balance music writing

Purpose

January 22, 2013

I was a totally lazy POS yesterday who stayed in her pajamas all day watching the presidential inauguration. My favorite moments of the day included Al Roker and pretty much anything James Taylor sang or said. Brian Williams is a huge fan of JT as well and had him do political analysis for an hour or so. It was pretty amazing. JT talked about how passionate he is about politics and that he had considered a run for a Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat. He said ultimately that his friends asked him, “Well, is that what you’re really meant to do?” It seems obvious to all of us and Brian Williams that we need/want James Taylor to write songs for us. I mean, who doesn’t love James Taylor? (You’re lying to yourself if you think you don’t. Deep down, you love him.) He’s an American poet.

But this is the very question that I’ve been struggling with. I never really thought that I was meant to be a singer. I have friends and have read interviews where the singer quite clearly states, “I am meant to sing.” I’ve really never felt that way. I think I tried to convince myself of it so that I could keep going, but I always felt guilty and self-indulgent when I thought of myself that way. I suppose you could call performing a service profession in the sense that you provide entertainment. But it’s certainly not a service profession in the way that health care or teaching is a service profession. I’m not even sure why I wanted to do it in the first place, honestly. I can’t remember. I think because it’s nice to be acknowledged and receive lots of praise and attention for your talents. But when I think back on high school – I suppose the time that most people’s interests take shape – I preferred English class and the publications room to all others, including drama and music. I loved our newsmagazine. Loved it. And don’t even get me started on how much I love English and grammar. Nerd doesn’t begin to approximate.

I keep flirting with the idea that I could make a living writing. But then I think that that must be even more impossible than being a performer. I mean, how many rejections would I have to endure? What do most writer’s say? 10? A lot. I guess acting was a good way to get used to rejection, so I’ve got that going for me.

I’ve signed up for a few Coursera course, two in music, which I’m really excited about. I love music. I don’t know how to balance these things. Do I keep teaching music or pursue music therapy as a career and write on the side? Or pursue writing and enjoy music on the side? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

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