I have a journal. Several journals, actually, and occasionally I even write in them! What I don’t do is share my journal entries with people. EVER. Except for this one. I’ll explain why….
When it comes to my music and my music career, I’m driven like a mother#%@$^#. I have absolutely no free time, and I like it that way. I dedicate every waking moment to perfecting my music and getting it out there. Because of this, my friendships, family life, my marriage, and my health have all suffered from neglect at some point or another. It’s a balancing act that I’m working hard to master. Some days I wonder, why the hell am I doing this? It’s not a question of whether or not to give up, because never for a moment have I actually given any serious consideration to giving up. I just wonder where this obsession came from?
A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the ASCAP Expo in Los Angeles, where I met a bunch of famous singers and songwriters and got to hear their perspective on all things music. Richard Marx was speaking about the creative process when he said this: “When you pour your heart and soul into a song, and then take that song into the studio with a producer and session musicians, there is a moment so intensely satisfying when you hear that song brought fully to life for the first time. I MUST keep writing songs so I can keep having that experience! It’s an addiction!”
The moment he said that, I had an epiphany. What he described is EXACTLY how I felt last year in the studio recording my album. Before that, I was a hard worker- I’ve always been a hard worker. After that trip to LA, a switch was flipped. I became motivated to the point of obsession. I NEED my album to be successful so I can have that experience of hearing my songs brought to life again and again. I’m an addict.
Journal: Day 1 Recording in L.A.
Almost 5 years ago, I wrote a song called “The Arsonist & The Thief”. This song has been near and dear to my heart since the day it was born, and today, for the first time, I heard its true potential being realized. I call this song “my baby”, and it really is like a child of mine- I’ve watched it grow and change over the past 5 years.
Today in the studio, the producer and session musicians just got it. I wanted to tell them the story behind the song- I wanted to explain what this song meant to me and how I envisioned it, but I didn’t have to say a word. All I did was play the song. Once. And they just got it. So we started recording.
I am bursting with joy, gratitude, and excitement. I will always this remember this day.
Journal: Day 10 Recording in L.A.
It’s almost midnight and I’m sitting in my hotel bed laughing and crying at the same time. I swear I’m not crazy. I’m just so incredibly happy about my life, excited for the future, relieved this whole trip has worked out so well, proud of what I’ve accomplished, grateful for the entire experience, and heartbroken that it’s all over.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve feared that I would never find my own authentic artistic expression. That it would always remain just out of reach and I would go to my grave without ever feeling truly, deeply satisfied with anything I’ve created. Tonight, I can let go of that fear.