The DIY Myth: Why We All Need Community
For about the last ten years, there’s been a shift ongoing in the music industry. The affordability of home recording software and hardware and the advent of digital distribution has given power to independent artists, and to some extent has made record labels obsolete. But the idea of doing everything yourself is still an unrealistic notion.
Sure, there are a lot of talented people out there who can do almost everything themselves. But it’s like being a “jack of all trades.” If you’re doing everything yourself, it’s almost impossible to do any one thing the best. Not only that, but you will inevitably suffer burn out.
I learned this hard lesson last year as I decided to create my Christmas EP on my own. Depending on how you define success, you could say I was successful in this effort. I did everything from photo editing the cover to mixing and mastering the album. The only thing I didn’t do myself was take the photos.
And when you listen to the final product, it shows that I did everything myself. Now, of course, I take a little bit of pride in that. But if I had hired a recording engineer, producer, mixing and mastering engineer, I really think it would have turned out a lot better.
That brings me to my point. We all need a community around us. We need people who we can turn to when we need to get something done. We also need people who will tell us when we need to seek help.
This DIY movement has led a lot of people to develop a superman complex. “I don’t need anyone else. I’ll do it myself,” we say. And while it can be good to have a bit of an independent spirit, it can also lead to blind pride.This doesn’t just apply to music either. No matter if you’re an author/blogger, photographer, podcaster, videographer, corporate boss, or stay-at-home parent (yep, dad’s too!) you need a community around you.
All this to say, I think I’ve learned my lesson. I know that I CAN do everything myself but that doesn’t mean I SHOULD. I need those people around me that I can depend on to help me with the things that I don’t do great and also to tell me the truth when I think I do everything greatly. It may take my swallowing a lot of pride, but I know it’ll turn out better in the end.