We’ve all heard the many stories about musicians living on the edge, burning the candles at every end, dripping the hot melted wax of drug and alcohol abuse all over their friends and fans, and skyrocketing to a glorious early demise.
We sometimes idealize and deify those who gave everything of themselves, while simultaneously digging an untimely shallow grave, littered with dead flowers, empty wine bottles, and spray painted graffiti.
Writers who do not perform their own songs are a little more immune to these extravagant lifestyles. But as musicians, we all share the characteristics that lend themselves easily to decadence and self-destruction. The biggest ones being the constant uncertainty of not knowing where that next paycheck is going to come from, and the burning inner passion to get our creative ideas out into an often cruel world that easily dismisses this magic as frivolousness.
If you are hooked on the wild ride, and want to hang on to the runaway train blasting out magnificent music while it tumbles off a mountain cliff, more power to you! I am not one to judge personal choices; I have had my own Dances with the Devil, and felt the flames on my toes.
I would just like to bring to light the FLIP SIDE OF THIS COIN, the other heroic figure in music. These are the songwriters and performers who find a way to walk this tightrope of the music business without a net, and never seem to fall. They stick around for a long career and give something back to the world.
A couple examples that come to mind are Bono, from U2, who fights for humanitarian causes all over the world, and Paul McCartney, who dedicated his whole career to the promotion of love and world peace through music.
The key to becoming a gift giver to the world often lies in finding inner BALANCE, and dedicating some of your life to PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.
There are shortcuts to personal empowerment that many artists and songwriters use to cut through this sometimes harsh world like a machete through the Amazon jungle, and bring out our magical gifts much more quickly. If you work on changing yourself first, it becomes much easier to help make the world a better place for everyone. I am a big advocate of applying methods of self-improvement to enliven the Great Songwriter Within. Please share any methods of inner growth that you have found effective.
And if you can think of more great examples of the second type of heroic songwriter, please post them below as well.