singer/songwriter :: creative individual :: from Nashville, TN
Many conversations with friends and fellow musicians have sparked this idea lately. I'll put it out there in hopes of husling up some more discussion and possibly opinions on the matter.
It seems for most musicians, or people of any field, for that matter, there comes a time where you make a decision to follow a broad range of focus, or a small range of focus. To be specific with the Music Industry, I have friends who have, since they day I've known them, focused on one aspect of themselves; worn only one hat. Whether it was playing country guitar licks, running live sound, or writing catchy songs, most of these people have come to excel at the field they've focused on, and rather quickly. However, most of them are also in their late 20's with little to no assets, no time at all, and less than stable personal relationships.
On the other hand, I have friends that have gone the way of "wearing many hats." These people soaked up anything about everything when it was time for them to learn, but don't really see themselves as a superior expert at any one particular knack. In the music industry, these folks seem to excel as well, but differently. Their progress seems to be a slower climb, but it's usually filled with a more step-wise goal oriented path, and little victories along the way.
My question is, with the status of the Music Industry as it stands, is there a middle ground between these two? I've been wrestling with a quote that Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, said at the opening ceremonies for the Berklee School of Music this year. Urging the new students to spend their time there wisely, he said:
"You’re surrounded by cool tempting people, hanging out casually, telling you to relax. But the casual ones end up having casual talent and merely casual lives."
Is the middle ground between these two mindsets just a casual style of living, irresponsibly bouncing from moments extreme focus to days or weeks of broader scoped work? Or is this the new model; an independent, entrepreneurial creative who is able to organize, create, and mold to the quickly changing industry?
Is this the best of paths? Or the worst of paths? Which one are you on? Let the comments begin.
~ Michael Shoup
I'm a singer/songwriter and web designer out of Nashville, TN. "Professional Person" or "Creative Individual" works too. Like most people I know, I live life with the greatest of intentions. Sometimes the fruit of action falls far from the tree. Sometimes you eat it for breakfast. I write about my life and that of others around me. I hope they don't mind, and I hope it makes you think.