So, you’re posting your videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, drummerworld dot com, and you aren’t getting anywhere. Modern Drummer magazine isn’t asking to interview you. Those clinic appearances aren’t rolling in (in fact, you’ve never done a clinic in your life). Bands aren’t hiring you. The drum companies aren’t asking you to endorse their gear. You’re not the famous drummer you imagined you’d be.
You know why? It’s because you’re not ready yet. You’re not good enough yet. Maybe you don’t deserve it. Maybe you’ll never deserve it. But, then again, maybe you will.
But maybe all of that stuff isn’t really important anyway. Is this why you’re a drummer? So you can be an internet star? You want to be famous? Well, those are the wrong reasons! All of that stuff is outside. And none of those places care about you. In fact, the only person who cares about your drumming is YOU.
The universe doesn’t give a flying fuck.
Harsh? Yes. But also true. And it’s also OK.
So, stop worrying about all that shit and start thinking about what’s going on inside you. Do you love drumming? Does playing the drums excite you? Do your eyes light up with delight when you think about learning some new drum licks? (Actually, if you say “yes” to that, you should click HERE. Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Do you enjoy playing in bands with accomplished musicians? What kind of music do you like? Are you even passionate about music? Do you like practicing? Do you practice a lot? I mean A LOT? Do you dream about and obsess over how to develop that new technique you saw some other great drummer do? Are you figuring out how to do it? Are you playing gigs? If not, why not? Are you a nice person? Do people you play with like to hang out with you? Do the gigs you play sometimes lead you to other opportunities? Do you enjoy the journey? Are you trying to sound different from everyone else? Do you have any ideas about how to sound original? Is it fun for you to watch yourself getting better? Is it exciting to you that little things develop very slowly over time in your art? Do you see where this is going?
You should be answering yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes to all of those questions.
Being excited about drumming because you love it is the real answer. You pursue it because it’s exciting, essential, wonderful, beautiful, delicious and satisfying. It’s because you sit down to play and then when you look at the clock, 90 minutes have flown by and it just felt like a second.
All of these things are inside you. Not outside. Social media, endorsements, Modern Drummer interviews, fame and all of that other bullshit are all outside and that stuff isn’t really important. If that is your motivation you should give up now. Give up now because the universe doesn’t care. The world doesn’t care. Only you care. And that’s OK. If you love drumming and love being an artist, none of the outside shit really matters.
You might be able to get some people to care. I hope you do. If you have the inside stuff figured out, and then do the work, other good stuff probably will happen. But getting the outside world to care comes later. First comes your work, your love, your OBSESSION with your art. If you have that (and that is the real gift; that is the real talent of any artist), then you really have it all. It’s the love of the art of drumming that makes it all work. Do you have that? If you do, then you’re really on your way.
Go inside! That’s where the magic happens. Outside can come later. Hopefully it will. But first comes you.
Because the universe doesn’t give a fuck. But that’s OK. You just have to accept that and get on with it. Can you do that? Because if you can do that, greatness can follow.
Thank you Johnny B. Truant for writing The Universe Doesn’t Give A Flying Fuck About You and inspiring me to write this. I know that’s true and I’m trying to do some epic shit.