On a Tiny Milestone
I recently found out that my piece, "Journeyman's Song," was selected to be part of the program for the 2015 FLACDA Men's Honor Choir Convention. I was immediately ecstatic: "My work is going to be performed at a major choral event!" Weirdly enough though, I almost as quickly started to feel some strange apprehensiveness about it.
"Shouldn't you just write your music and enjoy that process?"
"Why should you care if anyone likes your music? You write for yourself, remember?"
"This isn't even that big of a deal. Stop getting excited."
And I guess there's some truth to all of that. I do write music for myself, because it's a creative outlet and I enjoy the process; I do value my own opinion on whether my music is quality; and, in the grand scheme of things, I suppose this one performance isn't that big of a deal.
On a practical level, there's the hope that this will open some doors. Not that I want to be some famous composer--I am not equipped to handle such things--but after spending years working on your craft, there's always that small part of you that wants more people to appreciate it.
And I won't lie: it's nice to have a little external validation. It makes you feel like what you're doing is worth something to someone else. I think all artists appreciate someone telling them: "You know that thing you spent hours on, that you spent all your free time crafting instead of watching TV or spending time with your family or getting a good night's rest? That thing is good, and you should be proud of it."
So while I'm hoping this is the start of something--rather than a flash in the pan--until then, I'm just going to keep working hard, writing music and telling myself "If I like it, that's good enough." I think all artists need a lot of that motivation too.