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Hanging In There

Hanging In There #CreativeProcess

I’m hanging in there. Even if I sometimes think I started too late to prioritize my musical/creative efforts, I am seeing how tenacity can truly pay off.

If you are a creative person testing the waters of doing your art for a living, stick with it. I’ve found that it can be incredibly rewarding in every way. (Please be sure to read to the end.)


Though I was interested in music, I held it as a sideline in many ways during various phases of life. My tenure in public schools, college, and graduate school, included “music on the side”.

  • While in elementary school and junior high, I took piano lessons, played in the school bands, and wrote songs (and poetry). I didn’t have to hang on in these days. Music was second nature.
  • During middle/high school, I wrote songs, composed music, and sang in every choir I could find. No hanging on required.
  • During my 4th and 5th years (USA equivalent of a sophomore and junior in high school) I was in Glasgow, Scotland where I played in a rock and jazz fusion bands. I also played Judas in “Jesus Christ, Superstar”.
  • In college, my music took second chair, but was still part of my life. Sometimes my musical life was hanging by a thread.
  • In graduate school, I continued to play piano and sing. I also learned to play the pipe organ from Emmett Smith.


Then, adult life took over. I got jobs. I got married (more than once). Though music never left my life, it became a secondary attention in spite of my intentions.

Hanging In There

At one point, I moved from Texas to California to “do music and nothing else“. And then, I had to pay the rent, so the music took second seat again.

Ironically, the last two decades have produced the most prolific time in my musical career. I’ve played more live gigs, recorded more music, and collaborated with more musicians than in any previous part of my life. Plus, the income from royalties, gigs, arranging and recording music no longer looks like a hobby at tax time.


The only reason I’m writing this post is to say: if you are pursuing a creative livelihood, keep doing it. The rewards may not always match what you imagine. Still, the payoffs can take many forms.

Keep hanging in there. Make art. Deliver art. Change the world for the better.

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