What is Confidence?

Some stats for your amusement:
PledgeMusic goal total: 47%
Days remaining: 25
Hours spent writing/revising/practicing new songs in 2015: Hundreds
Social opportunities passed up in favor of the above: Dozens

“Ezekiel, what is this PledgeMusic?” Yikes, go here!

On Confidence
A feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. That’s confidence, from a dictionary. But I’ve read something recently that says confidence is both a feeling and an action. Confidence is, firstly, taking action despite thoughts of doubt, fear, or negativity. And this tendency toward action is developed through practice. With enough practice, the feeling of confidence will eventually come.

Perhaps you can guess why I am saying this. I am in the middle of a big project. I am asking people to advance purchase my upcoming (yet untitled, working on that) album so that I can meet my funding goal and actually make this thing. I am asking people who believe in me as a songwriter to help get the word out. And not just “people.” I am asking for your help.

I addition to the gratitude I have for everyone who has ordered albums/merch and everyone who has posted, forwarded and given their time, when thoughts turn to myself it can get rough. I fear that I am just one in a sea of musicians asking for people’s attention and, by the nature of my own personality, I am not “in your face” enough to compete. I am not an adorable 14 year old with two unstoppable pitbull parents to ensure my success (no offense, Taylor Swift).

Yet I am taking action because I believe in what I am creating. I think it will be good enough to compete, musically, with any signed artist that’s out there. So I’m going to say that I am confident that this record will get made. That feels good to say.

Happiness,
Ezekiel

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To show my worries or hide them?

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Sometimes I worry. My mind spins it up in a loop – what if I don’t make my PledgeMusic goal? What does that mean about me? Did I fail to capture other people’s interest? Did I fail to be bold enough in marketing myself? Is everyone just sick of hearing from me? How can I keep motivated if this is true?

“The music business is tough!” That phrase seems to have achieved platitude status. I hear it every day from musicians and non-musicians alike. And the advice I receive from the well-meaning people that want to see me succeed is, often times, contradictory. I need to sound more like what’s popular to grow my fan base. No! I need to be totally uncompromising artistically and stop worry about numbers. No! I need to hyper-develop an image and push that everywhere. That, in itself, can be overwhelming.

The truth is that I feel fear. And I am afraid to admit that I am afraid because showing fear and weakness to an audience is something of a taboo, it seems. I worry you will be turned off in hearing that I am not fearless. I worry you will lose faith and interest in me because sometimes I have doubts that I can do this, even as this motor inside me constantly turns and drives forward to fulfill this commitment to you and to myself.

But I am beginning to suspect that everyone sometimes has moments when success is not assured and confidence wavers. I can only hope in those moments there are supporters who deliver not platitudes, but empathy and an offer to help. If you ever feel like that, I will do that for you. You can ask me for it, no matter who you are.

Ezekiel

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/ezekieljay/