What some of you may not know about me is that my journey in blogging honestly started from my work in the music industry.
I know, weird right? But let me explain. I started college as a journalism major but decided that news sucked and I wanted to write about something more exciting, cue songwriting. Lol. I just randomly decided that I wanted to write songs and so I switched schools and majors to Broadcast, Telecommunications, and Mass Media which somehow held a music industry track and the rest was history. Why I am no longer in hot pursuit of a songwriting career is because at some point you come to a crossroads where you have to either get better or quit.
CLICK TO TWEET /// At some point you come to a crossroads where you have to either get better or quit.
When I graduated college, I was in it. I was in the studio, working on records. One of my only placements was actually with the GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Carvin Haggins who took me under his wing to learn more about the writing process. Oh yeah, the blogging. I know I mentioned that earlier. My love affair with blogging actually started when I started a blog to chronicle my adventures in the music industry. I mean there was solid gold material there, like being in a studio, getting a producer’s number to work and him calling me later to ask what I was doing that night. *Le Sigh.* So WriteLaughDream really morphed from that first blog that was called Music’s Chess: A Pawn’s Story. Pretty clever I thought at the time.
But part of the the reason that my music pursuits slowed heavily was because of two things. One, the music that made me fall in love with writing almost ceased to exist once I actually started writing music. I love singer/songwriter stuff and R&B and everything started to turn into these rap/singing/trap songs that we know and love today. I wanted to write ballads and songs about chasing shooting stars and crap. The second reason was because I needed to do A LOT more work to get better.
Back in the day, you could just be a good lyricist and work with other people to demo the song and maybe to write great melodies. But the music industry was now becoming more apt to songwriters that were a hybrid of all those things. They wanted you to not only write the song, but be able to demo it, do backgrounds, and pretty much package it to sell the next day. I needed to be a one stop shop and well … yeah, I was not a good singer at all. So I felt like I needed to learn an instrument (which I started to do - guitar) and I needed to get some vocal training and that overwhelmed me. I needed to do way too much at like 22 that other people had probably been doing since they were about 6. Talk about playing catch up.
Listen, I could have done it. Why? Because anything that I decide to do, I will excel at. That’s just the type of person that I am. God didn’t build me with a satisfaction for mediocrity. But I didn’t want to. Part of it was hating the music industry. You have no idea. I love music, but the industry is a cold, cold, cold world. (In my best Carl Thomas voice.) I didn’t love it that much anymore. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and the road to become good enough seemed long and hard.
So … I started choosing something different. I hate to say quit because well, my full-time work is still in the industry and so honestly most of my friends are in the industry and I’m around music all the time. Lol. My husband is a musician, so yeah. But I digress, for the sake of this post, I quit. And here’s the part where it becomes relevant to you and not just my long drawn out story. When you are committed to the process, you may also find yourself in a space where you either have to get better or quit.
I am all about pursuing our passions. And sometimes we will have multiple passions. But I also think it’s really important to evaluate what it takes to be the best at that particular passion. I believe in a spirit of excellence and bringing that to whatever you feel you are chosen to do. It was easy for me to make the decision to walk away from songwriting because I wasn’t willing to do the work to bring it to an excellent level.
But this … this here writing books and teaching writing and sharing my lessons on building a brand and blog literally from ZERO to something. I am willing. I am willing to spend the long nights and the Saturdays and the countless hours of research on doing it. First of all, I have a lot more of a natural knack for it. I had to teach myself so much about songwriting. I never had to teach myself how to write. How to share stories. Sure, I continue to grow in that area and read to improve, etc. But it has always been in me, I just tried to run from it.
The reality for most of us is that in this day and age everyone wants to have a thing. Everyone wants to be important somehow. Which is sometimes really annoying when you know a bunch of Dream Chasers and you feel bad that you can’t support every single person you know without literally going broke. But in either case, sometimes we just see a road that looks popular or looks like an easy way to be successful and we pursue it without any of the love and the grit that it takes to get you “there.”
I see it in my husband. I see that his love for music outweighs the TONS of BS that he deals with on the daily basis. The rejections, the victories, the uphill battles. Although we all get discouraged at times, they don’t knock him off. I couldn’t maintain that with music. My battles made me feel like I was not good enough and that I never would be even if I tried. But the rejections with writing don’t do that for me. No matter how many NOs I get, or book roundups I’m left out of or whatever the case may be, no one - no one can tell me that I am not a good writer.
I may not be to my “great” yet, but I know that I am good and that with continued work and producing, I will be. Does it mean that my heart doesn’t sink when I get a “that’s a no” from pitches or whatever? NOPE. It does. I feel bad sometimes and wonder if I am good enough but there is a resounding YES in my spirit every time to reassure me.
So even now, I feel like I have been writing and blogging seriously for some time now and you could say that this is another crossroads for me. But I’ve decided in this season that I will just keep getting better. No turning back or running away. This feels like part of the thing (because who knows, God probably has a lot more), that I was born to do. I am a writer and everything that means. So I will keep getting better, striving for excellence because well, for this type writing, quitting is not an option. I love it too much.
Tell me, have you ever gotten to a point where you needed to either get better or quit? Feel free to share in the comments of via Twitter!