Thoughts on Overcoming Fear and Asking For Support

by Jason on October 24, 2010 · 8 comments

in Business, Getting Started, Nick Drake Project, Pay-What-You-Want

Over the last couple of days I realized that I’ve been feeling a sense of fear and anxiety about my Nick Drake Project.

Not about the outcome – I know that the music we make will be incredible.

Not about the process of making the music – the musicians involved are all dear friends who are excited about and committed to the project, and I know that we’ll have a wonderful time rehearsing and recording the music.

My fear is about the process of funding the project – more specifically, asking you for your support.

My last blog post was about whether or not to use Kickstarter as a platform to help me raise funds for the project. I’ve been going back and forth about it, and I think that my main fear about Kickstarter is the all-or-nothing nature of their campaigns. I’d have to set a monetary goal for the project, and if I don’t reach that goal, the project isn’t funded at all (“backers”, as Kickstarter calls them, make pledges of support and are only charged if the project reaches it’s funding goal). This makes me very nervous!

But thanks to the advice and counsel of my lovely wife and a few close friends I’ve gained a new perspective on this. While it’s scary to set a goal and open myself up to the possibility of not reaching that goal, I have confidence both in myself and in my friends, family and fans. I know that we’re going to make an amazing record, and I know that I have people who love and support me and will do whatever they can to help me succeed. What an amazing revelation that is!

So on November 15th I am going to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the needed funds to record, mix and master the New Jason Parker Quartet CD, “Five Leaves Left: A Jazz Tribute to Nick Drake”. The campaign will run for 30 days, the goal will be high, and we will achieve that goal!

There. I said it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Moving from Fear to Courage

As an artist, moving forward is almost always about facing one fear or another. Every time we put pen to paper or brush to canvas or mouthpiece to lips it’s an act of courage. We progress by looking that fear in the eye and shouting “you are no match for me!” This is how we get past the fear and to the act of creation.

Similarly, it’s often uncomfortable asking for help. It can make us feel needy or slimy or selfish. But I know that asking for help is a big part of life and also necessary to move forward as an artist and a human being. We all need help at one point or another. I think it comes down to how and why we ask.

So here’s my pledge to you: Throughout this project I will be asking for your support. It won’t always be financial, sometimes it’ll be in the form of spreading the word or brainstorming ideas. But no matter what, I will ask with a sense gratitude, authenticity and love. And I will also try to give you something in return.

This wasn’t an easy post to write. It made me face up to my fears and find a way to be OK sharing them. Thankfully, I have an amazing support system in you. You give me supreme confidence when staring down my fears and anxieties. THANK YOU!

Maybe you’re facing down one fear or another right now too? If so, look to your support system to help you through. If you need some outside assistance, watch this wonderful video from Pema Chodron:

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian Carey October 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately also, and also based on asking for a grant which I may or may not get. I’m thinking about figuring out how much I could realistically afford to invest in the project myself (in this case it’s writing and performing an extended composition), then setting my kickstarter goal accordingly so that if I need to make up the difference to get the pledges to kick in, so be it. However, I’m sure for many people the amount they can kick in would be closer to $0, so that approach wouldn’t necessarily help. Your get-to-it-iveness is inspiring, though–good luck!

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
October 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Thanks Ian. Be aware that Amazon doesn’t not like it when people contribute to their own projects. I’ve heard that their fraud dept. keeps a careful eye on stuff like that as far as Kickstarter is concerned. You could always set up someone to shill for you though… ๐Ÿ˜‰

But really for me it’s about mustering the confidence that I’m putting out a project worthy of support, and that my fans/friends/family will come through. I have just about convinced myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Carri Bella October 26, 2010 at 1:26 am

Jason, I agree that the all-or-nothing aspect of Kickstarter is daunting. There are other options. I’m researching those right now. I’ll keep you posted.

@CarriBella

Scott McLemore October 26, 2010 at 3:45 am

Actually, I’ve read that Amazon senses when a contributor has the same billing address as the Kickstarter project initiator. In the blink of an eye both the Amazon accounts are terminated and the Kickstarter project null and void.

They don’t fuck around.

Ian Carey
Twitter: iancareyjazz
October 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

Hm, I wondered about that. It’s kind of a bummer, because no one’s actually defrauding anyone, you’re just making up the difference. I guess I sort of understand the logic, but don’t most fundraisers contribute to their own projects anyway? How is that unethical?

Kai Weber
Twitter: fruehlingstag
October 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Your thoughts on fear / anxiety are very interesting and ring many bells in my head. I’m working in a publishing company that is selling a classic book on Anxiety for nearly 50 years now:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Riemann_%28psychologist%29
We’re approaching one million copies sold in German, and no English / American publisher wanted to buy a translation licence for many many years. So we overcame our own anxiety and funded an English translation of the book by ourselves… which is quite a failure, because we don’t have the appropriate distribution channels in the English speaking world.
Anyway, it’s an interesting reading, as the author defines and elaborates on four different personality types based on their individual attitude towards the phenomenon of anxiety.

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