As I’ve noted, there are several truths about the musical life.
• Most people simply will not “get it.”
• They don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on.
• Sometimes you will (and should) turn down a gig.
Some of these truths you had to learn the hard way. Some are just obvious. Some you can laugh about … now. Here’s one of those:
You may realize this job is not for you.
This is the honest truth—this life is not for everyone. Being vastly underpaid and overworked and in search of those elusive musical moments is a life you have to commit to living every day. This is not a job you leave at the office. It’s a life; it is with you everywhere you go. At some point you may realize that you just don’t have it in you to live that life.
And that’s okay.
That realization is not a reflection on you or your ability. Gifted musicians often leave music as a profession. The key is to have the fortitude to stick with it during the hard times and the courage to leave when it’s time to get out. The worst outcome would be to eventually despise the thing that once brought you so much joy, simply because you didn’t quit when you should have.