About a month ago, while hanging out at a coffee shop in South Pasadena, I met a fellow named Chris. We shared our experiences with music, production, and the arts and entertainment industry. Nice guy! Just now I ran into him again at the same coffee shop. He stopped to say hello and we chatted for maybe thirty seconds. At the end of the brief exchange he said, “Hey I listened through your album, thanks for sharing.”. And that was it. No elaboration. And the way he said it felt weird. Almost like maybe he was waiting for me to ask him what he thought about it. Or, as if to say, “I listened to your music, it wasn’t my cup of tea.”.
Welcome to my mind. I am an egotistical prick who is scared senseless of criticism, thriving on affirmation to a fault. But I’m working on it!
What I said back to him was, “Cool man, thanks for listening!”. I’m getting better about not letting my insecurities or negative thought patterns affect my actual interactions. The rational way to look at all of this is just to take what you know, and leave the rest. Firstly, I don’t know Chris, so his mention of my music could have meant any number of things. No assumptions can be made because I don’t know him well enough. Secondly, it’s possible that he might not have liked my music. So what? There are many artists here in LA that I’ve had the pleasure to meet, artists whose music I respect, but don’t particularly enjoy. But still, a little part of me was bothered.
I suppose among my worst fears is the idea that someone “credible” in the music world would express not just a disliking for my music, but an objective “no”. In other words, I fear that I am not an artist at all, nor do I have potential as a songwriter, and nobody has had the courage to tell me yet. This is a legitimate hindrance to my every day life. Some days are better than others, especially in recent months, but I still have debilitating self-doubt.
I’m sure I’ll continue to break these things down in future blog journals, because I have explored so many angles, and in turn, I’ve learned to be more honest with myself. But I limit the amount of time I spend writing these blog journals. They’re updates, not well thought out essays, and it’s time to play guitar now. Then I’m going to work.