I don’t know how to explain it but the last couple weeks have been kind of surreal.
I don’t mean because of anything particularly interesting or life-altering or anything like that. It’s more about having completed a major milestone in this album campaign – that being actually launching the damn thing after six+ years of production and training.
When you’re first starting out on what you know is going to be a long, arduous, and daunting project, it’s very hard to see anything that resembles a finish line.
First of all, again, you know it’s going to take a while before you get there. So you measure things (as best you can) by mini milestones like completing the recording of a song, getting a mix done, getting some photos taken, updating/preparing your website… heck – getting a line of a lyric down! These are the kinds of things that help you maintain your sanity, I think.
And that’s because of the “second of all“… when you have so many responsibilities – your job, your family, LIFE – the long-term goals you’ve set for yourself (ie: releasing an album) keep getting pushed back and back and back. When I first started this thing in the Fall of 2014 the picture I had in my head was that I could have the album done by the end of 2015 and have it out soon thereafter. That had ALWAYS been the plan. And even that seemed long and arduous and daunting… but reasonable.
Thank God I didn’t know things wouldn’t even see the light until 2021. I can’t even imagine how I would have handled that! Not knowing the future is actually a rather beautiful thing!
But, look, here I am… Over the past six+ years I’ve survived having and raising two children while being mainly unemployed for half of that time. I’ve survived a pandemic. I’ve made it through a lot of things that I don’t even really know how to quantify right now.
I’ve also edited a feature documentary, worked on a few TV shows and films, directed a television pilot myself, launched a couple other new brands…
And somehow, in the midst of all of that, completed work on an album.
No… it’s not out yet. No… I don’t have all the elements done (I still have videos and artwork and all kinds of things left that I need to do… and it’s keeping me up at night) but I launched the damn thing.
Here’s to seeing things through! 🙂
Meanwhile, you know you’re doing something right when the haters can’t help but come after you. I can’t tell you the amount of “lovely” comments I’ve been getting on my posts, ads, and videos.
There was a time, when I was younger and thought my shit didn’t stink, that I would have been really hurt by some of these comments. But, over the years, I’ve heard a lot, I’ve experienced a lot, I’ve gotten genuinely taken down a few pegs, and I’m just not bothered by any of it that much anymore.
I’m not saying I like negative comments – who does? – but I’ve found ways to deal with them.
For one… they aren’t going to hurt me or bother me if I don’t give them permission to. That’s actually really easy. That’s a decision I make. Joy – or I suppose in this case, the opposite of it – isn’t something that happens to you. It’s a decision you make.
For two… most people who have really negative (and sometimes really creatively negative) things to say are often jealous, didn’t have something go their way (could even be unrelated) or otherwise didn’t put themselves out there. I often find this to be very true of folks who make a point of saying I’ve wasted money on ads doing what I do. Nonetheless, the point is that I am not their problem – I’m simply who they’ve targeted to blow off some steam. And you know what? That’s okay. I do want what I do to bring people Joy, so if in some way this does that… well who am I to really argue.
For three… I often hide hateful comments on Facebook – not because I’m sensitive to them but I want positivity in my comments string. That said, I do sometimes “laugh” at the really creative zingers, or get kind of playful with some of the others. The whole point there is to show they can’t hurt me.
For four… I recently decided to get really creative and use the hateful comments against people by turning them into tee shirts, like this one:
Don’t worry, they come in women’s sizes too.
Sometimes I’ll actually reply to hateful comments with “that’s a tee shirt” or, heck, if I can get them made fast enough, with the actual link to the shirt itself.
The haters love knowing they’re paying for my “wasteful ads”.
Haters are going to hate, and they aren’t going to stop any time soon. I just keep reminding myself that the most popular, biggest, most successful acts in the world also have the most haters.
So, bring them on!