Remain A Fan
a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, esp. for an extreme religious or political cause.
It's so easy to get caught up in working on a daily basis, and to become blasé about everything, especially if you reach a certain level of fame and/or success. I have to say, that even after over 40 years of making music, art, and writing, I still get excited by the people I admire and follow. I'm very fortunate that in writing for MODERN DRUMMER and other magazines, I've been able to interview almost all of my musical heroes. And I have to tell you, that each time I talked to them, it was very exciting! As much as I portrayed the professional writer on the outside, I was so much the fan on the inside. Even though many of these people have become friends, I still remain a fan because I am so inspired by what they do.
Being inspired, that's important. I don't think an artist can isolate themselves from the world and truly create memorable works. When we're young, we all copy our heroes as a way of getting a solid footing in what we do. Then, we bring more of ourselves into the mix and gradually find our own voice. But we can't let that become a solitary, isolated voice.
I'm not advocating always copying your heroes, but you need to keep in touch with what is happening out there. What directions are things moving in? What new discoveries are there? Even if we don't copy what's around us, it can inspire us to dig deeper and find our own version, our own take on things. This is where being a fan is important, because it keeps us connected to the world around us.
Are you still a fan?