I’ve been writing on BUZZNET for two years now; A Thousand Guitars just a little over 7 months, along with the many other contributions along the way. I feel blessed to have found music sites that encourage creative freedom. Without them, I’m not sure where I would be, but I do know I’d probably be one thousand times more frustrated than I am right now in finding a job.
I love to write about music. I love that I have the power to promote what I love instead of giving in to the pressures of bashing things that I hate. Music journalism is a funny thing – either you’re told to write what your editor wants you to write or you have the creative freedom to express your love for something whenever you please. Being that I’m not getting paid for either gig, I have as much creative freedom as I want and I can honestly say that the feedback is much more rewarding than holding a paycheck in my hands. Helping out an unknown band is a privilege. Seeing that band succeed months after that first article was written is rewarding. Seeing your article at the top of the Most Read list is even more rewarding and I’ll admit, very satisfying. Would I like to get paid for what I do? Absolutely, but I enjoy every minute of it and I know this is what I want to do.
Maybe writing for these sites has spoiled me, but the judgment I feel while reading the requirements for this line of work makes me feel both inadequate and excluded. You need a college degree to do the things I already do every day. I’m not assuming I know everything there is to know, but I am probably the most eager to learn than anyone with a measly piece of paper that proves they are somehow worthy of a career they are proud of.
I’m not trying to belittle college graduates, but just because you can’t afford college does not mean you are beneath greatness, or stupid. I’ve accomplished so much within these past two years than I’ve ever done in my life and I am still learning the ropes every day. I learn by observing, thinking outside the box and by trusting my intuition. It has gotten me this far and I intend on following that notion until I find someplace worthy that appreciates me and my efforts. If you need a college degree for that, then I think our youth are being swindled. I want to shake things up a bit and make music writing more upbeat and exciting. Anyone can write a review, but how often do you read a review that contains heart?
While I may not meet the so-called requirements to hold the official title of a paid music journalist, my experience proves otherwise. I am a writer at heart that writes from the heart, and the moment I feel like people are trying to change that, I steer clear. Go where you are appreciated, not tolerated. Dare to be different and rise above your circumstances. It’s a long way up, but I won’t stop – degree or no degree.