A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about faith. How you have to have it in order to have the guts to chase after your dreams. Now lets discuss what it feels like when that faith decides to take a vacation.
So I’m sitting at a friends show starting to write this post – thats right, I’m doing both. I’m a girl and I multitask. Also their on break…I’m not that much of an ass.
So I’m here. And the music is great. The players are amazing. The band is completely in sync. The bar is dope….And no one is here.
Well there’s a couple people here. But not as many as there should be, talent-wise. They’re not letting it phase them like the pros that they are. But it means that they’ll probably walk out of here having made tens of dollars. If that.
Now imagine playing show, after show, after show like that. Then imagine being a solo artist playing show after show like that, while having to pay the musicians you hire. Then imagine being a solo artist, playing show after show like that, while having to pay musicians, while on tour…Now I’m not saying I’m as talented as that band. Or that just because musicians put on great shows that they deserve to have a good crowd. The world doesn’t owe us anything. What I am saying is that when you put your heart and soul into something you love and find out that very few are paying attention and that you’re losing money while doing it…it can be defeating.
When I first moved to Nashville earlier this year I was told by a very smart friend that in the music industry you play a game called “15 minutes of doubt.” At the time I nodded my head and chuckled. I had just moved and was feeling great about life and my decisions. I’m very familiar with doubt though and agreed that that was an accurate depiction of the industry. I even messaged him a few months later to see how he was and explained to him that I just went through my 15th minute and had a moment of doubt. We had a good laugh.
Now fast forward to today. I’ve been sitting on this post, wanting to discuss this topic and feeling stuck. I just got off a week-long tour that was amazing in a lot of ways, and frustrating in a lot of others. The summation of the tour is that tours are expensive and difficult to advertise to new people in new towns. It cost me so much money that I’m not sure I have enough to go into he studio again, which is scheduled in a couple months. And so much money I’m not sure how we’re going to find the money to tour and promote this next release. So much money that this 15 minutes of doubt has lasted several days now, which is the longest I’ve ever experienced.
I guess it makes you stronger to have that little voice in your head constantly asking, “Will this ever amount to anything?” “What makes you so special?” “Why even try?”. It makes you stronger to fight against that voice and overcome it for 14 minutes at a time. The day after I came back off the road I sat down and crunched the numbers on cost/profit of the tour. I knew the tour was going to be expensive but had no idea that it would be that bad. I literally sat down on the floor of my room and bawled. Like a child. I sat there in my tears and snot and felt sorry for myself for a good chunk of time, giving into that little voice. “Will I ever amount to anything? Is it too late for me?” I finally took a deep breath and stopped crying. Not because I felt better but because I was dehydrated and literally had no more tears. I looked up and my eyes caught a picture on the wall. It’s a picture of a paragraph blown up to font 30 or so. Every word is crossed out though. Every word except,
Just keep going.
I sighed. I didn’t want to. That little voice was still screaming in my head, “You’re never going to amount to anything!” It wasn’t an aha moment were suddenly I found faith and hope again. It was a moment where I made a decision. Despite all odds. I will just keep going.
In a fairy tale the story would end here. Happily ever after. In reality, since coming back off the road I haven’t shaken this 15th minute of doubt yet. Everyday has been a decision. I wanted to share this not because it’s a profound story or realization. But because I think everyone has these moments. 15 minutes of doubt is what everyone has to battle with while pursuing their dreams. So just know that you’re not alone. Next time that 15th minute rolls around, let yourself wallow in it, take a deep breath and get up and just keep going.