Me 'n' Leonard

It took me a while to get up the nerve to call myself a singer-songwriter. I sing and I write songs, but I somehow didn't think I deserved the hyphen. As I proudly wear the hyphen, my recent challenge has been to call myself a working musician. This one is a little different because you actually have to be making more than spare change to qualify. This is the ever present factor in the momentum of getting more and better gigs and pressure to create other musical streams of income.Although I am fortunate enough to have my unofficial manager/ official husband bringing home the Monday to Friday bacon, it is important to me that I work and make an income. It is also important for my soul to work at what I love. I have told myself that this is the reality of the amateur, of the good-but-not-good-enough artist who stubbornly clings to his art on principle. We scrimp along and people secretly wonder what we will be when we grow up. Then I heard an interview with Leonard Cohen.I assumed that after 50 years of a successful international career, Leonard doesn't have to work, but he does it because he simply loves it. He does love it, but he revealed some truths that shifted my concept of being a working artist. When he started out as a poet and writer, he was not making money so he wrote and played music. He actually made music to make more money! He worked his craft out of necessity. In his golden years, recovering from embezzlement, he continues to work. He's just lucky enough to do what he is able to and loves to do. There is business and work in art. We just don't see it in the final product. But it is there and necessary to make art more than a hobby. And so I work and will continue to do so. It is work that is at times painful and plodding and at others transcendent. I am one of the lucky ones.

1 comment

  • cat mac

    cat mac apache junction, az

    i am enjoying reading you blog karen. i saw a cool video on grounding today and it talked about when we go shoeless, we are getting electrons from grounding and that it can knock out almost any ailment. i will try to send it to you on fb. keep up the beautiful songwriting! i love your writing and singing! cat in the mac out west typically, sometimes south!

    i am enjoying reading you blog karen. i saw a cool video on grounding today and it talked about when we go shoeless, we are getting electrons from grounding and that it can knock out almost any ailment. i will try to send it to you on fb. keep up the beautiful songwriting! i love your writing and singing! cat in the mac out west typically, sometimes south!

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