If you’re an independent artist trying to turn your side hustle into a full-time career, staying motivated can be challenging. Here are 6 ways you can keep your fire stoked.

Calling yourself a part-time musician never feels great. You’re full-time passionate, but the struggle to ditch the full-time job to make music is very real. The challenge to find motivation throughout the journey can be even harder, but we’re here to help!

We will explore practical tips and strategies to help you find motivation and hold onto it throughout your musical journey. From setting achievable goals, to embracing the setbacks and learning from the journey. Learn new ways to manage yourself as an artist that will breed the motivation and drive to level up to a full-time musician.

Set Clear Goals

Finding motivation starts with setting clear goals. Clearly define what you want to achieve as a musician, whether it’s releasing an album, booking more gigs, or building a loyal fanbase. Break down these goals into smaller, actionable steps that you can work towards.

By having a clear vision and tangible objectives, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated.

  • Write down your goals and review them regularly.
  • Set deadlines for each goal to create a sense of urgency.
  • Celebrate small milestones along the way to keep your motivation levels high.

Looking back over your goals every month can help you to realise just how much progress you are making. Realising your dreams can sometimes feel like a slog, so make sure you stop and smell the roses from time to time.

Surround Yourself with Inspiration

Creating music can be a solitary process, but surrounding yourself with inspiration can help you find motivation.

Build a network of like-minded musicians who share your passion. Attend gigs, open mic nights, and music events to connect with fellow artists. Join online communities or forums where you can share ideas and collaborate with other musicians.

Social media is the perfect solution for being a lonely bedroom musician or producer. Take to channels like Instagram or Twitter and follow your favourite artists. This could help you learn how they approach their career, and you might even be able to chat to them if you’re lucky.

Compiling playlists of music by artists you admire can be a highly effective way to build motivation and remind you why you’re embarking on this journey.

Embrace the Learning Curve

As a musician, continuous learning is essential for growth. Embrace the process of acquiring new skills and expanding your musical knowledge. The more you learn, the more motivated you’ll be to apply your newfound skills to your music.

Here are a few ways you can continue to learn, and develop yourself as a musician and savvy businessperson.

  1. Take music lessons: There’s always going to be someone out there who is a better guitarist or producer than you. That’s why you should take music lessons, even if your skills are pretty tip-top. Attending workshops is also a great idea, as you can enhance your technical abilities whilst networking. You could improve your songwriting skills or diversify your instrumental skills, taking lessons is never a bad idea.
  2. Learn about the music business: Sadly, being a successful musician isn’t just about the music. Alongside mastering your sound, you need to be an accomplished marketer, promoter, negotiator, tour manager… the list goes on.
  3. Experiment with different genres: You don’t need to write a reggae album if you’re the front person of a heavy metal band. But, expanding your skills into other genres and styles can teach you a thing or two about your instrument that you maybe didn’t know. This can also promote the flow of creativity, giving you exciting ideas for your music.

Don’t be daunted if you aren’t receiving regular music tuition, or you don’t know the first thing about record deals. List down all the things you feel you could do with more knowledge on. Then, create a roadmap of how you intend to go about learning these things. You’ll feel energised and motivated by your learning plans in no time.

Define your Creative Rituals

Every musician has their own creative rituals that help them find motivation and tap into their artistic flow. Discover what works best for you and incorporate these rituals into your routine.

This could look like:

  • Creating a dedicated space for your music where you feel inspired.
  • Establishing a consistent practice schedule that aligns with your peak creative times.
  • Exploring different techniques like meditation, journaling, or improvisation to unlock your creativity.

Each person is different, meaning there is no one size fits all approach to tapping into your creativity. If you’re unsure what works best for you, it’s time for some self-reflection, and an exciting period of experimentation!

Stay Organised and Manage Time

Effective time management and organisation are key to maintaining motivation and boosting your career.

It might not sound like it, and maybe it whiffs of structure a little too much for the Bohemian, artistic approach you were hoping to take. But, if you develop good organisational habits and create a schedule that allows you to balance music-related activities with other commitments, you’ll find things working better in the longrun.

With a more lackadaisical approach, you’ll likely find that you actually practice less, spend less focused time on your goals, all whilst starting to feel a little frazzled and lost.

Celebrate Your Wins

We touched briefly on this earlier. Never underestimate the importance of taking a step back occasionally. When you pause to reflect on your journey so far, you give yourself the opportunity to celebrate the successes, and even appreciate the challenges.

Recognising your achievements, no matter how big or small, is vital for finding and maintaining motivation as an independent artist. There are various ways you can celebrate yourself. Keep a journal, so you’re able to look back on every detail of the last month or however often you choose to reflect. You could buy yourself a treat when you hit a milestone, like a new piece of equipment or a limited edition vinyl.

With that said, the best way to celebrate your wins is by sharing them.

Part of turning your passion into your career is building a loyal and dedicated fanbase. To do this, it’s crucial you share every step of your journey with your audience. This allows them to get to know you and feel connected to you, increasing the likelihood of them investing in you in some way. If you hit a certain number of monthly streams, or you reach a milestone number of social media followers, shout it from the rooftops.

Don’t forget to thank your audience for their support. After all, they’re likely the reason you’re able to celebrate that win in the first place!

Wrapping Up

Finding and holding onto motivation as an independent musician is a continuous process. It is absolutely possible to fuel your passion and propel your music career by taking a few simple actions. Remember to set goals, continue to learn and develop, act professional, and always celebrate your achievements.

Waiting around rarely works, you have to actively find motivation if you want it. It’s key to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Let your ultimate goals and dreams keep you on course, whilst you keep searching, stay inspired, and never stop creating!

At Fractis, we’re committed to helping independent artists fund their careers more fairly, and achieve their dreams more quickly. Learn more about how we’re changing the way music streaming pays artists here!