#indiary - number one

Some people find it therapeutic to write down their thoughts and stuff. I am not sure I am one of those people. I do, however, find it easier to assess my current state of mind when writing. Hence, the beginning of this blog.

I recently quit my job, dropped a whole bunch of responsibilities, and decided to give music my undivided attention for the foreseeable future. In an interesting universe collaboration, the day after I handed in my resignation, Chris (my drummer), was given a redundancy. Coincidental? We like to think not. Almost four months in and things are taking shape nicely, but as self-employed creatives we both find it difficult to negotiate the ups-and-downs between the euphoria of say, having our music being played on radio, and the tension of not knowing how much work we are going to book each month.

There have been weeks when everything has fallen into place, we have booked shows, made new contacts, got lots of enquiries and created great tunes. Then there are weeks where none of that happens. Its kind of like when you have a great social media post; everyone likes, comments and shares and you get your hit of dopamine and feel great. Then your next post is a complete flop. I mean, it may still be a good post, but for whatever reason, be it algorithm, time and place or general disinterest, you don’t get the same reaction. That’s kind of what it is like to be a completely independent, self-sufficient musician, creating your own art, marketing it and sourcing your own work. Not wanting to be disrespectful to any other self-employed person, but there is something about selling art that is deeply personal. Yes, we are also selling a service, but part of that service is who we are on show. We have invested countless hours of practise refining our craft in a bedroom, no-one watching, not being paid, creating music we hope that people will enjoy and be moved by. And so there is this tension every week that involves huge highs and crazy lows because everything we do as creatives is personal.

I think that is what is so amazing about creatives. There is feeling in everything we do. There is something transcendent about art and beauty and creatives who plug into that are all too aware of its power and potential. The tricky part about it is that, again, everything is personal. That means that when a creative decides to put themselves out there they are basically bearing their soul, and I think that is why creatives experience this rollercoaster of emotions so often. Its not just that we are moody musicians. Its that we feel things differently because of what we do. So part of writing this is really helping me understand my own ideas about what it means to work now that I am fully self-sufficient. It means that I am responsible for creating my own income; I am in complete control of what I want to do. This is both extremely exciting and unnervingly scary. The challenge is to traverse the ups-and-downs without letting the ups keep your head in the clouds, and without letting the downs feel like its a lost cause.

I am honestly not sure who, if anyone, will be interested in reading this blog. Its only going to be short, and will be a recap of my experience as an independent musician and what I did and learnt each week. But part of writing and posting is to train my mind to not pay attention to who is listening and liking, and more on doing it for myself. Just like I need to be when creating music.

Til next week.

Joshua McGovern