As I sat on my couch with my guitar in hand, I felt a surge of excitement coursing through my veins. Just weeks earlier, I uploaded my first acoustic cover of “1979” by the Smashing Pumpkins on YouTube, and the response was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe the traffic it was generating, and that feeling of being seen and heard by so many people was intoxicating. I knew I had to follow up with another Smashing Pumpkins cover, but this time, I felt different. With newfound confidence, I set up my camera and hit record. No longer was I looking off to the side, afraid that someone might be watching. I knew they were watching, and it fueled me. The more comments and interactions I received, the closer I believed I was to “blowing up.” The idea of making it big, without a clear direction or plan, was both exhilarating and terrifying. As I began strumming the chords to “Disarm,” I noticed that my hands were moving faster than usual. My nerves were evident in the speed of my playing, but I didn’t let it deter me. I was determined to keep going, to keep pushing, and to make a name for myself in this vast digital landscape. I listened to the voice in my head that said, “It will all make sense later on.” When the video was uploaded, the feedback started pouring in. Some mentioned the speed of my playing, pointing out my nervousness. I took it in stride, knowing that it was all part of the growth process. I would eventually overcome it. But it was the positive comments that truly fueled me. Reading words like “You are amazing” and “This is the best Disarm cover I’ve found on YouTube” sent a thrill down my spine. I held onto those comments, letting them be the push I needed to keep moving forward.

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