I have a show Wednesday night at the Ranch in Las Colinas, a couple of private events, and my regular 2nd Thursday night and every Saturday at Filthy McNasty's.
Some weeks are like that, and some are like last week where I'm driving all over the place and playing a variety of venues. I often compare being a singer/songwriter to selling vacuums door to door, even though I've never done that. There's an amount of uncertainty every week because you know how many doors you'll knock on, but you don't know how many times you'll hear the word yes. There's an amount of certainty because you know you're depending on yourself to knock on a certain number of doors every day, and banking on the averages you've come to know in the past to determine that there will be some yes answers in there. Reminding myself that I am the one in control by controlling my work ethic is the only way I've been able to feel comfortable raising a family in an industry like music.
I'm not even really in the music industry because I don't look for record deals, pay radio promotions, hire Nashville agents, write for publishing companies, or tour with promoters. I'm really in the Joshua Ingram business, and music happens to be my product. There are challenging times, sure, but there is nothing like working for yourself. There's no sick pay, but I've learned how to manage that. There's no vacation pay, but I take a percentage every week and set it aside so I can take time off. There's no retirement but I have my own, independent long-term investments that will serve that purpose if I ever retire.
I've started to feel a little older. I don't recover like I used to. I'm developing some arthritis in my knuckles and probably some nodes on my vocal cords. I definitely don't always understand the music that is popular today. I am however, finding myself in conversations with lots of younger songwriters and can see that same spark I had years ago. There's a dream and a naiveté that goes along with setting out down this road. There are plenty of people who will tell them it's not responsible, dependable, or sensible. That's all true. I enjoy that, since others will be telling them those things, I'll be able to look at them through 20 years of experience and tell them they can do it. I also enjoy the idea of getting to share some of the wisdom I've gained like; It's not about being famous, it's about being able to do it for as long as you want.
Thanks for listening and for being part of why I can keep making music for a living. Thank you for giving me 20 years that I can share with the next bunch. In 20 years, I'll be close to retirement age in America, but I bet I'll be nowhere close to retiring.
I've got five more songs we're putting together right now and I'll get them to you as soon as I can. Until then, keep streaming and sharing the music and let me know when you're coming to a show!