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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Appreciate What You’ve Got

Remember years ago when saxophonist Branford Marsalis was Jay Leno’s bandleader on "The Tonight Show"? He left the show because he apparently wasn’t content with the tunes he played night after night and wanted to get back to pursuing his own music.

Not long after his resignation, he appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show. An indignant Howard chastised him for leaving such a plum gig. His basic point was, so what if it wasn’t a "prestige" gig and he wasn’t able to play his original music on the show. Bottom line: He still got to play music every night for an audience of millions, and the job paid really well.

It sort of reminds me of writers who feel that writing for local or regional publications is not attractive as it once was. Time to move on and get those bylines only in national magazines!

Maybe they should think twice.

Though publication in the big boys is an admirable goal (heck, I’m constantly striving for it myself), don’t sell the little guys short. If they’re dependable, reliable, legitimate sources of bylines, appreciate what you’ve got. With the right combination of talent, tenacity and breaks those nationally published clips will come.

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