Being the youngest member of my current band, I often joke about the days when I’ll be a grown up. At 26 I feel like it might happen some day soon, but my friends assure me that I may never find myself believing that I am indeed grown-up. Over the past couple of years I’ve assimilated a similar mind set about being an artist. As my musical adventures unfold, I live in the experience of what is commonly known as Impostor Syndrome – that feeling that everybody around you has the right credentials and is in the right place, while somehow, by some luck, you’ve managed to squeeze in alongside them, hoping that nobody will call your bluff. Starting out on this completely unknown, unpredictable journey I’ve learned a few life lessons that I hope might encourage others.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is this: you have to start somewhere, so just start.

Sometimes people ask me how to get started as an artist. I’ve thought about it long and hard, and, based on my own experience, tried to pull together the perfect formula. What I have concluded is this: just start. That’s what I did. When I realised that song-writing and musical performance was something I wanted to engage in, I starting considering my options. There were plenty of opportunities around – auditioning for talent shows, joining an existing band or doing some YouTube cover videos. Finally, I looked to the artists I admired. I asked what they were doing and what I would like to also do. Those artists were making their own music. So I decided that’s what I should do.

I began writing songs – bad ones – and lots of them. I began rehearsing with potential band members – it was messy – I had no idea what I was doing. I looked around for people who had relevant experience to learn from – I found them – they were wise. To find my starting point I looked at what a ‘real artist’ would be doing, and began there. There are so many facets to doing music professionally – the performance, the business, the creative development – and if I waited until I was an expert at them all to get started, I’d be at least 100 years old. So I pretended to be a real artist and started with what little parts I could do. I could sit at a piano and try to write a song. There would be no better time than the present, so, in a proper jumping-off-a-cliff kind of way, I just started.

It’s a lesson that has actually begun to seep in to other areas of my walk with God. Recently I’ve felt personally challenged about things like spiritual discipline and good financial stewardship. Having been a student for seven years, I’m not yet the wisest with money, as my mother will testify according to the number of shoes in my wardrobe. As a Christian, I’m not yet sure how to be a good steward of God’s provision within my own economic situation. For a long time I thought I could wait until I was in a stable job, earning a certain salary or had done some sort of responsible finance course for grown ups.

However, I’ve come to realise that when it comes to cultivating better practice in our Christian lives, there is no better time to just start. I may not suddenly have millions of pounds to give charitably but, like the widow with her precious last coins, I can start with the small things that I do have. For example, I can stop buying so many take-away drinks and start being organised enough to take something from home. Hopefully, one day at a time, my small start will evolve into a lifetime of good habits. When it comes to growing in our faith and developing good praxis, there is no better time or perfect way – so just start.

Read {PART TWO} here: Be ok with being bad at things – for now.

Read {PART THREE} here: We need people and people need patience. 

Written by Amie Aitken // Follow Amie on  Twitter // Amie's  Website

Amie is singer-songwriter with a debut EP that is currently being played on radio stations worldwide. Her weekends see her off on tour but she spends much of her week as a children & families worker in a local Scottish Baptist church. She’s best known for her love of tea, cake and ridiculously high-heeled shoes.

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