This month marks six years since I started You Sing I Write. Some days it seems like an eternity ago and other times just like it was yesterday. When I had the idea to start a blog, at the time it really was just a dream of mine to cover concerts and interview bands because it was what I loved to do. Of course I wished it would one day become my day job but I never fathomed all the places it would take me and the people I’d meet.
I fell in love with country music traveling to Nashville, went on the road with a band, and spent countless hours interviewing some of my favorite musicians. Last year, I became a mentor for Girls Write Now and read a piece I wrote about my life as a music journalist to a room full of high school girls, their family and fellow mentors. It’s still a shock to me that girls will come up to me and tell me how much they loved my reading from months ago. When I started this blog it was really just for myself, to keep up my writing skills. Today, I couldn’t be happier to share my experiences with the world and hopefully encourage some girl out there that it is possible to make a career out of your dream. It just takes some time and a whole lot of patience and persistence.
I’ll be honest, as many interviews as I’ve done over the years, I still get nervous. It’s pretty much the equivalent to having butterflies in your stomach. So, imagine how I felt to learn I’d be interviewing Willie Nelson! A day before I headed to Saratoga Springs to cover Farm Aid for Radio.com, I was told I’d get some time with Willie Nelson. On his tour bus! I freaked out a little bit. A chronic over-preparer I wracked my brain for questions, tried my best to listen to his catalog of music and his upcoming duets album.
Around 1 p.m. the next day, my colleague Brian and I learned we’ll be chatting with Willie in 20 minutes. A publicist led us to his bus and asserted there won’t be any photo opps. We obliged, although a bit bummed, and waited to be let in.
Yes, there was a distinct aroma of pot the moment we walked on the bus. It is Willie Nelson after all. As Brian and I sat down at the table I tried to take it all in. The smell, done. There were two leather couches as soon as you walk on the bus and dark wood paneling throughout. We joined Willie at his table and behind him graduation and class photos of his kids were on display. A proud father, he was so thoughtful with his words and praises for his kids I almost forgot I was talking with an icon. Almost, but not quite. Those 10 minutes felt like an eternity but also flew by way too quickly. He answered all our questions but as soon as I got off the bus I found myself wishing I asked more.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever envisioned myself interviewing Willie Nelson, let alone doing it on his tour bus. It took a long time to get here, but all the struggles, rejections, and uncertainty was worth it in that moment. If you wait long enough, sometimes your dream is even better than you could have imagined.