Whatever I listen to comes out eventually. Influences rub off and become part of how I write, therefore influences are important and will craft my music for better or for worse.
For example, I love Paul Simon and have no problem with the odd Paul Simon influence playing a part of my future repertoire. Then again, I like the band The Get Up Kids but I have absolutely no interest in sounding like a 90’s emo band. Your taste in music prevails eventually. It’s like that magical High Fidelity line.... “It’s what you like, not what you are like. Books, films, music...these things matter”.
2. Exercise a certain amount of blind faith.
I have a million reasons why I shouldn’t do something. I am plagued with fear and anxiety and I can self-sabotage anything I do if I don’t be careful. Sometimes you need to have a little faith and just stick with it. Trust your skills and believe in your abilities. There are enough people trying to hold you back, you don’t need to do it to yourself.
3. Apply a third-person view and analyze what you are doing
Trying to imagine how others see your live show or your music or any part of your overall product is a good way to analyze what you are doing and find ways to make it better.
4. Divide your time and energy carefully
Your time is your greatest asset and it is a finite resource. I used to agree to join side projects all the time but found they would always cave after awhile. I would take on too much and manage my time poorly. I try to put my heart into one thing now and apply my time appropriately.
5. Don’t let others intimidate you, let them inspire you
Talented local and regional artists used to frighten me. Now they inspire me to get better and make me a better artist. Finding pain in other people’s success is a sign of insecurity.