"How many years are you going to give it?"
I've been asked this a couple of times since I announced my move to Nashville. This is a pretty common thing that artists ask themselves. How long am I willing to struggle before I either reach my definition of success or admit defeat.
This question is entirely dependent upon the artist. I can definitely tell you the type of artists who are more likely to stick around though. They are the ones for whom making art is not a choice. Now it's amazing to be appreciated but believe me when I say I'd be making music either way. Something clicks in my brain and I feel compelled to pick up the guitar and play. The wonderful thing about doing something you love is it doesn't feel like work. You are improving at something, often without consciously attempting to improve. If I were to relate it to food it would be like getting to eat cake every day and waking to find you've lost weight. Although in reality if this happens make sure you get checked for a tape worm!
I've heard many stories of musicians heading to Nashville or any other big music city only to return defeated. If fame is your focus then you're in this business for the wrong reasons and almost guaranteed to be disappointed. If you make quality art and work to perfect your craft, people will take notice. This is a long lonesome road but it's not like you and I ever had a choice. We will make music until we die because it's what we love and that to me is success.