Through the magic of twitter, I watched a video this morning that was by itself inspiring:
Milton Glaser – on the fear of failure. from Berghs' Exhibition '11 on Vimeo.
Even cooler is that this video is part of a series in which various accomplished people wax philosophical about the "fear of failure".
Now the specific wisdom imparted varied from speaker to speaker but one theme emerged and that was that failure was a good and useful thing that can aid in your personal development. But as I watched these videos, I started reflecting on the word failure itself and how it applies in music (or perhaps in any art).
Indeed, how do you fail when nobody is listening? Without an audience, how do you define failure? Is it simply falling short of your "killer taste"? (thanks Ira Glass) And let's say you invest some energy in finding and developing an audience. Is failing to find fame and fortune a failure of your art or a failure of your marketing efforts? I have no answers (but it's a good thing I'm not seeking fame and fortune).
When my thoughts start to meander on these big subjects, a little voice in my head says, "just shut up and make some music." As for failure and the lessons it brings, I'll get back to you when I've learned something.