If there’s one thing music has taught me, it’s that no matter how much you think you know, you are one step away from opening a barrel of what-the-fresh-hell-are-these worms.
There will always, always be something you don’t know. Whether it’s an ability to estimate your own work, supplies, equipment, material, skill, programs, something will be overlooked.
At least with music you don’t have a literal fridge full of rotting food. It’s just your brain. And with music you can be holed up working your ass off on new music, or curled in a ball trying to pretend like time isn’t passing, but it’s not a visibly empty restaurant, day in day out.
That said, when you’re not visibly busy, things do start to dry up. It’s like perpetual motion. Looking busy is probably more work than any job. I wish it was listed as a ratio on job descriptions. “You will spend 35% of your day staring fixedly at a screen/making cleaning motions with a cloth/polishing glasses so that people don’t hassle you.” Oh only 35%? Sweet. I’m in. (100% made up statistics based on many, many jobs).
It’s easy to be sincerely busy. Then there’s no time to overthink, but also, there’s no time to market it, to seed more work. “I’m busy, trust me” isn’t really a closer of an argument. Similar to the girlfriend/boyfriend in a different continent. Sure, bud. Light one up if you’re gonna blow smoke.
That said, unlike restaurants, you’re not as dependent on physical suppliers. There are pros and cons to this. One is that in the restaurant business, everybody knows when a place is done. In the music world, you can hang on for years, and others will define whether your work was a success or failure, or even allowed past the gatekeepers. Every musician is a failed musician most of the time, if you take that attitude. The moments of success are just that. Moments in time over a lifetime. You can stop and start.
I am massively guilty of feeling like a failure 99% of the time. And yet I haven’t done anything to be an egregious failure. I just haven’t had amazing success. And even if I had, I would probably compare it to somebody else. Comparisons will just make you vain and bitter, so I’ve got to cut it out.
That and remember not to open a restaurant on my own, at least. What would I even call it?