Wednesday, February 15, 2006

cds for sale


This Friday night I am having a CD release concert at New City Cafe here in Knoxville. And I am extremely excited. I am also extremely scared. Not so much for this show, because it will be almost entirely my friends and church family in attendance. That is always an easy win. No, the reason I am scared is that this marks the beginning of the next season in my life. It may only be a couple months...it may be longer, I don't know. But, basically for at least the next few months I am going to start pursuing opportunities to get out and lead worship or play concerts or...or whatever.

And to be honest, yeah...I am horribly afraid.

Am I afraid of rejection? No. Am I afraid that I might be a complete failure? Not really. So what is it? What am I afraid of? I am afraid of mediocrity. I am afraid of insignificance. I am afraid that I am just one more guy who plays guitar and leads worship and thinks that qualifies him for superstardom. I am afraid that I am just talented enough to really believe that I could be successful, but not quite talented enough to actually make it. I am afraid of neglecting my church family in my pursuit of...of...I don't even know what I am pursuing.

So why I am doing it? In short: to sell CDs. I know that sounds bad, so let me explain. I have been singing and playing piano my whole life. From elementary school through college, music was my thing. About six years ago, I began penning my own songs. 99% of them are worship songs, or worship-y songs. And all along the way I have heard, "Man, you really should do something with your music", "Bill, you need to record this stuff." "You could really make it." I have heard a lot of those remarks. But so have those mentally-handicapped kids who get slaughtered by Simon Cowell on American Idol. I am truly, truly appreciative of the compliments I have recieved...but as far as career advice, they just don't carry much weight.

So my response has always been: Yeah, I would love to be famous, or have a record deal, or just have my music heard, but I'm not going to be the one that makes it happen. I will sprint through any door God opens, but I do not want to "make it" on my own ambition or will-power. I'll continue to write songs and lead or perform on whatever stage I'm given. But I'm not going to pursue anything bigger.

That sounds nice, doesn't it? Real humble. Well, it was...at first. Then it morphed into false humility. I took pride in being somebody who had talent, but didn't feel the need to pursue it. I know that sounds completely stupid, but it is true. Then on one occasion after reciting my amazingly spiritual and humble response, someone said to me, "Well okay, but what is worse: someone who God hasn't gifted and whose songs don't really say anything getting out and getting their stuff heard and then being rejected; or someone who God has gifted and whose songs do say something that keeps it all to himself because he wants to be modest?" Hmm. That comment broke me and it really made me think.

Then, this past May I feel like God opened a door.

My friend Kevin was going to be in Atlanta, which is about 3 hours south of Knoxville. I hadn't seen him in nearly a year, so it was well worth the trip. While visiting him, I had the opportunity to have dinner with some people who are very much in the worship music scene, so to speak (I know that is a horrible way to phrase that...I apologize). In the conversation, the fact that I write some worship stuff came up. One of the gentlemen mentioned that he does some record producing and engineering, and would love to work together on something. I could have run circles around that restuarant, I was so excited.

Well...long story short, I now have a guest bedroom full of boxes and boxes of my CDs. And now I need to sell them. See, I didn't realize that walking through a door that God opened, requires that you take some pretty difficult steps.

So here I am, calling friends and strangers and everyone in-between, asking, "Hey, would like to book me to lead worship, or play a concert at your church or coffeeshop or 60,000 seat stadium (okay, I'm not that bold yet)?"

Here I am, getting ready to travel and put myself out there, under an intensely scrutinizing spotlight; not really knowing why or what will come of it. Completely blind and afraid and unsure.

Here I am, sitting in my office, alone and wondering if anyone will ever care.

Maybe they will. Maybe they already do. Maybe, my stage will never be any bigger than the church of 150 that I currently work with. If so...I am 100% okay with that. Great. Awesome. I will gladly and sincerely thank God when I die for such an opportunity and such a blessing.

But until then, I've got some CDs to sell.

3 comments:

Jake said...

Bill, your cd is fantastic. It has been in my player everyday since I got it. Good luck to you on your tour.

Dustin said...

how can i get a copy? my friend Nick wants one too.

bill said...

well, right now the store section on my webpage isn't working...so the best way to get one is to email me your address and i'll email you mine. or...you could book me for something at your church. ha ha. i'm serious.