Scratching For Controller DJs owner Lee Cottrell writes: “I used to DJ professionally seven nights a week before my kids were born. So, over the last 14 years my DJing life has been on a semi-hold. I have done plenty of bedroom mixing, I have done a stint on online radio, community radio and played at a few parties but not actually had that total and utter buzz of having a dancefloor full of people at the command of the music I am playing. Any of you who have played out will know exactly what I am talking about. The rush is amazing (and legal!).
“As you may be able to tell… I miss it and was wondering: Who else here has a normal 9-to-5 and family life to juggle with doing gigs? How many nights is too many? When starting out a lot of people take unpaid gigs to get their name out, but once you have others to support it is hard to work for free.
“So is it ‘will work for beer’, or something else? What do you do to maintain the balance? Is it buy the wife a damned nice bouquet of flowers now and then or what? In a nutshell, when you love music as much as I do it’s a hard thing to stay away from but you have to consider others and make sure it does not impact negatively on their day to day. Just want to see the best way to go forward with this.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Great question Lee and one that I’m sure is common for a lot of DJing husbands / wives / dads / mums reading this. For me, dedicating time to music and DJing is no different to any other pursuits that contribute to my well being… running, reading, meditation – whatever you identify in your life that you enjoy, that isn’t destructive on relationships etc, is an important part of a balanced life.
My experience is that my wife understands that there are things I like to do that contribute to my general happiness and contentment, which in turn keeps our relationship happy (and the same for her hobbies / pursuits too) and we discuss and agree how much of our time will be taken up with those things so there’s no conflict when it comes to it. If for a moment she felt I wasn’t pulling my weight because I’m in my office banging out mixtapes all the time or DJing four nights a week there would be a discussion for sure!
It’s all about balance, and understanding, and frankly, it’s no different for anyone who wants to cram as much as possible into their lives; this very organisation is growing really fast, staffed by enthusiasts, and we struggle at times to “switch off” from it and dedicate the right time to other areas – but as I say, at the end of the day, it’s the balance that matters.
I like to write a list of very simple goals at the start of every year and agree with everyone who counts that these are what I’m going to pursue. Then I tuck it into my wallet, and look at it every now and then to reaffirm I’m on the right path, but also to remind myself what I and my loved ones agreed was important to me, so I don’t feel guilty about doing stuff like DJing. Now’s the perfect time of year to do that for yourself…
So are you a busy / working person who has to work hard to find time to fit DJing into your life? How do you do it? Any tips for Lee? Please share your advice in the comments.