“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again.” Samuel Beckett.
So eloquently put, Mr Beckett. A whole lot of headspace dedicated to motivational/self help could be freed up if I could just embody those words. Trying can so easily become the focus of a day - that place of pushing and forcing rather than allowing. On days of great doubt writing songs is never enough - there is lining up places to play, publicity, looking at ways to finance this hobby - the all consuming industry machine. And I fall into the trap of believing that the energy that goes into one is very different from the energy that goes into the other. To a certain extent that is true. However straining too hard - whether it be trying to finish a song or finding the next gig - comes from a place of lack. Believing there is not enough to go around, that it’s all a hustle.
What Beckett so calmly reminds us is that trying and failing is at the core of growth. Wanting it to be good and perfect doesn’t work - messy works as does clunky, flawed and unresolved. In other words, what works is being human and our job is to get as honest with this living as possible. Through art we learn to express it without trying too hard to be fancy or clever, sticking as close to the simple truth as possible.
On asking for advice from a music manager once her answer was golden: write a good song. Simple but therein lies a life’s work. So that becomes the daily practice: to try, fail, no matter, try again, fail again. The rest will come.