good deal

Monday, March 14th, 2011

creative commons limited copyright@
" doesn't matter, they're artists! They'll do just as good a job if they're getting twenty-percent of the take, or sixy-percent. So I pay them twenty-percent!"

-We could have been talking about dedicated guitar-players, song-writers, school-teachers, or brick-layers. An artist, performing his or her craft, doesn't do less of a job, express themselves less fully, because they're getting paid less.

We write the best song we can write each day regardless of our publishing draw (or the lack of one), and there has always been the fact of losing your publishing deal because your draw is too high; someone will do it for less, and when music is valued subjectively, it's good business to go with the cheaper version.

On any given night in Nashville, someone is singing their heart out for ten bucks less than the guy the week before. Add the possibility of "being discovered" to the equation, and earnings are usually zero. And in the crowded social landscape where artists are competing to be heard, we, the audience, have come to expect quality even when it's free.

So we had better be practicing our art for something else besides money; and if what we are doing to earn a living stops us from doing that, we're not artists anyway.

What is the value of a personal expression of rightness, wholeness, of integrity? It matters in the short term, because light-bills and mortgages have to be paid; but little in the end, because what we really earn is priceless.

"Nothing- not prizes, rave reviews, or applause, can compete with that special private way you feel about your work; the way you feel when you are finishing something you like." - Richard Hugo

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