Releasing a record is a lot like having a kid. Now that I have done both I can see this more clearly. When you have a kid, especially the first one, you stand at the ready with pics and videos to show your friends and even strangers (whether they want to see them or not). And you silently speak to them all: “Please love my baby… please tell me she is beautiful…” Your need for affirmation of this thing you made (with a little help from a “friend”) can be downright overwhelming. You find subtle ways to drop it into conversation so that folks will ask… “oh! You have a new baby? Do you have pictures?”
A new record is a sort of like that. It is a personal thing that you created (with help from friends) and that speaks some deeper truth about who you believe yourself to be. Although, much like your child, the record is not actually “you”, it is the “you” that you expect to survive you and to carry your story beyond its end. And so… you send copies to your peers and to those above you on the professional ladder (by a few steps or by many). You send copies or free download codes to magazines and bloggers and opinion influencers. You send these things and then you wait. You wait for the reply… “oh! You have a new baby? Do you have pictures?” But mostly they do not reply. Unlike your friends and coworkers, they do not have to look your need for affirmation in the eye. You remind yourself that it was a long shot… that they need to experience your “baby” in order to have an opinion and that most do not have a strong compelling reason to listen long enough to hear the story you are trying to tell. You remind yourself that folks can’t reject what have not experienced. And… you look for others who might be willing to hear.
By the time we had our 4th child it was less intense, this need. Not because we were less proud of number 4 but because we knew how awesome our kids were and did not need anybody to affirm that for us. But… I am still carrying my 1st record around, wrapped in a blanket, and much like with my 1st grandchild, I am looking for folks to tell me she is beautiful. When in reality… I already know.