In my case, once I committed to full-time songwriting as a career, I had no backup plan. I still don’t have. I didn’t have another career waiting in the wings. I still don’t have, unless you want to consider producing and being a publisher something separated than songwriting, which to me they are pretty much in the same direction and if I win in one of them means I win in the other too, as well as if I lose in one, I’ve lost it all. I did what they told me not to do; putting all the eggs in one basket and protect that one basket with my life. I turned down a career in management because I had to make songwriting work, because that is what I had decided to do and shouldn’t let other temptations to stop me from trying to reach the goal I chosen with all of my heart. Although I had the choice to get the other job and secure a fixed monthly salary – while I was in my worst financial situation ever – In my mind, there was no choice. I was going to make songwriting work and that was the only option I could see. I had closed my inner eye on the other option and it literally didn’t exist on my table. I was going to break the code and figure out how to make a living songwriting. No plan B. Nothing to fall back on.
Not everyone is willing or able to make that leap. That is okay. No two people approach success the same way. I will say this. Your drive to succeed at this has to be huge. You have to be sure about what you want to do, even before you take the first step in that path, because only an iron faith can handle so many disappointments and rejections in this industry. Success in this business, and in this case, specifically music business does not come at a small price. Everyone will tell you it’s not going to happen. Even the situation for a long time will show you that everyone was right, and it really is not going to happen. But you try your best, do all you can, and trust me, it will happen. Those who succeed are “all in” type of people. They have committed fully. By that, I don’t mean that they have quit their day jobs and moved to one of music center towns and start their struggle there. However, they are not doing things half-heartedly. They are doing everything within their power to succeed.
I always tell people that the time to give up is the time when you want stability more than you want success in the music business. I always remember that my father used to tell me about how great success will come with huge risk. He was always saying that the higher you go on a ladder, if you fall, you will fall harder. Same goes for taking risk to become a successful person in what you want to do. Define success and set up your goals that when you reach those you will call yourself a successful person. Prepare all the groundwork and move for it. Go towards your goal and don’t let anything to distract you and be sure you will get what you are trying for. Being a songwriter is not a stable profession. Even now, my income fluctuates wildly between “awesome” and “getting by”. I try to save a lot during the “awesome” periods so that I can survive the “getting by” periods. Even if I want to have a back up plan, it’s still related to the music industry and complimenting my songwriting career, that is why I do music producing and publishing. At the end of the day, I do what I do because I love it. I love it, more than anything else in this world! It fulfills me. It gives me hope. I don’t do it for the money. I do it because it is a job that is fun – regarding to my definition of fun – and fulfilling. If you want stability, do something else. Write as a hobby. If you live for the creative process and you can stomach the instability along the way, then write. Don’t let anyone stop you. Once you believe in what you are doing, and do it with all of your heart, the success will come along your way.