One of the hard things about being a musician is when people say they love your music, but hardly anyone is willing to take the time to listen to or buy it. It’s very easy to fall into a state of wondering if people are just being polite and wondering what they really think, or if you should even bother releasing new material.
Of course if you’re someone like me, you realize you’re not going to stop making music even if *no one* ever listens to it, so you might as well release it anyway. ‘Course it also means thinking maybe you should stick to pure home brew rather than putting money into fancy studios and shiny discs. The era of digital releases makes it much easier to go low budget in that respect.
I do get some people pressing play (and thank you for that!). Not many, but some. (I’m still 8 listens away from my goal of 30 before I release my next solo. It’s… kind of a low bar). Some of my fellow artists, not so much. Because of that, some great songwriting has been shelved, at least publicly and that makes me sad.
I get that we’re all busy people, and sometimes we see new releases while we’re somewhere we can’t listen. Often we say “oh, I’ll listen to it when I get home.” And by the time we’re home after a stressful day of work and a crappy commute, we’ve forgotten there was something we wanted to listen to at all. Yes, I’m guilty of this too.
All I ask, is that if in your friends circle or among the people you follow someone releases something new… find a way to make yourself remember to go check it out. Put a quick alert in your calendar if you have to. Bookmark the link. Whatever it takes. If you really do love it, if you want it to keep happening, “like” the photos, listen to the music, interact in some small way that shows that art isn’t just being hurled out into a vacuum.
Just because we create because we love it doesn’t mean we put in less time or less effort than working at something we hate. We still like to eat. If we can’t do that with our art, we have to spend more time on a day job and less time creating.
Believe me I understand being broke. Small interactions still give hope that when you can afford to, you might choose to buy a song or a painting or a neat piece of sculpture or clothing. Don’t wait to appreciate something until you can afford to buy it. An art gallery might see 20 sales and hundreds of visitors. Those sales support two things many artists are fond of: eating and sharing beautiful art with the world.
I’m not saying spend your time on something you don’t care about… just if you love what we spend time on, spare us a little time of your own. It really does matter.