Back in 2011, a friend of mine from high school was trying to push his music career. His band had a local following, and was playing gigs in Seattle bars every weekend.
He wanted to fund some studio time, and that’s expensive as hell, but he didn’t want to beg a-la “GoFundMe”, so he put up a post on his bands’ Facebook page, offering to write and sing custom songs for donations to his band’s studio time fund.
Most of his friends are weirdos, so some crazy ideas came out of it. I remember a great acoustic version of ‘Safety Dance’ he did (soulful as hell). The dude is crazy talented and has been forever, so I had to get in on it, and I sent him a couple bucks.
Here’s the MP3 he sent me (OneDrive share link). A 22 second song called ‘Christopher Brown is the greatest guy ever.” I asked him to do something that I could use as a professional wrestler theme. The horns at the end represents me taking a steel chair to the face (my interpretation.)
10 years later. A podcast I listen to sort of fell off the map. A young couple posting a weekly finance and goals podcast while living an adventure in an Airstream sort of stopped posting for a bit. After about 2 months of seeing/hearing nothing, I sent them a note.
(What follows is the general gist of the note, because I don’t have it anymore.)
(Yes, I delete emails once I’m done with them now.)
(After going through 15 years of Gmails that I kept, 99.996% were minutiae that I should never have archived.)
(They were stupid, and only served to have Gmail send me more and more personalized ads.)
(I stole this multiple parenthesis thing from the opening essay in Shea Serrano’s 10 essays about Scrubs.)
(I know it’s weird but it’s charming and I love it.)
“Hey, your stuff is awesome, but you’ve fallen off the map. I wanted to let you know that if you think nobody’s listening, I am. I know it’s lame for someone to complain about something free, but I’m risking looking lame because you’re doing a great job and it’d be a shame for you to stop. If you’re running out of ideas for topics, here are a few:
1) Houses are a ton more work than an Airstream
2) How to separate your money from your feelings of self-worth.
3) Christopher Brown is the greatest guy ever.“
(The topics are sort of inside for the podcast listeners, but now that you’re reading this, you get to be the inside on the last one.)
It took another month, but episode 39 came out in March… and you’ll never guess who’s mentioned in the first 2 minutes. And again at the end near minute 32.
I’m trying to make a point here. Two, as a matter of fact.
First one, I’m awesome. The greatest guy ever. Multiple people confirmed, including a soon-to-be nationally awarded podcast. I have like 25 Twitter followers and everything. Total up and comer.
Second, don’t be afraid to put your stuff out there. The fact that you are trying counts, even if you don’t make a mint. You are learning by doing, and learning and doing are the best things a human can do. Even if what you make isn’t for everyone. Even if it’s just a blog that only a dozen folks read.