There is risk here, in our creative world. We sing with our mouths half-closed for hear someone might hear us. We walk towards a goal, but our body language says part of us is unengaged in the journey. We think about writing the book and suddenly cleaning the closet seems urgently important. We write songs that we feel no one hears, and it seems like the doors to the music industry (or whatever other entity we are trying to infiltrate) are firmly closed.

But there are people who are Making It. Yes, of course, the ones you hear on the radio, and see on tv, the ones getting the grammys and the junos and the book awards. But there are many more who are actually Making It by going outside the lines. Thinking outside the box. Forgetting what is "traditional" and stepping out. They take a huge risk. They might fall, they might fail. They sacrifice financially for a time. Often their lives are an open book. Like me, writing my blog, they share their journey & their struggle to Become with an audience of thousands.

Here are people whose stories have inspired me recently:

Jonathan Coulton

Leo Babauta

John Taglieri

Each of these people take chances. They invest time & ongoing, daily effort into their vision. And it's paying off. I'll bet there are times, when the bills are due & creativity seems unreachable, when they think of quitting. I'll bet there have been times when their friends and family thought they are crazy. But they continue to put it out there, and learn, and listen, and work on their skills.

And perhaps they also take joy in the journey. Because the aim of life is not to get 'there', but to be 'here'.

Are You Too Old for this?

Oh, let's talk about age and the myth that you lose your creativity or ability to experiment or think outside the box when you have lived more than a certain number of years. Many people will tell you that you have to be under 30 to get signed, or to start a music career. Well, I'm here to tell you that's hogwash. I started in my 30s and I'm still going strong, working hard at growing my skills and doing my thing and maybe even, in my own little corner of the world making an impact. And it ain't just me. I was just reading the story of a mid-50s Indie Artist who got signed to a label less than 10 years ago -- meaning he was on the high side of 40. Now, he said, you have to be great to be signed by a label. But great isn't defined by age.

I'm not saying that there aren't terrifically talented people under 30 doing great & exciting things. But I am saying there are terrifically talented people over 30 doing great & exciting things.

I haven't seen The Bucket List yet, but I heard an interview this morning. Before writing the screenplay for that movie they interviewed a large number of people aged between 65 and 100+, and asked them what they regret. One of the top things was... they wish they hadn't wasted time on things that didn't matter.

When I began my music journey 17 years ago, one of my prime motivators was ... not wanting to wake up one day at 80 years of age, saying to myself 'now, why didn't I try harder to....'
I've wanted to be a singer since I was 5 or 6 years old, and I let societal & familial ideas of what you should do for a living and how you should live your life dictate what I did. I lost far too many years and was far too unhappy to ever go back there again. I do music now full-time and I am endlessy grateful that somehow I found the way to do that. It didn't happen overnight but the last 17 years have been a slow growth to who I am today. And I have miles to go, and tons to learn, and much more to experience. Who cares how old I am? I'm still alive, and I want to Live, not just take up space.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
– George Bernard Shaw