I’m not a quitter. I wasn’t raised that way. But there comes a time while following your dreams that soul-crushing defeat after soul-crushing defeat becomes intolerable. You just aren’t happy anymore. I’ve reached that point, at least for now.
The obvious initial response from readers will be: “well your music probably just isn’t good enough”. Trust me, I’ve been aware of that possibility and have looked at it objectively, but the evidence just isn’t there. Last year I won my eighth independent songwriting award. Those are sort of like small film festivals for indie filmmakers. The difference is, and this is where #bigmusic comes in, there is no one, and I mean no one, following the winners of those competitions and bidding for their services. I’ve won an Independent Music Award (with Intervision), three Great American Song Contest awards, a Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest award, and been named a finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition, as well as the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (with Intervision), twice (once with JAKLYN).
Those wins, as well as the discussions and accolades I’ve had and gotten from folks like Jennifer Batten, David Torn, Kevin Killen, Bob Stark, and Marv Ross lead me to believe that yes, my music is good enough, it’s just that the odds of “breaking through” are not much better than winning the lottery, no matter how good your product. Your odds also improve the younger you are, and the more you fit in with current pop culture.
As a 38 year old white male who grew up on 90’s pop music, I’m still somewhat relevant, and there is a market for my style of writing (pop, adult contemporary, Disney), but the odds of success are smaller than if I was a 16 year old blonde that could write, dance, sing, and put on a killer stage show. That’s not meant as a “poor me”… just fact. I mean, sure it sucks that ageism is real, but I understand it’s the world we live in.