Perfection Was Never The Goal: So Why Is It Now?

 I've spoken previously about how "offended" I am when people call my musical efforts a "hobby".  If I think about it, perhaps I am hurt by that because I expect more than that from myself.  Perhaps I am keeping myself from reaching a level of quality in order to stay in this safe zone as a songwriter and musician.  Perhaps I need to reexamine what I want out of this business I have started, and which seems to drag along at tortoise speed.

Initially, I just wanted to perform my music for an audience.  When I do so, it is not out of any expectation of adoration, nor a strong desire for monetary success (although a little would do nicely, thank you very much), nor the fulfillment of some narcissistic ego trip.  I wanted to just play.  I felt I was given a gift, that I had developed that gift to a certain level of quality, and I felt the desire to share what I created with others.  Honestly, I am happiest with smaller audiences.  I am a solo performer, for the most part, and a big stage seems to swallow me up, whereas the more intimate venues allow me the gift of connecting with the listener, seeing their reactions, getting instant feedback.  A song is a conversation with the audience, and when I play, I play to them, but in a way, with them.  It is an awesome, intimate experience.

Lately, I have been procrastinating.  I haven't been super happy with my recording mixes, and a lot of negative self-talk regarding the music quality has got me avoiding.  I blame my equipment, the acoustics of the recording space, motivation, and the part-time work I do as a teacher online, but really, it is just fear and avoidance:  procrastination.  Fear that the work is not perfect.  Avoidance of failing to make the work perfect.

I need to remember that the goal was never to be perfect.  The goal was to create.  Let others struggle with perfection, I kind of like the dents and wrinkles in this collection of songs.  I hope others appreciate them as well, but that is beyond my control.

I just need to let it happen, and appreciate the moments I am given to create, however few or many those moments are.


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