Words by She Makes War

I strongly believe that building your own world of music, art and human connections is the key to staying centred as a creative person. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the past seven years of making albums and touring, touring, touring:

Make the best, most honest work you can and share it generously. If your music is available for someone to discover, they might discover it. If it’s not – they won’t. Songs are your passport to travel and adventure. Make sure you love them – you might end up playing them (and talking about them) for years. Ideas are worth more than expensive gear.

Appreciate getting to play your music to strangers but don’t undervalue yourself. Exposure is something mountain climbers die of.

If you spend your time being creative and kind then the net result will always be positive. Give yourself time to be proud of what you’ve made and then do it again even better. Keep people who use the words “you should” at arm’s length. Invite feedback from trusted friends and experts but remember everyone is making everything up. Trust your gut.

Treat everyone you come into contact with with respect. Nobody is just the sound engineer/bar-person/support act. You’re not better than anyone else in the room. Don’t shout on the internet – be interesting, be interested and have conversations without expectations.

Get off the computer.

Talk to the audience at shows – without them you’re singing into the abyss. Be grateful when people choose to spend their time listening to your music. They clearly have excellent taste. Be brave, be true and make something you believe in. If you don’t, no-one else will.

Ignore lists of advice and forge your own path.

The work is its own reward, but if you create art and share it, opportunities you never could have imagined will come your way. If you do nothing, nothing will happen. Over to you.

Laura Kidd, aka She Makes War, has toured extensively and released into double figures as an independent artist. See her at ‘An Evening with She Makes War’ at the Crofter’s Rights on 22nd December. More at: shemakeswar.com