Whether you want to be an artist, producer, mix engineer, singer, songwriter, it doesn't matter. At some point you will wonder if pursuing this dream was a good idea. You've been doing this for 5 years, you had some success but lately nothing has happened, you feel you are struggling to find motivation, streaming numbers aren't going up, you can't get on the playlists that you want to be on, your parents keep asking you why you're not famous yet....
I can tell you, from experience, there are times when your dream, inspiration or success is at a flatline. Most of the times it's temporary, so not to worry, but how can you still create movement in times like these?
Here are some tips!
1. Find a team.
There are people out there just like you but in other creative industries, there are photographers and film makers looking for their break, producers looking for artists, artists looking for songwriters , find people who are just like you and become a team. You all have each other something to offer at this point, so by sharing the burden you will share success. 3 people in your team means 3 more social media accounts, 3 more opportunities for feedback and 3 more friends. You can't do everything alone, so don't.
2. When things are moving, keep em moving.
Are you suddenly having some streaming success and your songs are getting added to playlists? Keep releasing songs! Did you record an album and are suddenly getting booking requests? Get a band together and play those shows! Are you getting 20 extra followers a day? Keep posting! Often it's not about having to do MORE it's about being consistent and keep doing it. Be ready for success. It's simple math, if you're suddenly in demand, show UP and keep showing up!
3. Treat it like a job.
If you have a 9 to 5 job, work on your music from 5 to 9, or get up 2 hours earlier and send emails. Having a set schedule and knowing what you can expect of yourself will help you reach your goals faster. Pick some regular night in your calendar and make them writing nights, or production time and stick to it. If it were a paid job, you couldn't just cancel, so why cancel on yourself??
Also, as a side note, on the topic of jobs.... having a side job is actually a really good thing. If you're a songwriter and you haven't scored a publishing deal yet, don't sit around and wait for that to happen. Get a job in a coffee shop, a museum, teach music... you need inspiration and stories to write about, you don't get that from sitting in your room.
So the last song you released, or the last 3 songs haven't gotten any playlists? Your last show was horrible? The last 2 songs you wrote were just average? Great, this means you are human. No one can succeed at everything, not everything you create is a hit, and even if it is, not all hits are released at the right time. This is ok, take your failure in stride, make a mental note and move on from it. Don't sit around and start doubting yourself, learn from it.
5. Be flexible.
I always wanted to be a songwriter, but I first became a film composer, producer, artist, performer instead, and now I'm all of the above. Don't be rigid in your goals. Sometimes a goal is just a point in life to take you to another place. By writing songs you might realize you actually really love production. You are the one creating your dreams, so you are allowed to change them.
I assume you are doing this to eventually make money with your passion. It is really hard to make a good living in the music industry, so if there is another branch that you suddenly find succes in, PLEASE chase it, even if it's not what you exactly envisioned. One thing can lead to another, but first, secure that spot that allows you the flexibility to be in the industry while still growing.
5b. KEEP GOING! Give me one example of a successful person who gave up......... exactly.....
so, keep going.