10,000 “Plays”

When I started to write, record, and post my music on Soundcloud, it was to overcome a legacy of caring too much about what people think, especially anything to do with artistic endeavors – but not limited to just that.  I am not bashing the time I spent in a conservative Christian church, but like all of our childhood environments – there are some really good things attached to them and also some not very good things. For me, people’s opinions about the rightness or wrongness of my words and behaviors grew to have way too much influence over me, and I have spent the past 50 years trying to overcome that rather life-limiting mindset.  Sometimes, in an absolute revolt, I go way too far in the other direction, causing some minor harm and major embarrassment to myself, leading to regret.

By posting my songwriting and singing on Soundcloud, I had to overcome the harshest critic who lived inside my mind.  “You can’t sing. You can’t write. You are not trained. Your music is simple, too simple.” However, once I opened the floodgates of my musical nature, I couldn’t stop. Yes, many times, I posted a new song and then took it off Soundcloud for fear that it was the work of a simpleton who couldn’t carry a tune, only then to say, “Man, this is why you are doing this. You have to face these fears. You have to do what makes you happy and stop caring what others think. Time is running out.”

Like a partly filled water balloon of doubt, whenever I put pressure on one area, the doubts would show up in another area of the balloon, such as, “You’re too old for this type of behavior.  Music is for young people. Don’t post photos of yourself, your chin/s hangs too low. Your hair is gone, your ears are too big.”  As I write this, I laugh and I cry – what a way to spend my time.  Without going into details -because we all need forgiveness – a wise therapist told me once that when someone stops abusing us, we tend to take over and continue abusing ourselves.  Hmm… So you see, posting songs on Soundcloud was about much more than just sharing music. It was sharing myself and, indeed,  believing that I was worth sharing. Odd, I know.

Something, however, that I haven’t quite figured out is that by outward appearances, I am a pretty successful guy in most areas of my life. It is really quite amazing how we can be wounded in some areas and so strong in others. I guess that is the power of  love – of family and friends. We, they, step up to help where need be.

When I posted my first song on Soundcloud, I got so excited with my first “play” and “like” and “follow.” Then I found out it was some spam account, but like Steve Martin’s character in “The Jerk” there is something exciting about seeing your name for the first time in the phone book!

I thought I might never get to 100 “plays” on Soundcloud and if I did, it would be a real accomplishment. Now, please know that some people get 1,000 plays or a lot more per day on Soundcloud, but my genre of music is not in the popular genres.  Slowly the plays added up, along with the followers – and a few of those followers were constantly supportive and even collaborators and dare I say, friends- that last week I reached the 10,000 “plays” level. See what happens with the power of love!

Onward and Upward,

Gary

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