I had a bit of a moment today where I suddenly thought...
This is what I want to be. I want to be a singer/songwriter. I know this whole year has been aimed at me doing my music and working as a musician. But I know now that this is what I want to do.
I've always 'wanted' to do it, but not with a great conviction. When you're at school, you're asked what you want to do after you've finished school, and generally it's a career which is based around your education...your GCSEs, A-Levels or whatever...and you aim towards that particular career. I'm currently on this path. I have accepted my place on a University course to study Creative Music Technology, after which I plan to study to become a teacher. The theory I have been following is this: if anything magical happens along the way, then that's great. If it doesn't, it doesn't. But now...I don't feel that's enough.
Singer/songwriter for a living has always been an afterthought. But if it's what I love to do, then why is it an afterthought?
There's no stability in the career.
There are so many who want to be the same thing.
Much of it is being in the right place at the right time.
It's a gamble.
But recently I've come to realise that it really it is what I want to do.
When I see a stage, I want to be up there, and when I'm up there, I don't want it to end.
I live by Walt Disney's quote: If you can dream it, you can do it.
But why am I ignoring this when it comes to a career in music?
It seems that now, things are picking up, and I'm getting more gigs and I'm learning a lot and I'm enjoying it. I'm getting some lovely feedback from people, the Island's music scene is brilliant, and when I go to Uni, it's just going to stop. I can say that I'll come back for gigs, but it's easier said than done. The total journey time is about 2 and a half hours, and I'm sure that I'll be busier up there than I first imagined I'd be.
Which leads me to think about my Uni course again. Over the past year and a bit I've been iffy about it. - Wondering whether it's the course for me etc....
Thinking of Holly as a musician...I put myself into my songs. I don't want to go to Uni to learn how to write better bass lines, or to create better mixes. I don't have to do everything myself. When I'm at gigs I present myself, my voice, my words, my simple chords, my melodies and it seems to go down well.
I'm not saying that's all I need. But to grow and become a better singer/songwriter I don't need to know how to create a really good mix. I have a basic knowledge of production etc. and I know how I like things to sound. To grow as a singer/songwriter, I need these things...
Guitar lessons (!)
A larger range of vocabulary
That's what I feel I need. Recently I haven't had a chance to do any reading, so I'm not improving. Sometimes when I'm writing lyrics I feel as though I'm trapped in a pen or something. (Not the writing implement kind, but the other kind.) And the boundaries are closing in and so is my mind. And you can't write songs with a closed mind. And I don't think studying Creative Music Technology will improve my vocabulary.
Yesterday I had the pie in the sky idea of doing an Open University course in English from home and still being able to pursue a music career. So now I'm going to do a list of pros and cons...
Let's get the cons out of the way first...
It means that I'd be living at home still, and I don't want to be sponging of my parents if I don't have any gigs for a while. (I imagine they'd probably like some peace and quiet too!)
I wouldn't gain the 'life experience' that Uni has to offer.
I wouldn't have a base to do gigs from in Guildford.
(I'm sure there are more...I'll come back to it...)
I'd be able to continue with my Island gigs. Regular slots etc.
I wouldn't get homesick!
I'd still get a degree and I'd HAVE to read.
My vocabulary would improve and I could have guitar lessons on the Island.
(I got an A for A-Level English and a C for Music (a D for the composition section))
And I've done OK living on the Island this year. I've had some wonderful experiences. The trip to London...meeting Suzanne Vega...an incredibly fun album launch...making the album...gigs...passing my driving test...it's not like I've missed out by being here.
I wish I didn't feel as though it's expected of me to go to University. But that's how it is. To get a good job, that's the general, secure way to go.
I'll stop now before I start going round in circles.