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  • Writer's pictureLacie Carpenter

Why Working Hard Isn’t Enough

If you’re like me, you have 50 different plans. You see a million paths that lead to many exciting opportunities. Unfortunately, we have to choose but the good news is, we can travel more than one...unlike what Robert Frost said in his poem. 😁 #robertfrost #toppoet I’ve come to point in my life where I realize my plans won’t always work out. This is not a negative statement. My plans are just tiny seeds that have been planted along the these paths. They will each grow differently. It’s a beautiful and thrilling adventure watching my simple plans blossom into something much bigger than I ever expected. Sure, it takes time. Patience is not one my virtues. Working hard is one of the many facets in the plans growing. Think about a farm. Can only one person build/run a successful farm? No. It takes a team. I’m finding that out more and more everyday. I have a tendency to work by myself because I know things will get done that way. However, working with a team of like-minded individuals actually helps the process. Still, it takes time, effort, and patience. That team, however, does more than help with plans. They build you up and they can see when you’re tired and needing a break. They also notice when you need encouragement to keep working hard even though it feels like nothing is happening. I never thought I’d travel to China and meet the people I met. That was not in my plans. I’m so grateful that it happened. Nashville wasn’t in my plans till a few years ago. I had the intention to move to NYC or LA. The music I write (that has yet to be released) isn’t pure country or bluegrass. I’ve had the privilege of performing with all types of groups; from heavy metal to classical to western name it, I’ve played it. Yet, I find myself in one of the greatest cities in the world. Nashville has opened my eyes to so much. Again, the people I’m meeting and working with help push some of my plans in motion. 

I’m not a Broadway player. Everyone knows of the main drag in Nashvegas. I’ll play downtown when asked, but in general, my heart isn’t with playing the same four hour set every single night, in hopes that someone famous will spot me and want to direct my music career. The people that play on broadway are all incredible. Every. Single. One. However, my dreams do not lie in one area of music. I’ve been boxed in for so many years...I must break free. I’m not “just a fiddler.” I know most fiddlers feel the same way but too often they don’t break the mold. It’s frightening, to say the least. I get it. Just thinking about taking a risk is risky! Attempting to put a solid band together is a totally different story. I have a one-woman show to prove that I do more than “fiddle around.” Finding a group of people that can play everything from traditional folk music to rock n’ roll... and they are cool, awesome performers, and realize that it’s all about the music and audience...that there is an art to a performance—-so, so difficult. I work and work and work...sometimes it feels like it doesn’t pay off. People don’t come out for shows, don’t buy merchandise, etc. I’m not “famous” enough. This has been said time and time again, if you want to see your favorite artists make gotta support them when they are small. You can’t keep saying, I’d pay $2000 to see “so-and-so”. They’ve already made it. And a big reason why they made it was because a group of people supported them while they were growing. My continual work will pay off because I don’t doubt my work ethic. People are fickle; they come and go. Work ethic and faith in one’s self is a must for the music industry. Who cares if people don’t show up for your show...who cares if family wants to get in free...who cares if merchandise isn’t being sold?  Just when you think you’ve worked hard enough—that you deserve a gold star for harder.  Your talent isn’t worth table salt if you don’t push through the difficult times, keep your head up, eternalize the music and get it into your bones...oh, and being nice goes a long way!  One day, because of all the work, time, patience, practice, and persistence—it will come. That’s when we, as creatives, must be eternally grateful we have the careers we do. Enjoy the struggle because it will help someone else one day. Persistence is key. Don’t be annoying but be persistent. If you want something bad enough, go after it. You might break your own heart, but at least good music will be made from it. Have those 50 plans but plan to be surprised. You must always be humble and willing to learn new things. Say yes until you can say no...but keep saying yes, because wild things happen when you take on a challenge. Be yourself. Keep dreaming impossible dreams. Help others. It’s not all about you. When someone else has a plan and wants you in on your tail off to prove to them you are worthy of being part of that plan—because you are. Working hard isn’t enough but it sure helps. Till next time— Fiddle on my friends! Lacie  

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