Dear singer/songwriter friends,
In this editorial letter, I would like to share some insights into how to deal with self-doubt and why it is not worth your energy!
If you feel intimidated by the music that is out in the market or you feel like your music just does not fit in, then this article is for you!
First off, let us dive into some typical self-doubt scenarios. You might be thinking:
- Are my songs strong enough to compete with what´s out there?
- Is my music modern/fresh enough?
- Are my songs boring?
- Can my vocals stand the test?
- Will people like my voice?
- Will people resonate with my lyrics?
…and so forth.
First of: Why are you thinking these thoughts? Why do you even bother? I´m sure you didn´t bother about these things as you were writing your songs. The answer is simple. Our music is a part of us and not getting any positive feedbacks feels like we are being rejected for who we are!
So all too often, we bend and adopt a style that isn´t ours, sing with a voice that isn´t ours, we copy and steal, so to enhance the chance to meet the market´s expectations.
Like in the cover image of this post, we hide ourselves, and instead reflect things we think people want to see and hear! By doing that, you are no longer an original artist, but a service provider.
Commercial music is indeed built upon market trends and stats! There is little room for art. You can go down that road of course! You can even do both. Write production music to promote specific products for example, but also write music that represents you. Every “career” looks different.
You need to choose on which side of the fence you want to stand primarily though!
At some point you will notice, that you have to focus your energy on one main project. At least for a while! If you chose the artsy side, then please, free yourself of expectations, definitions of success and the need to be understood. Instead, learn to respect yourself and your music for what they are. An expression of your creativity. A gift given to you! And trust that there is indeed a “market” for you! It might not be a mass market;)
There will be people out there that will resonate with what you do! People who value the art you produce and are happy to find something that stands out from the mainstream noise.
Not everyone will like what you have to offer! And not everyone will “get you”. And it will be harder to find your audience, because you will have to cut through the noise of the music market and land on their spotify list or youtube stream. However, I believe that true artistry is free from “the need to prove yourself”.
In my humble opinion, we often get carried away by what being a music artist looks like or whether we have a huge fanbase etc. However, did you start making music because of fans? If so, you might be wrong here anyways. Most of us started making music because we love it! Because it consumes us! It communicates what words alone can´t cover! It is a passion, something that fills our cup! So instead of worrying about other people´s cups and if they want your music with milk and sugar or if they prefer tea, keep your eyes on your cup! Keep it filled up! Eventually, people will want some of it! That´s just a law of nature! So be patient and be you!
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