While I drink my morning coffee, I’d like to share with you a thought that has helped me immensely when considering my life as a musician.
The thing I’m working on right now, this thing that feels as though it’s THE thing. The project that consumes 18 hours of my day from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. The thing I cannot possibly get off my mind… it’s just one small step on your journey and in my experience, is rarely the thing that catapults you to a permanent greener pasture.
In the early days of TesseracT, every new show, every magazine article, and every email from a potential label or business partner felt like it was ‘THE’ thing that would suddenly change everything for us. The idea that ‘someone important could be at this show’ or ‘this label could sign us’ was real and seemed so real and important.
In reality, the very fact that we were playing a show was the important thing. The show itself was the step we were taking in our journey to where we are today and in retrospect, despite the personal and collective effort it takes to make that single show happen, it was a only tiny step forward in the grand scheme of our career.
If you’re able to reframe the projects that dominate your time and thought in this way, as simply one small step forward rather than pinning all hope that this single idea is going to change your life financially; present a new level of happiness; set you up for the future; etc, you’ll realize that the joy you experience comes from the journey itself rather than the outcomes of these single events.
As a result of many hundreds, more likely thousands of tiny steps, in April 2022, my band TesseracT stepped on stage at Wembley Arena supporting none other than Dream Theater… could I have imagined this as a reality when we were playing 200-capacity clubs around the UK, sure, but it was certainly a dream scenario back then.
Photo: TesseracT stage at Wembley Arena, 23rd April, 2022.
Only through having done the work with TesseracT over the past 15 years+ are we at a stage where opportunities like this are a reality. And when I think about it, the work we’ve done has been significant: 10+ US tours, European tours, Summer festival tours, World tours, four albums, music videos, live performance videos… with each of these projects complete, every time, the next opportunity was bigger in one way or another.
This is the idea I’d love for you to sit with and consider, especially if you’re feeling stuck creatively, as though you’re not picking up any traction… the very fact that you’re working on your creative goal or project is giving it traction!
This is the practice you need to get your project to the world stage, and for the majority of us, it takes a lifetime of practice for the dream or expectation to feel accomplished. It’s taken all 38 years of my life so far and from the moment I left formal education to the moment I left my 9-5 job to pursue TesseracT, I can tell you it felt incredibly difficult and even unlikely – but faith in my own abilities and continually working on the next thing, taking the next step… that has worked for me.
For the record – from my perspective, I do not consider TesseracT to be accomplished, or to have ‘made it, despite all of the things we have done. The ideas we have for the future are made so much grander by the very fact that we’ve lived through the previous huge projects, which when complete, don’t feel so big after all… they simply feel like a step forward.
I hope this morning-coffee message finds its audience and resonates with a few of you. Whatever creative path you’re on, please share your story here, or of course, feel free to DM me – I’ll help if I can.