Backstory Part 2: The Bumpy Journey
Terrible, awful stage fright was hurtle #1. Doing anything else in music has been nothing but hurtles! After I started playing a few chords on guitar I started writing a few songs here and there. My family was going through a lot and it became a good outlet for me to get out whatever I was feeling. Some were ok, some were stupid, some were healing, and some were horrible- either way it was practice.
I read and studied and talked to every musician I knew to show me new stuff and teach me anything they could in 5 minutes here and there! I practiced with my voice just trying to find it and figure out exactly what I was capable of.
One day my husband came home and said he met someone and told them I sing and they set up for me to go meet a publisher/producer guy and play my songs for him to see what he thought. It was SUPER exciting, it was such a big deal for me. I went hoping for the best, but didn't quite happen that way... after I got in the truck there were lots of tears! It was brutal. It was straight, solid, not sugar coated even a little bit honesty. Those words stayed in the back of my mind for years ..."these aren't real songs, you aren't a real songwriter, you need more guitar lessons, you have a better than average voice, but nothing spectacular, of course your friends and family will say you are are great because they don't know any better .... etc. etc. etc....." I was so disappointed, but by the time I got home I was motivated. I was like forget him I will try harder and who cares if he doesn't like me -other people do. So I did...sort of.
Over the next couple of years I had my 3rd baby, a tonsillectomy, a hysterectomy, a couple different bands, a few traumatic life experiences, and a start/quit and start again kind of deal with me and music.
During times of "on again" with music there was some "I love you, you are great" and a lot of "egh you're ok" and some "What are you doing? You should just raise your kids, that is a better fit for you." (Not a lie, that was really said to me out loud!) With 3 young kids, a husband and a very full life this hobby of "music" would always get to be too much. Band practices and scheduling was always very tough and would get to be too stressful. Eventually it would just phase out and be another thing to add to my list of things that "phased out."
2015 I hit a point where I could care less if I ever sang again or played again or did anything ever again. After a few months of being "a mess" in a million definitions of that word and with life in general, I hit this like "now or never thing." I realized I'm not getting any younger, if I can't make it work with my family and a band I need to figure out how to play on my own around my family's schedule. I realized I didn't really care if it ever went anywhere as long as I was doing something musical or creative and enjoyed it. If I had a regular job I would've always known I didn't try it because I was too scared to try or too scared to fail.
So I worked my butt off figuring out how to make it work. I told my husband this time around I would take care of it all. He wouldn't have to pay for it and I would make the scheduling and everything fit somehow.
I played a couple of sets and realized it was hard to get booked without any decent recordings and people would ask to buy a cd that I did not have!
I messaged our good ole friend from a couple of years before who knows people just to get a recommendation. Ironically the guy I visited years back that had haunted my dreams forever happened to be sitting right there. What timing huh?! ....He said tell her to come see me again.... I laughed and thought yeah right why would I put myself through that again?! ...then I thought for a moment and realized- YES that's exactly what I want to do! I knew I was better and had worked hard on everything. Several people close to me were like are you a glutton for punishment or what?! I said I guess so, but I gotta try!
It was a whole different ballgame this time around. He liked me and my songs, he wanted to help me, he could see the work I put in and was impressed. Just that little bit of redeeming myself was satisfying.
Eventually I got to write with some super cool people, and prepare what we wanted to record. When we got ready to record it was smooth sailing right? Ummm no. Problem 1- First producer didn't really like the songs that much. #2 I didn't have a gigantic budget to use as a selling point! (My money plan was I had 2 special offer 0% credit cards that have time limits to pay them off-gives me money, gives me deadline-perfect motivation to hustle lol!) Basically there wasn't too much going my way for me to get it completed! I was like here we go again [brick wall] but I decided if I was the only one who wanted to see these songs finished then I was ok with that...after all I'm the one with the bill!
After chats here and there about what to do with me they connected me with the producer in Nashville. He was so much fun. He set up all of the musicians which were better than I ever could've thought. They played on the albums of people I have listened to literally my entire life! Reba wasn't even there, but I was star stuck that it was her drummer playing MY songs!!! They were so very sweet as they told me different cool stories and showed me fun pictures, like one of my acoustic player and Prince Harry while they were at a party in Australia. (I'll do a full blog sometime in more detail about that trip-it was cool though!!)
There are constant obstacles to figuring everything out and how to make it all work practically and promotionally, all in between ball games and laundry loads, but I'm slowly figuring it out. Its been quite a journey that still continues.
If I never do anything else beyond this point at least I can tell my kids just because you get shot down once, twice, or 10 times doesn't mean you don't keep on trying because thats what brings out the stuff you have inside you that you didn't know existed.
Don't let the fear of falling keep you from flying.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7