If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.
No use being a damn fool about it. – W.C. Fields
It was fun while it lasted.
I’ve spent more than a year pretending to be a musician. It started out with a few covers at the open mic of the local coffee shop. That first time was a disaster and I vowed that not only would I never sing again, but I also swore I wouldn’t even show my face at the coffee shop. But I was at it again the following week.
Yes, it got a little easier after that first time, but as soon as I started to feel comfortable with the whole performing thing, the bombs would follow. But I persevered.
I went to other open mics. I made friends, many of them fantastic singers and songwriters who were nothing but encouraging. They still are and I’m so blessed to have them as friends.
I performed short sets at festivals and other events. And I have written a few songs, words and music. I made progress, for sure.
I knew I didn’t have a great voice, but neither does Bob Dylan. I had hopes that maybe my songwriting would be engaging. Meh. Maybe the covers that I did would provide some level of entertainment. Not so much. I tend to perform songs of artists I like – Wilco, Avett Brothers, Foo Fighters – but are pretty much unknown to my audience. And when I do a Dylan song, it’s always an obscure choice.
One of my new music friends will admit he’s not the most accomplished guitar player but he is enormously entertaining. He bellows old country standards and writes clever songs. And he always has fun, which is contagious. Everybody loves him.
While my expectations were realistic and modest, my musical career has reached the point where the disappointment in my accomplishments has overcome the joy of playing music. As Mr. Fields advised, no use being a damn fool about it.
I find myself taking that advice in other areas of my life, but that’s another story.
For now, I’m going to refocus on writing. No more novels, which can be just as disappointing as music, despite critical acclaim. But I have several ideas for writing about music based on my new awareness of singing, songwriting, and the guts it takes to put yourself out there. Hopefully interesting to my faithful readers, and a little more satisfying for me.