Being a singer-songwriter or musician might seem glamorous and thrilling, but the truth is it’s a journey filled with ups and downs. The music industry is known for being financially unstable, and that instability can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles.
Plus, musicians have to compete against a plethora of over-saturated content. This coupled with the shortened attention span of fans in the digital age, it’s understandable how the entire process can become mentally exhausting. Below, Firstfruits Music Awards explores some of the mental health challenges of pursuing a career in the Christian music space, some of which are not discussed nearly enough.
The Financial Instability of the Music Industry
Financial instability is perhaps the most significant challenge that people in the music industry face. It’s no surprise that many musicians struggle to make ends meet, which can easily lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Not receiving adequate payment for your performances, royalties, or music sales can be frustrating and motivating.
It’s crucial to find a steady source of income so you can maintain your mental well-being. You might focus on building a fan base, monetising your social media account, offering more merchandise, and booking your gigs strategically.
Over-Saturation on Streaming Platforms
Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms have changed the game for musicians and songwriters. They have brought both benefits and challenges to the industry. The competition on these platforms is brutal, and anyone can make their recordings public since it’s so easy to upload music. In other words, there is so much music that it’s hard to stand out.
It can be discouraging to put your heart and soul into creating music — which you believe you were called to create — and then receive little engagement and exposure. You can’t let these obstacles discourage you; you have to focus on creating and improving your craft, pursuing excellence and stewarding your gifts at every turn.
Shortened Attention Span of Fans
People generally have shorter attention spans than they did a couple of decades ago, and much of that is due to the increased prevalence of social media. We are often bombarded with content and may not give every artist and creator the attention that their work warrants. You must find creative ways to capture and maintain your audience's attention!
Take an honest assessment of where you are on your journey, and consider adopting new styles and experimenting with fresh soundscapes. Resolve that you will constantly write new and exciting material to keep listeners captivated.
Having a Bulletproof Mindset
Constant rejection and criticism are a part of the music industry, and developing a bulletproof mindset is essential to moving forward. You have to be ready to receive feedback and learn from it, rather than letting it wear you down. Stay motivated, and keep striving to improve.
Meditating on scripture, journaling, and talking to trusted friends and family members can help you maintain your mental health and avoid burnout. Being intentional about keeping a clean, tidy, and stress-free home can also do wonders for your mind and soul. Create a daily (or weekly) cleaning routine, and consider adding some house plants and essential oils to your living environment.
Becoming a Jack of All Trades
As mentioned, you need to be versatile to stand out in the crowded industry. Many successful Christian artists have diversified and learned other skills like producing, sound design, and other secondary instruments.
Being a jack of all trades not only makes you more valuable but also enables you to take on more roles in your career. Among other ideas, you can pursue more gigs, produce your own music, and collaborate with other artists.
The Bottom Line
Being a Christian singer-songwriter or musician comes with its share of unique challenges. From financial instability to rejection, you must be equipped to handle any trial that comes your way.
Focus on staying true to your calling in the Kingdom, and be intentional about creating new music often and adopting new roles. By leaning into the Lord and persevering, you can find your niche in the industry, foster your mental health, and reap the rewards of your hard work!
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about our premier Christian music song contest? Visit Firstfruits Music Awards today!
This article was written and kindly submitted by Courtney Rosenfeld.