Finding your path as an artist

Someone was asking on a songwriting board I belong to, about how they could make money with their music... which way should they go - write for artists, record a CD to sell, score films...

I replied... why not do some reading. I suggest Jason Blume's "Inside Songwriting" for a bird's eye view of his journey towards being a pro songwriter (and songwriting teacher). I suggest John Braheny's "The Craft & the Business of Songwriting" for a primer on the biz. Check out Amazon for a book or two on the subject of scoring films. I also recommend Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" as a primer in creativity & making decisions about your path.

I make my living fulltime in music now, but I spent many years a) working full-time while training, b) working part-time while training and teaching/performing, c) teaching/performing & doing contract work (and still coaching myself), til today, which is d) teaching/performing, growing my skills & getting the tools, pitching & signing music, composing for libraries. I took my first voice lesson in January of 1991... gave up the full-time job in 1996, gave up the part-time job in 2002... haven't done any contract work since end of 2006 (and my last contract... paid just enough to buy me this custom built DAW... synchronicity in action).

Here's one thing I'd do: search out local folks who are doing what you think you'd like to do (score films, for example), and ask them if you could interview them for 15 mins or so. Talk to them about what they do on a daily basis, etc. Explore your ideas more... as you get more information, you'll be able to make some decisions. Whatever you decide... it won't be for the rest of your life... it will be to get experience in different aspects of music until you can see your path.

I don't know if you'll find this post helpful, but thought I'd throw it in the mix: