No matter how driven and motivated you are, there are seasons where you just don't feel like it. These are dry periods of time, ruts that we can all get stuck in during our musical journey. If that's you, take these seven quotes to heart – they're sure to inspire you to get up and go for it once again.
1. "Going after your dreams doesn't mean you're going to win, it means you're going to live." - Kelly Clark
Music makes us come alive whether we're playing alone in our rooms or in front of thousands of people. Of course, we always want a bigger audience, more album sales, and to tour the world, but it's the process of pursuing our dreams that makes us come alive. It's our love for music and putting in our guts that makes life worth living.
2. "New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." - Lao Tzu
Things fall through in life, and circumstances are constantly changing. Maybe a band member leaves or a record deal is cut short, but the end of something always means the beginning of something else, even when it can be painful at first.
3. "Believe you can, and you're halfway there." - Teddy Roosevelt
Half the battle is conquering doubt and overcoming fear. When we set our minds and our hearts to believe that we are empowered enough to make our dreams a reality, we've finished the heavy lifting. The rest of it is just putting in the hours and keeping at it.
4. "I'm thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength." - Alex Elle
Have you ever struggled to get a lick just right and practiced for days and days to get it perfect? Or struggled to get your name and your music out there for years? Then you've discovered just how persistent you really are, just how passionate you are about what you do, and these strengths that build up during the process are crucial to making it long term in this industry.
5. "If you don't live by the praise of men, you won't die by their criticism." - Bill Johnson
This industry is all about tough skin. If how you determine your value comes from the opinions of other people, whether they're positive or negative, you're already a dead man. You have to be confident in yourself, in what you do, and in what you sound like, or you'll be too easily swayed by the next person's opinion.
6. "The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have." - Vince Lombardi
You can't control anything except yourself. As much as you might think you can, you can't control your circumstances or what's going to happen to you tomorrow. But you can manage who you are and how you handle whatever's thrown your way. Maybe you're not where you want to be in your music career right now – do something about it. It's up to you.
7. "If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
We've all gotten stuck in ruts before – it's a natural part of different seasons in life. But that doesn't mean you have to stay there or that you can't move past it. If you've been having writer's block for a while, go out and get inspired in new ways. If you've been playing small gigs for a long time and want to play some bigger stages, start looking for opportunities and tighten up your sound to get there. Don't stay on a plateau for too long, or you might just get stuck there.
Belinda Huang is a contributing writer for Sonicbids. She is a music production & engineering major at Berklee College of Music and is a staff writer for their online newspaper, The Berklee Groove.