Transparency vs. Creative Integrity
There is a fine line between transparency and creative integrity. It's one thing to pull the curtain back and allow fans to see your works in progress, but it could be a problem if you feel like you must perform at all times. To achieve greatness, failure is a necessity. Much of the creative process involves trial and error. To do this publicly is incredibly difficult. The pressure to be perfect compromises your ability to grow. There is a rising amount of pressure today to be plugged in and have a constant public (or online) presence. Many musicians feel the need to constantly share something to stay in the minds of their fans, but to do this we also run the risk of lowering our standards. We occasionally hit prolific strides and have a lot to share, but during dry spells it's best to stay tight lipped.
Reality is quite a different story. The music we love actually has little to do with the person who made it. We love the music because it speaks to us in an elevated manner. By association, we start to feel connected to the person who made it. But if they hadn't written their song, would we be curious about their lives in the first place?
Many musicians, including myself, use their internet presence to occasionally reverse that trend. By creating a multi-dimensional online personality it is much easier to connect with others, and more importantly, for others to connect with us. Generating interest in who we are as people, not just musicians, will lead to an interest in what we do.
But at the end of the day, it's still about being really, really good at what you do. You don't need to pull the curtain back during the process to appease anyone. The artists I love never compromised. They honed their craft in isolation. Charlie Parker did not bring a webcam into the woodshed. I admire artists uninfluenced by popular opinion. To be outstanding you have to break from the crowd. That means concentrated, unfettered personal development. When in doubt simply unplug, log off, and close the curtain.