"Throw stuff until it sticks"
"Explore every option"
"Focus your effort"
"Obsess over your craft"
"Find a way in"
"You could be at the top"
"Keep doing what you're doing"
"Change your goal"
"What do you want?!"
I've gotten a lot of advice over the last couple of weeks. In setting out to become a self-sufficient artist, I felt the best place to start was to meet with other artists in a similar situation and gain some insight. It has been wonderfully informative, and if you are considering this path, I recommend that you talk to LOTS of people.
The different viewpoints have been incredible and confusing and clarifying and fascinating. More or less, I'm hearing the same message over and over but framed in ways that I've never considered or imagined. The ideas and inspiration I've received have challenged me and disappointed me and invigorated me.
But at the end of it all, what is MY path? What is MY decision?
If one thing is for sure, I know I'm on the right path, even if I can't see the end of it.
There are so many options for how to proceed with my career. There are so many choices I need to make to solidify my brand and my image as an artist. There are so many things I want to do! But should I approach every one of them? I'm not entirely sure...
There are things I really enjoy doing, like making videos and singing and performing and dreaming up new ideas and putting them together and posting them to the world. Apparently, I'm very suited for it since I'm comfortable being recorded and watched. Not many people I know would voluntarily plaster their face all over the Internet and volunteer to be on stage in a costume from "Oklahoma" and go to a networking happy hour all within the same week. That is what life has been like lately: so wonderfully chaotic and vulnerable. According to many of the people I've talked to, I should be sticking my neck out even further!
In doing all of this, I have realized the importance of taking care of myself too: both body and mind. I've exercised more, walked outside more, and started meditating. Every now and then, I've had these panicked moments where I begin to doubt everything I've been doing and considering the safety of a 9-5 job again.
Then something incredible happens: the universe jumps in and says "nope, you're fine" and I am blessed with some random event that saves my butt. For example, this week I received quite a bit of money (out of nowhere!) to help out with my monthly expenses. I was convinced I was opening worthless trash and it turned out to be checks in the mail! All I could think about while I was opening the envelopes was, "all of this positive, opening oneself to the universe might actually be working!" Could it be?
I feel so incredibly lucky to be afforded this life that possesses the freedom and the flexibility to invest my time in my dreams. I feel so blessed to have a supportive family and husband and to live in a city built on the success of artists like me. I am surrounded by dreamers and do-ers and people with ambitions as crazy as mine! It would be insane not take advantage of my situation!
So what advice will I take?
-I'm going to do the things that will propel me in the direction I want to go in, and even though I'm still trying to figure out exactly where that is, I know what feels right and what feels good.
-I'm not going to be ashamed to do the things I need to do for myself like releasing an album so I can let go of the past
-I'm not going to be afraid of sticking my neck out there and taking a risk for myself in an effort to expand my network and my skill level
-I'm going to play to my strengths and market myself and my brand with those skills
I hope some of my clunky process has been helpful to you, and I hope to inspire you as I have been inspired by my peers.
Wishing you clarity in direction, and success in action.