I’m often asked whether I’ve thought about quitting being a professional musician.
Of course. A whole lot, actually.
This is a tough business. You’re rejected near as makes no difference 100% of the time. You’re commoditizing the things about which you’re most vulnerable, often feeling like you’re shouting into the void. How could you not entertain a kinder, gentler reality?
But there’s a difference between thinking about quitting, on a particularly bad day when they’re out of your favorite donuts at the Red Bicycle, and actually throwing in the towel.
I remind myself all the time that, at the macro level, I’ve never not wanted to be a professional musician. No other lifestyle’s spoken to me more eloquently, and I can’t imagine waking up everyday and not dedicating myself to creativity, the craft, and our community.
At the micro level, I’ve gone through chapters of teaching guitar lessons almost exclusively, doing freelance recording work almost exclusively, and touring with hipster R&B/Funk bands almost exclusively. All three iterations couldn’t be more dissimilar, and possess varying degrees of sex appeal, but they’ve kept me in the game, which is the only guaranteed path to success.
I’d hazard a guess that you’re not wanting to quit, per se. Maybe you need a break from the road. Maybe it’s time to take the plunge and start your own management company. Maybe you need to turn down hired gun work and focus on your original music.
But stay with us. Your voice is important, truly. Give yourself permission to be a different type of creative for a while. You don’t actually want to go back to school and become an accountant, do you? DO YOU?!