3 days ago I launched a crowdfunding campaign on pozible. I’d spent the weekend earlier filming, editing and uploading the video and all of the written parts of the campaign, I also spent a large part of that weekend trying not to talk myself out of it going ahead with it. Putting yourself out there with a target for everyone to see and watch the progress (or lack of progress whichever the case may be) is terrifying. When you have applied for a grant or a prize or a competition and you don’t receive the support, or get shortlisted or win- it’s only you and a letter saying ‘the response and depth of talent was overwhelming, unfortunately this time…..’ etc etc. It’s not so public! For the most part the indie music career is a case of perception being reality. The fact that you have only sold 3 copies of your single on itunes can become a ‘yep sales are ticking over, I’d definitely like to see some more, but it’s nice that people are supporting the music’. You can hide for the most part behind unflagging optimism and telling people what you and them, want to hear- that it’s all worth the monumental effort you are putting in. They can click like on a link that they never actually clicked through and you can pretend they watched it and it made a difference to their day.
I love making music, When I get bogged down in bills, I think ‘I need to stop, think of all the things I could do with this money that I’m killing myself to work for’ and then handing this cash straight over to various components and personnel involved in realising my songs. But then I get a comment from someone I have never met, who came across my music by accident and really loves a particular song, somehow makes the toiling side of creation worthwhile, or touring Japan, where the music scene is deeply entrenched (as is Australia) in a pay to play scene, I meet people who love music as much as I do- who just want to hear the breadth of what people have out there and again, it keeps you going, taps you into a world that you feel like might be draining you dry financially, but means something important beyond the dollars. I get to create music- not just play and write it, but realise it in a physical form that gets sent out into the world- I’m really lucky!
So I didn’t talk myself out of the campaign- I posted it and into day 4, after posting it to my entire facebook and twiiter world, I have just 3 magnificent supporters and I’m 9% of the way. I’m terrified- Now I’ve got 56 more days of refreshing my pozible page and wondering how I can convince anyone else that $1 would actually mean a massive change for me. If all of my followers and friends on facebook pledged $1 I’d be over 50% funded- that’s huge and every single one of them would then have a copy of my next song as well. It’s a great feeling to crowd fund others- I just received the new album from Nat Bartsch that I pledged towards in a pozible campaign- for me it was a no-brainer, she writes beautiful music, she needs some support to make the new album happen, I get to help her do that while receiving music that I would want to buy regardless- how can that be a bad thing? I’ve got pledges on other albums and I truly hope that my teensy contribution helps to get each of them over the line.
It’s a tough game, I know full well it’s not all about me, there are a billion ways that money can be spent, there are so many people who desperately need support. I’m not sure what the solution is other than to keep going, to remember that there are people out there to whom your craft makes a big difference. To remember that for better or worse the compulsion to create is in your being and you’re never going to part with it, so you just need to push through and enjoy the adventure regardless of what path it might lead you down. I figure, If I don’t make my target, at least I won’t be wondering what if and seriously, it’s not the end of the world, I’ll still be making music no matter what.
So I’ve decided I’m going to try my best not to look at my pozible page this weekend- I’m going to play the piano and sing instead- for the love of it, for fun, for free. Have a great weekend and thanks for indulging my overthinking mind today and If I can encourage you to jump on any of the crowdfunding platforms- kickstarter, pozible etc and completely make a difference for someone’s creative project.