Should I Quit While I’m Ahead?

From another forum: here’s an open letter to a fellow who has invested a lot of time and energy into trying to make it as an indie musician and now thinks he needs to give it up:

If you love music as much as I think you do, you’re really not talking about giving up on music as much as you’re talking about giving up on one place it can take you and one path that you hoped would get you there. There are other goals and other paths. Personally, I’m in no danger of becoming a touring musician at my age (although I would love it with the right band). Nor do I need to make money off online sales of my music (If money was the issue, I’d make more money per hour overall greeting people at WalMart.) But I can teach others, share my music in local concerts (even freebies like Farmer’s Markets) and find other outlets. I hope to start sharing more of my music online soon, not to sell, mind you, just to make connections with other folks with similar tastes and aptitudes, maybe open a door here and there, and – even more important – give younger musicians the kind of encouragement I needed when I was their age and mostly getting doors slammed in my face. In other industries I’ve discovered that “slow and steady” can win the race if you just keep it up and keep getting better at whatever it is you do. Please don’t just disappear – I know from my own experience that the drive to make and share music can’t be stifled indefinitely, and you’ll spend too much time later resenting that life circumstances convinced you to make that choice.


About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like,, and to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.

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