There seems to be such an excess of musicians and bands these days. Many of them are full of creative ideas and big dreams, but few actually actively pursue those dreams. I can’t entirely write this from a removed position, for I have been one of these musicians and at times still struggle.

Here are some of the fears I’ve had to confront that I believe lend themselves to the common flakiness of many present-day musicians:

Fear #1: What if I really go for it, really give it my all, and fail?

With this fear we decide to settle for something less.  If we don’t give it our all, then we don’t have to fail. We can make a comfortable niche for ourselves playing cover songs in bars and restaurants on weekends well into our 40s, or never progress past playing in coffeehouses for a few people who aren’t even that interested in what we’re doing.

Fear #2: What if I get screwed over by a booking agent, manager, record label, etc?

Understandable, yes? It’s pretty obvious to most of us that have been around awhile that there are quite a few merciless sharks trying to make a few dollars off of us, and we’ve likely been screwed over several times. Also, when we step into a relationship that requires an agreement or contract, we forfeit some of our control. That can be risky!

Fear #3: What if this requires too much of me?

What if I make no money? How will I provide for a family? How do I keep writing creative material when I start to feel stressed or burned out? Do I really want to practice guitar or piano or voice consistently? Am I really willing to fork over some money to take lessons if I need to? It’s definitely easier to give up, no? It’s easier to watch TV, play video games, and hang out on Facebook than it is to practice our instruments and write songs. It’s easier to commit to a well-paying job that might demand less uncertainty, demand less of us, or that in no way shape or form resembles the deep desires of our hearts.

I could probably write pages and pages about various additional fears, but for now let’s focus on these three. I’ll be writing a follow-up very soon!

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