It's delightfully scary to be putting new music out into the world.
And if it were too easy, I don't know that it would be nearly as satisfying. I was recently reminded of a few things by various friends and sources (read: stuff on the internet).
You should be working on the stuff that's hard for you, not just coasting through what's easiest or the least risky. If you think you look good or sound good while you're practicing, editing, or even making a career, there's a chance you're not accomplishing what you set out to do. I've tried to implement this in my practice for the last few weeks as a pianist, and really truly have noticed a difference in my playing. And you know what? I sounded awful the entire time. This learning led me to this next point:
Being awful at something, I mean really just being spectacularly useless at something, is the first step to being pretty good at that thing. I'm working on accepting the kind of passive feelings of mediocrity regarding the work I produce, and remind myself (and hopefully others) that:
This is the point at which most people give up. And I'm not really willing to settle for that. I am evolving and perpetually learning, I am not an "amateur", nor is this my "hobby". It is what I do.
Getting out of motivational speaker role, this is not to say that we should constantly be comparing ourselves to other artists, or being overly critical of our own work to the point that we decide it's not worth the pressure (see point no. 3). It's not up to us to decide if our work is "good enough" for anyone or anything. We feel compelled as artists to make things, and that should be reason enough for them to exist.
I'm releasing an album on Friday of some ambient loops, chamber pieces, and electronic music. I think it's... ok. After months of composing new things, mixing old recordings and realizations, weathering through periods of crippling self-doubt, and ultimately hitting the button that makes it part of the world, and no longer only mine, and even if it turns out to be a spectacular failure...
I'm rather glad I did it.
is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Columbus, OH. He is a co-founder of keyboard and percussion duo /rhythmos, and has written music for various ensembles and digital media.