I just made a very bold move. I did it because I couldn't think of a good enough reason not to, and I was thrilled and freaked out by the possible outcomes of doing it. So whoosh! Off the cliff.
I love the idea of laying everything on the line in business and marketing - my risk-o-meter is broken. But when it comes to making art, I am much more conservative.
The only reason I can think of is that the results are much easier to measure in business - really, the concept of a calculated risk doesn't make sense in art. Success and failure are easier to define.
I've been focused on business for so long that I've buried my musical goals pretty deep, or in some cases transferred them to my music-related business. But now I'm suddenly giving it some serious thought - what were my goals? Why did I not achieve them? And more relevant: What risks, too uncomfortable to consider, did those goals represent?
Among other things, I spent my twenties as an aspiring songwriter and performer. The great thing about being out of my twenties is that I can examine them as a thing separate from myself, like a movie (Casey's Twenties, a new film by Gus Van Sant) and see themes that I didn't recognize at the time. I see black-and-white thinking, distractability, a limited understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, a lack of solid planning, and a tendency to get stuck on things that require money or outside help.
Ironically, if I had treated my music career like a business, I might have achieved some success. I would have been able to view some of the things that actually happened as steps on the way to success if I'd only had the courage to define what that success would look like.
On the other hand, I also had trouble just sitting down and making music for fun. I don't need to make a damn statement. Nobody really knew about my music but me, so why didn't I just play? Perhaps I'd accidentally stumble upon something good. Or at least interesting.
Of course, it's not over. If I can figure out what I want out of my music career, I can make a plan, set goals, and be ready to leap when I find something that matters enough to scare the crap out of me. And just have a good time at the very least.
What do I want now? I don't really know yet. Michael and I went out on New Year's Eve and busked for a half-hour in Piedmont Park. That's rather bold, when you think about it.