As I’m nearing completion of my first book, I’m starting to be asked, why this book? Why this topic? Why am I so passionate about an idea such as the music industry doesn’t have to kill you?
There are many reasons, but as I consider these questions more, I’m realizing it’s mostly because I know what it feels like to be an underdog, and I know what it feels like to be treated like I’m not good enough.
The decision to actually write a book came about after months of realizing how much I loved writing, researching, and interviewing people via my music blog, Clore Chronicles. One day I was listening to C.C. Chapman talk about goals and accountability and just going for it, and one of the specific things he mentioned was writing a book. I thought, “Why the heck not? I am going to do that. I have passionate beliefs and ideas. Let’s do this.” That was in May 2010. I didn’t quite reach my initial publish goal of June 1, 2011, but I’m really close. And in this case, I view the follow-through as more important than my self-imposed deadline.
I also was getting really tired of constantly working to push out more information, via my blog, in an information-saturated world. You could say I retreated for a bit to put all of my efforts towards one huge goal: creating a book.
When I first started, I thought I could just pull together some of my better, already written essays, and have enough for a book. Nope. Not even close. By the way, there have been many highs and lows and near give-up moments in this process. I have often thought myself a complete idiot for making it known that I was going to write a book. What in the world was I thinking? I will say though, making it known has often been my motivation to keep going – I knew I would not be able to move forward after having shouted such an empty promise from the mountaintop.
As for my personal experiences which turned into motivation to create a book titled The Music Industry Doesn’t Have To Kill You, I have experienced some things in my life that have helped me identify, and pursue, what really matters. I have worked with artists that no one cares about, artists that don’t get your phone calls answered. I have seen firsthand what happens to personal relationships when the glitz and glam becomes more important than treating people with respect and dignity. I have worked with artists that “used to be” really popular and wanted, but now are struggling to find their identity and are adjusting to being treated like they don’t matter. I experienced a marriage that did not work out. That last one was huge. I went from working on the “Country music” side of Nashville to the “Christian music” side, and received some pretty hurtful comments and questions in the process.
I can’t tell you how many people around this fickle town have treated me like I’m not good enough, for multiple reasons. AND, far more important than that, I can’t tell you how many people around this town I’ve seen treated like a nobody. It is sickening.
There is nothing else I want to spend my life doing other than working in and around the music industry, but I am not going to lose my soul in the process, or treat people like they don’t count, or leave my precious child sitting and waiting for me in his playroom.
The music industry is not going to kill me. It is not going to rob my life of the people and experiences that will matter once every last light has dimmed, and the crowd has all gone home.
I am here to tell you that this is a dark, fickle and unforgiving industry. Artists will come, and artists will go, but don’t ever forget that each and every single one of them is a human being, with thoughts, feelings and emotions. Do your best not to toss them to the side when they’re not on your precious little chart any longer.
The music industry does not have to kill you, but settle in, it’s going to be a fight.