Today is the first day in many days that I feel tired. Tired enough to not write on the blog. But as I'm waiting for another band meeting (at this insane hour of half an hour before midnight), I feel that I have time to rant on something. Something that might be a misconception.
Most people presume that those who involve them in cool careers like journalism, photography, radio-jockeying etc have an easy time going about their lives. Glam lives, parties and other niceties are tagged on to them so easily. I myself am in the vicinity of two such ventures; of a surgeon and another as a professional musician.
The surgeon's life is glorified by because of being morally binding social service. Saving lives whilst doing super-human like feats in the operating room all the melodrama of explaining relatives the success of the surgery or lack of it; we get to see that a lot in the media (remember Reader's Digest?). Some of the actual happenings in a surgeon's life, especially during residency have been captured, somewhat realistically, in TV series like ER, Scrubs and Gray's anatomy.
But it's not the truth. Nobody cares about the years and years of slogging before medical school. Or about the time in medical school where the lives are simply severed from social structure. Or about the inhumanly hours of continuous work during internship and residency which actually lead to decreased quality of care to patients. Or about the struggle once you become a 'doctor' to establish ourselves as a renowned physician. All such things are not well known and at times seem to be pushed under the rug so as to avoid the glare of the reality.
Similarly, the life of a professional guitarist is also not all that cool. It takes a lot of effort in the first place to be good enough to play at the highest level. It might be fun learning the instrument, I agree. But after that, it's a real struggle to find like-minded individuals, to form a band, to write together and to play together. A lot of ego clashes and conflicts happen regularly. It's hard to find a place to rehearse and once we seem to have prepared ourselves for the live concert scene, there aren't any takers for us.
If you enter the next stage ie. the stage of recording and releasing your work and it's impossibly difficult. Everyone loves to give you the boot. 'No, your music isn't our style' 'Your music can't sell' and other comments are spewed relentlessly. And besides, you don't have the kind of money required to go to a studio and pull it off yourself. Not to forget the kind of poverty that you have to deal with at the start of career.
Somehow or the other, let's say, everything has worked for you. You are recording an album. It's still tough work at the studio. Hours and hours of sessions lead to injuries to your hand (as in my case tendinitis of my left hand). The stage of mixing and mastering are even worse. It takes a lot of mental energy. You simply get tired of listening to all the stuff again and again and thinking about how it could sound better with a tweak here and there.
Such has been my day. I didn't do anything laborious in the physical sense. But I'm tired like a dog! I even said no to a dinner party for the gay boys, by the gay boys. And my work day ain't over! Another couple of hours of brain-storming to make sure that everything in the album sounds just right!
Whew, good night!