Friday, January 2, 2015

The Fraud Police

I finished Amanda Palmer's book The Art of Asking last night. It's been a wealth of information and inspiration. A couple of years ago, Amanda - a musician - embarked on a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $100,000...she ended up making over $1,000,000. It was the most amount of money ever raised by a musician on Kickstarter. It sparked a slew of controversy. Who is she to ask for money? She used to be on a major label. This is like begging. Blah blah blah.

The book is part memoir, part self-help. It looks back on her life, emphasizing all the times she had to ask for help to get to where she is today. It highlights all those people who helped her. 

It helps you understand that it's okay to ask for help.

I don't like to ask for anything. A ride somewhere, to borrow a pen, to get a picture taken, advice...

I can think of hundreds of times where if I just would have asked for help things would have gone so much better. I think about how when I put out my first album, I had so many resources at my fingertips, but I was too scared to ask for help. My friend used to run a label. She knows everyone in town. She knows how to get an album reviewed. But I was scared to ask. So I didn't. And that was that. For my second album, I gathered up the courage and asked for her help. And she was happy to. And then I was on the radio.

All you have to do is ask.

So what does that have to do with The Fraud Police?

Throughout her book, Amanda talks about The Fraud Police. The Fraud Police is the name she gives for that nagging voice of self doubt that everyone has. The idea that someday someone is going to "bust you" and say: we always knew you weren't real. you don't deserve this. you suck at this. and now we figured it out and we're taking it all away.

It's a voice that lives way too close to the forefront of my brain. Any time I want to ask for help with something to do with music, I just hear that voice saying: everyone will laugh. nobody takes this seriously. they're just humoring you. nobody takes you seriously. you suck at this.

And that is terrifying.

In February, I'm hoping to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the new record. It's been recorded, but there is still work to do. Expensive work. And I need help. And so I'm going to have to ask for it. 

And that is terrifying.

Finishing this record and getting it out in the world is so important to me. It's been years in the making and I need to get it out. And the thought that I can't do it without this one part of the equation sucks. 

Because I don't like to ask for help. Because I'm afraid the answer will be no. And then where does that leave me?

And then The Fraud Police come back and then I spend my nights lying in bed trying to convince them they are wrong.

Trying to convince myself.

Do I sound like a crazy person? 

We're entering into a new year, and with that comes all those resolutions. So I guess it's time to make one. It's time for me to learn how to stop worrying and let people help.

Thanks, Amanda.

(Also, it' a really good book and a quick read and you should get it and read it)

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