don't be discouraged. Look up and let life happen!

Ed

Comments

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sideburnsbob's artist icon
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Your viewpoint is very positive and I share a similar idea - that things happen for a reason and that you create your happiness, if you know what I mean? I found myself working a really bad job - not only because it didn't do anything for me, but because parts of it undermined my code of ethics - but I was working to pay for a volunteer project in Northern Ireland that brings social awareness to the many injustices so prevelent in our world - all this through the arts. So I found myself not working for the money, but working so I could help people in the future - then I made a point of thinking "I am here in this job of my own choosing and even though I don't like it, I'm gonna go for it because even serving a customer pleasantly can change their day." I managed up to a point where I eventually quit - I guess it got the better of me - but I stayed far longer than I thought I'd be able to, so I definately grew from it. I then found I appreciated music alot more because for so much of my time I'd be yearning to create and unable to.
Thanks for sharing bro!
Latest Song: Sweet Anxiety
Artist Page Send Message December 24, 2005 | 6:22 am
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petercap0519's artist icon
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Ed,
You really hit home with your words. I put in my icomp bio, that my occupation is "tent maker", in reference to the Apostle Paul's "occupation" to pay the bills. I, like you have 3 kids, a full time job, a wife and various real life commitments, while all along struggling with the musical gift that I know God has given me. I agree that sometimes it feels more like a curse, especially when talking with family and friends who ask me why I haven't pursued other educational avenues to further my vocation.

Truth is, when music is in your blood, there's nothing you can do about it. It's a life condition and we just need to find the best way to give it a voice. For me I have been playing and leading worship in my church. Although it's not a paying gig, I still get great satisfaction in knowing that it helps to draw closer to God. And like you said, that's all that ultimately matters.

Anyway, I'd love to collaborate with you on something. I'm presently working on a self-produced CD, and I would be honored to have you place some icing on the cake. Look me up, and God bless.

Pete
petercap0519
Artist Page Send Message January 21, 2006 | 11:03 am
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Very interesting. I agree with the idea that we continue to face the same dilemmas over and over wherever we go until we learn what we are supposed to learn. I have experienced this phenomenon several times and it is undeniable at this point (to me, anyway).
Artist Page Send Message February 12, 2006 | 5:04 am
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Baboon's artist icon
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Grass finds its way to sunlight through cracks in the rock. Weeds are probably a better example. Our passions are weeds. No matter how many times they get stepped on, trampled, eaten, plucked, pulled or covered...they always find a way to spread out and stretch skyward...even if they have to go through the heart of a rock to get there.

Therefore...weed, rock and musicians will always go hand-in-hand. Heh. Seriously...artists are dreamers. Dreamers have a hard time accepting the fact there will never be enough time to do everything you want to do. Artists always have a hard time accepting responsibility.

Just establish the "minimum amount of time" you "must" play music and do it. If you're married, cut that time in half. If you've got a kid cut that time in half, again...repeat for each additional kid.

I had jillions of spare hours I wasted (being lazy and self-indulgent), before having kids. I've written twice as much music since having them, with one-fiftieth the free time. Having kids is boot camp. You gear up and git-r-done. You're tired...but that makes free time you eek out, all the better. You either get focused or you're in trouble.

Everyone deserves a few hours each week to be themselves. If you're watching TV and complaining about having no time for art...well...weeds don't watch TV, they just keep looking for a crack in the rock. When we terraform other planets, it will be weeds that we send, first--because they're successful "in spite of conditions."

Be a weed. Git-r-done.

Cheers!

PS...hey Ed, where's that collab I've been waiting for since 2005?
Artist Page Send Message May 22, 2006 | 1:06 pm
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Matt Granz's artist icon
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I'm a TV watching weed myself.
Artist Page Send Message November 5, 2006 | 9:21 pm
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TeddyC's artist icon
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Your music speaks volumes and your words are music ed ... nice neat circle that!
regards
Latest Song: Workin' hard all day Collab
Artist Page Send Message April 12, 2007 | 11:03 am
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Bob6stringer's artist icon
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Wise words, thank you.
Artist Page Send Message September 11, 2007 | 9:17 pm

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