Part of being an independent artist is the fact that YOU are in charge of your own destiny. Whether that means you work your butt off for a year to put out an album and let it sit because you’re so exchausted, or you turn right around and start marketing that puppy straight away. Whether you are writing new music, or not.
It’s. Up. To. You.
You are constantly, constantly, conSISTENLY trying.
This past week was kind of an odd one for me. I’ve been really caught up in trying to market my new album – which takes a lot of time, by the way. So much time, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to ever be finished marketing. New stradegies and marketplaces open up all of the time. Others close down (eh HEM download.com). I think it is safe to say that I am STILL marketing Key of Sea, which I released 2 and 1/2 years ago. And it’s probably taken this long to see the level of popularity for it that is encouraging, partially thanks to “Jennifer Thomas Radio” on Pandora developing a huge following.
So to embark on the process of marketing a new album is a bit overwhelming at first. You never feel like you are going to get all the things on your list completed. And all of the places where you worked so hard to get your first album into, it seems like starting all over again with submission processes.
This past week I have feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Consumed by it and allowing the stress to really get to me. That, and also trying to remember exactly how I put on this thing called “thick skin”. Oh that’s RIGHT! As an artist I put myself out there to be critiqued and so it’s expected and I am uneffected.
He-he, can I please laugh at that statement? Because it is so not true. Well,…unless when it comes to critique on something where I am actually not happy with the work myself. So in a way, I know and expect the negative response. (I’m speaking of my song “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Key of Sea…a song which even though I think it is hip, in hindsight, I don’t think it was a great fit for that album and YES I’ve reaped the blessed recorse of comments from opera purists).
My point is – there is a LOT that can overwhelm you as an indie artist. It has me lately.
And then something happened that made me realize how utterly unimportant stuff like this is, and how precious LIFE is…
Jace Vek and I at our Dec ’08 Concert in Seattle
A fellow musician collegue of mine, who is also a dear friend, recently experienced a tragic trial of his own.
On the afternoon of July 25th, Jace Vek was attacked from behind as he was walking up to his front door. A group of men, one of whom had a brick, bashed the back of his head in and then they all proceeded to beat him in the face and body until he was left for dead. In fact, he was dead when he arrived at the E.R in the ambulance. They had to administer CPR and stick a tube down his throat. He suffered 2 skull fractures and several concussions (among many other things).
Nobody heard from him in a week, and when he finally announced what had happened, it shocked me to my very core. This just DOESN’T happen to people I know.
He is home resting and recovering now, but I can’t help thinking about him every day and what happened. It sure does make you realize how petty every day worries are. The neat thing is how incredibly forgiving Jace has been to the perpetrators, whereever they are. He wishes them to find joy and correct their ways, never again to do this to another human. He prays for them.
I pray for Jace.
What an interesting week. I guess to sum everything up, all we can do is to take everything one day at a time. Keep trying. DO something every day. BE grateful. Be yourself.
Trials are a part of life. Regardless, you just have to keep TRYING.