The fact is that most of what I write and my performances are crap. Not horrible, awful, I have never practiced and I’m shitfaced when I perform, typical open mic crap (show up and throw up) but workmanlike crap. Songs and music that just don’t quite connect with the strangers I am trying to connect with when I play out.
Forget friends and family — they lie. Your own ears, friends and family, teachers will tell you your crap work is “awesome.” They lie. Search out experiences and people that will call you on your crap.
Most of what all of us produce is really weak, dum and misses the mark by a mile (aka crap). Welcome to being human and an artist. C’mon. How much of what you do at your day job is worth anything? Very little. That’s reality. Accept it — if you want to get better.
Getting better. That’s the golden key. The silly wish, the hope the dum dream that I can actually write a better song (someday) and get better at my craft.
Of course, this wish is a complete delusion — but I’m rolling with it. Heck, it’s what drives me to spend the endless hours of hateful boring writing and rewriting and practice, practice, practice.
So I delude myself that there is a pony as I scoop out the stinking , smelly feaceas – with my hands – at the bottom, or somewhere in the steaming, stinking pile of shit. “I wear this crown of shit, upon my liars’ chair.” (Whair’s this drum, c’mon?)
The BIG MISTAKE is to actually believe my delusions of my work being awesome and stop the endless hours of work. Delusion is fine as long as I keep spending 20-40-60 hours a week (mainly alone) writing or practicing. But ANYTHING that makes me cut back the work – mostly producing crap — is EVIL.
Does this sound harsh? lol Not near as harsh as your audience’s attention and lack of interest in your work if you don’t give them your absolute best. EVERY TIME you get up in front of them.
Here’s the ticket. If you produce your absolute, exhausted, full-of-doubts, endless hours of work best — your audience will hear and respect that. They may not “like” it but they will know you have tried your best and will give you respect. Your absolute best is rarely crap – but equally rarely popular (today).
Can I get an AMEN!?