You do you.
The long tail is available. The difficult thing is finding those that are like you, that appreciate your work.
The most important thing you could do is to develop your own voice.
Brian Eno talks about value as something attributed, not intrinsic. Put simply, something isn’t beautiful because it is, but because somebody thinks it is.
Fight the need to be liked. Fight for voice. Stop thinking so much about what you want to say. Breathe out the words and Shape the sound on the way out.
Yes, value feedback. Critique is part of the process. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is entitled. How do you know who to listen to? Well, what was your original artistic intent? What is the feeling, or concept you were trying to exorcize? So viewing feedback through this lens is the way i’ve found it to be most helpful.
There is a point in the creative process where critique can be cancerous or victorious—in the “crappy valley”. Malcom Gladwell writes about a place between epiphany (illumination) and (validation) where the artist struggles to paint themselves outside of the corner of the room. There were many instances of that on this record, on probably most of the songs, maybe all of the songs. It all came back to my original focus. Many occasions I realized I didn’t have as much appreciation for my original focus as a compelling idea. Meaning, what started the journey wasn’t gonna get me home. In most occasions, going back to my original inspiration was failing me, so I looked to what I was currently jazzed about.
Don’t look for validation outside of yourself for your work. Attribute value to it if you accomplish what you set out to accomplish. If not, keep working. Where did you go wrong? Taste is a fickle mistress.
Sometimes it’s the purity of the mood when in inspiration. What I mean is that when you wrote the thing, it was a magical laconic moment of twilight and dreaminess. Then you work on it again in the cold harsh, incandescent light of an energetic afternoon and you forget what you ever saw in it.
Reading: Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
Listening: Randy Newman, assorted
Watching: Mad Men, S7