Don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are going to say

Imagine this: after years of perfecting your craft and building an audience in the independent publishing world you finally land that contract you’ve always dreamed of with one of the big five publishing houses. But when your book is released, it flops, and the publisher releases you from your contract.

What now?

Do you pack it in?

Give up?

Get a real job?

This is exactly what happened to the pop punk band Jimmy Eat World. After signing to Capital Records in the mid-90s, the band was dropped from the label in 1999 after selling only 10K copies of their two major label albums.

So what did Jimmy Eat World do?

Did they accept the “fact” that their dreams would never be fulfilled?

Did they give up, like so many of us would?


They went back to work writing songs, and then they self-financed the recording of their next album, Bleed America.

The album included the song, “The Middle”, which features these lyrics:


Don’t write yourself off yet

It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on

Just try your best

Try everything you can

And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away


You know they’re all the same

You know you’re doing better on your own so don’t buy in

Live right now

Just be yourself

It doesn’t matter if that’s good enough for someone else


Don’t write yourself off yet

It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on

Just do your best

Do everything you can

Don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are going to say


It just takes some time

Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride

Everything, everything will be just fine

Everything, everything will be all right


“The Middle” hit #1 on the rock charts, before crossing over into the pop charts where it hit #5.

Bleed America sold a million copies and was certified platinum, producing three other singles in addition to “The Middle”.

So the next time you feel like giving up, give a listen to Bleed American. There’s a good chance you’re just in the middle of the ride.

grey backKevin T. Johns is an author, writing coach, and ghostwriter. He has helped hundreds of writers from around the world get ideas out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers' hands. Get your free copy of his short guide for authors below.


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