Vacation from the drudgery of work & stale daily routines… sunny beaches and sounds of surf & seagulls… boating with the feel of wind & salt spray in your face… Summer means ‘play time,’ right?
Ever since Kindergarten, we were conditioned to know summer meant no school and a lot of goofing off. We still feel that Spring itch that tells us to put work on hold and check out.
Unfortunately we’re grown-ups now, and taking a whole summer off is not in the cards for most of us if we’re taking our music careers seriously. So how can we make our summer work time enjoyable and appealing?
Much of it is a change of attitude.
A great article recently reposted on our Onstage Success Facebook page, 9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist, cites the work habits and mindset it takes to be a professional artist. So many great points in this short blog and I felt the truth in all nine points.
The first Warning Sign noted is that “Amateur Artists wait for Inspiration.” We all know the “1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration” thing, right? Sadly, many of us sit around waiting to be inspired. But as professional musicians know, you can’t afford to do that. We’ve got to have the discipline to sit down regularly and do the work. Work that muscle, prime the pump, and inspiration will come alongside.
It occurs to me now, that this is similar to what we say to those who say they just want to ‘be spontaneous’ onstage – which rarely works, by the way. You need to work out a plan and prepare your show, so when something spontaneous (inspiration) pops up, you can take some risks. You’re ready and can go with it!
Conversely, when you’ve done all the work behind the scenes of your music career – done the prep work – then you’re ready to reap the rewards when the opportunities open up.
A huge part of being a pro is simply showing up! Sitting down with your guitar, practicing your scales, working on your show, brooding over and creating moments and ordering your set list, writing down lyric ideas, doing your vocal exercises, etc.
Then aside from the creative part of what you do, you need to take care of business too… get on your computer or phone to answer emails, post and promote concert dates to social media, call venues and promoters… and that’s just part of your list! It’s endless if you’re in this by yourself for sure, but there’s always something to be done.
So wake up tomorrow and get a sweat going! Not the 100 degree, 80% humidity kind… the ‘get-up-and-get-to-work-on-that-list-of-things’ sweat.
Yes, take time to put your feet in the sand — but come home refreshed and dig in. The pay-off is worth it.
Photo courtesy of Jerry O’Connor