What To Remember When You Feel Like An Alien In Your Industry
When I first started writing about music in 2012 right here on Buzznet, I was rather clueless as to what I was doing. I knew I wanted to write. I knew I had it in me to write about music considering it’s been all I’ve thought about since I was 7 years-old. I’ve always been a writer but I never imagined I’d make a career out of it. But even though I had no idea what I was doing, I did it anyway and I’m not sorry about it.
I knew from the moment I published my very first article (I think it was on Lana Del Rey. Please don’t read it. I’m sure it’s embarrassing) that I didn’t belong in this industry. Music journalism is notorious for nasty critics and jaded writers behind a screen who have nothing better to do than shit on someone’s art because they can. I had no intentions of ever doing that and as much as I’m prepared to fight against it for the rest of my career, I’ll be honest – it has caused me a lot of strife. But that’s okay because nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Make no mistake: I don’t care what others think of my work. I’m happy with it and the people I work with and love seem to appreciate it. But let’s be real here: I’m sensitive as f**k! I wish I wasn’t but I am. There have been plenty of situations when I wanted to disappear off the face of the earth as fellow writers in my field gave me a virtual beating because of how I prefer to operate, calling me stupid in the process. So fitting for the status-quo, huh? I was made to feel like a piece of crap for my integrity and as much as I hate to admit it, it put me in a slump this year that’s been hard to crawl out of. Now I’m wondering if they would have said any of those hurtful things to my face if given the chance. Would they spew it out to the artists they’ve crapped on? Probably not.
I’ve pretty much grown up accustomed to feeling as if I’m inadequate because of my morals while navigating social situations in high school but to have it thrown in my face all over again because of my career was a major blow to the heart. But despite all the emotional turmoil, I’ll never stop fighting for kindness in music journalism. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer myself and I understand how artists pour everything they have into their work that I’m able to see things from both sides. Or maybe it’s just me being human. To me, not being written about is the only form of negative feedback an artist needs.
It’s easy to feel like an alien in your industry, especially if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. I wish it was as easy just to tell you to stop doing that, but it happens and you’re only human. But think of it this way: Just because something has been done a certain way for years, doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to stay. Whatever you are pursuing in life, you need to put up a fight when appropriate. If not, it’s probably not meant for you anyway. There are days when I just want to stay in bed all day and hide but you know what gets me going? Knowing that there’s still so much to accomplish in this short life and that fighting for what you want is how you know you’re on the right path to making a positive difference.
Aliens are cool. They’re not like everyone else. That alone is what will take you far while the others are still on that overpopulated planet miming what they’ve seen from others, never making any progress. It’s not easy being green, but I can promise you it’s worth it. 😉