Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book, Big Magic, is a tough-love manifesto for the struggling artist. If you find yourself in that struggling artist category, and let’s face it, you’re probably in that majority, then I urge you to read on.
Remember the 1999 film Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen? No? Well, to refresh your memory, a motto from the film was, "Never give up, never surrender." While it was more of a joke in the movie, this philosophy has become a popular one to live by in Western culture. But in terms of your music career, this might not always be the best advice.
We've all heard the phrase "nice guys finish last," the basis being that "nice guys" lack the confidence and aggression needed to succeed in life, thus being trampled by their "mean" cohorts. Fortunately for all the inherently considerate folk out there, this is a myth.
It's entirely possible to be nice and successful at the same time. There are, however, some finer details to keep in mind. So put a smile on your face, get those mean insults out of your head, and start down your path to success.
It wasn't my first meeting with a publisher, but it was my biggest meeting at that point. I was 16 at the time, and although I'd had many “good” meetings, I hadn't as yet had any big yeses. The gold records that lined the wall were impressive – especially for a teenager – and I was feeling a little lightheaded about even being in an office so nice. I handed him the cassette, feeling confident about my songs – it was my best writing to date.
The tape screeched as he fast-forwarded to the chorus.