Scattered Thoughts on Making a Living


I’ve had at least three drafts of this blog entry written over the past few weeks but nothing I wrote seemed to make any sense, until today. Today, I went back to an article Jon Foreman had written that a friend sent me titled “Making a Living.” You see, the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about this exact phrase and whether it is possible for me to successfully make a living as a music journalist.

One of my all-time favorite musicians is Jon Foreman, frontman of Switchfoot. Whenever my life becomes a roller coaster ride and I can’t seem to come to the right decision I take out their album, The Beautiful Letdown. “Meant to Live,” “This Is Your Life” and “Dare You To Move” are three tracks that always allow me to reflect on a sequence of events that may have just occurred and reassess things.

In his article, Foreman wrote, “In my personal struggle to make a living, I’ve found that true success has very little to do with income or comfort. In fact, it seems to me that inconvenience, hardship and discomfort are my best teachers . . .  Against the backdrop of despair, we are tempted to abandon the struggle of hope and accept dead cash instead. We’re tempted to believe that ‘the real world’ could never be anything other than it is.”

My family constantly asks me if I have a backup plan if music journalism doesn’t work out. No, I don’t. Lately, I feel like I’m constantly fighting to explain myself and my unconventional life.

“The outrageous souls who are willing to risk failure might be the only ones who are truly making a living,” Foreman continues.

Am I an outrageous soul? I sometimes think so. I don’t have the typical 9-5 job and pray to God that I never will. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier when covering music. It’s a passion of mine and I don’t know why it’s been so hard to explain it to so many people.

Switchfoot and Jon Foreman always comfort me in times of confusion and I’m so grateful I decided to re-read his article today.

“So when you make a living, do not merely make money. Why settle for cash when joy is on the line? You feel a thrill when you dance, when you sing, when you finish your poem; even when you sweep the room you see order pressing back against the chaos. So when you create, never settle for making a living — at least not the way that the world might define that phrase. When you make a living, you are speaking a new world into existence. You are creating grace within the confines, you are co-signing God’s blank checks.”

I couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Jon Foreman.

Annie Reuter, is a freelance writer and music blogger who covers concerts and music festivals around the country. In constant pursuit of the next show to attend and band to interview, Annie keeps up her own music blog, You Sing, I Write, where she uncovers what it's really like to spend the day with a rock star.