I live in Los Angeles, California. There is a busy street here called Wilshire Boulevard. I take it almost every day. Wilshire has ten lanes of traffic - count 'em - ten - and I've never been east or westbound on that street when it wasn't wall-to-wall cars, or when I wasn't sprayed with a tasty, toxic dose of eau de bus diesel fuel. And I've traveled that street at every hour of the day and night.
One morning when I was stopped for a light under an overpass at Wilshire and Sepulveda, I could see a tiny blade of grass growing up through the asphalt. Can't be, I said to myself. No way grass could grow on this street. Too many fumes, for one thing. And the spot where the grass is growing gets run over at least once a second, every second of every minute of every day, including leap year and during Monday Night Football.
The light changed so I wasn't able to jump out of my car to check out the grass for authenticity, but the next time I was on Wilshire, I actually let cars in ahead of me, so when the light turned red, I'd be close enough to my little blade to run over to see if it was still there. It was. And it was really grass, too, not some piece of microfibre someone had stapled to the road to make a liar out of me after this was published.
Think how determined that blade of grass must be. How motivated, how completely irreversible it is. What tunnel vision it has, to continue growing even when it gets run over so consistently, and can't really breathe properly. But it's still there. And nothing can stop it.
At one point, when those nice men with muscles and orange outfits were paving Wilshire, I got worried for my blade of grass, afraid it might finally be killed. They paved right over it. But a few weeks later, there it was, back again, growing right through a crack it had created.
Well, I said to myself, that blade of grass is just like a successful songwriter has to be. No matter what happens, you keep on going. You have your vision, you have your plan, you go for it and no matter what anybody says or does that would absolutely paralyze a less determined soul, you keep at it.
Surely if a little blade of grass can survive and even thrive on Wilshire Boulevard, you can make it through the sea of "no's" and "no way's" you've been navigating through the music business. One day soon, I hope you're standing on a stage receiving an award for your music. You and I will know it's partially a reward for bravery and persistence - just as it is every morning, when that little blade of grass pokes it's head up, armed with positive energy and absolute belief in itself, ready for another undaunted day on Wilshire Boulevard.