I understand how frustrating the music industry can seem at times. Sometimes it's like you are shouting into a void and you hear no reply except your own echo. But you have to ask yourself something and then decide:
If I never made a dime from my music, would I still do it?
I asked myself rather recently and decided yes. Nothing will make me stop (permanently), even if I never become rich, famous, etc. A lot of people get into music because of how others make them feel when they play. I know I had a moment like that when I was 17. I was onstage, in a band, and fans (okay, my classmates) were screaming my name. That's when I knew for sure that that's what I wanted to do.
But as I continued on the path, I found so many other rewarding things that kept me in music. It’s different for everyone. For me, the challenge of writing a song that is different from all the others, and then delivering that song to unsuspecting ears (regardless of their reaction) is worth it.
When you know that you would choose it no matter the outcome, then you have taken a step toward success. That’s when you stop chasing your tail--and other people’s ideas of perfection--and do what you love. People love seeing that genuine passion and are drawn to it.
And if the answer is no, that’s okay too.
But here is what you have to accept:
It’s a two-way street. No one is making you choose music. Likewise, you can’t make them choose YOUR music.
You are not entitled to fans, fame, riches, etc. No one is obligated to like your music, come to your shows, or buy your CD.
The flipside is that it is in your power to make a plan that is within your abilities and is sustainable so that you can continue to do what you love. Everyone’s skill set, attention span, natural aptitude, attitude, education, and determination is different, and therefore so is every path. Luckily, most of these things are completely within your control.
The question becomes... Are you doing it for you?