Many times I have considered unplugging my guitar, and stepping back from the mic. Although music would never really end at home, sharing it could easily stop as I don't crave the spotlight and don't need external validation for who I am. But I have always felt like God called me to share my music, my songs, my heart... so I always just kept going, no matter how hard it was.
However, there did come a time that I really was done, when I tossed hundreds of my own Cd's in the trash, when I filled that trash barrel up with musical accomplishments and awards I had received over the years, and I watched that Nashville trash truck pick it all up and dump it in the back. It was painful to watch, but I was so... relieved. I was ready to move on from music, from shows, from using my voice at all. I put a few of my guitars up for sale, put my head in my hands and cried my eyes out.
I couldn't respond to even one person inquiring about my guitars.
I deleted the ads.
I had no income without music. I am covered in tattoos, and have no formal education. I have ADD and I'm dyslexic. I struggle to learn the way the world teaches, and I have to work twice as hard to get half as far. And all I knew was music. Not many options out there for a girl like me. And all I had was a few hundred bucks a month coming in from Patreon. I knew I needed to keep that.
My buddy, Jay, drove the UHaul truck across the country, towing my old Chevy truck while I followed in my Corolla with my three dogs in the backseat. After a week of driving, we rolled up to an Arizona storage unit, where we unloaded my life and closed the door. I was in a daze, and stayed that way for months. I didn't touch my guitars. I didn't listen to music. I just... existed.
I found a place to rent, and moved in. No one even knew I had moved to Arizona, I was living in silence. I started to lose Patreon members because of my silence. So, one day I pulled out my guitar and started to write. I needed the money, I couldn't afford to lose Patreon members. I wrote... and wrote... and wrote... and I shared those songs I video'd on my iphone, in Patreon. I gained more members, and I kept writing. I pulled out my recording equipment, set it up, and started recording acoustic demos. Day by day... the music returned. I started to feel like there was hope again. I had lost that in the mess of an abusive marriage that I left behind in Nashville. Music has always been my safe place... where I felt like I could be honest, and truly be who I am. I started to heal... finally.
I don't know where I'd be today, if not for Patreon. Truly. Had I not needed the money that was coming in, I think I'd of kept the guitars in the closet, got a bartending gig and just... disappeared. But Patreon members showed up for me, and they waited it out with me. Sure, some left, rightfully so. Each person, valuable to my story and the journey back to what I was created to do, write songs. The majority of the new record is compiled of songs I wrote during that time. Those are the songs that helped me heal, written out of the need for a paycheck. And as small as that paycheck was... it was enough to remind me who I am.
I am an artist.
There are a lot of songs that I wrote during that time, and since, that didn't make it on the record. But they did make it into Patreon.
If you are curious, or interested in joining... there are many tiers you can choose from. I'd love to have you on board with me as I continue to write and release songs just for members. I opened up a temporary tier for the month of November... the month I moved my life into that Arizona storage unit, just before Thanksgiving in 2016. If you'd like to support me as an artist, and get the behind the scenes look into the life of an artist, I'd love to
welcome you into The Club.
Thank you for being here with me, either way. JL