In the past I have been trying to obtain some sort of recording, publishing or marketing contract, ideally all three! In my recent research I looked into how the music industry has developed over the last century. It's clear that in the last decade, the amount of musicians recording and promoting their music has risen dramaticly. The amount of CD's being sold has dropped dramaticly and according to Wikipedia "The 2008 British Music Rights survey showed that 80% of people in Britain wanted a legal P2P service, however only half of the respondents thought that the music's creators should be paid." So Basically there's more people promoting their music and less money to support the talent!
The way I see it, there are really 2 choices:
The first one is the commercial option, to become a good investment for the people who are investing in musicians. This is the path that the majority of the commercial artists find themselves on. It relies on large financial backing and therefore is very unlikely to have investors who are willing to take risks in the name of creativity.
It takes a great deal of commitment and constant work as the artist to keep fitting to the requirements in order to remain in this market and from what I can gather you are unlikely to have creative freedom.
Of course the good side to this is that you do get to be a musician full time, the question is at what cost?
The second option is to fund your own music endevours, source your own recording and production costs, learn the boring non-musical side of getting your music out there.
You will need support from those around you, your familly and or spouse, as there will be an outlay of time and money, basically it's a hobby.
Of course there's nothing wrong with having music as a hobby, alot of musicians are content with this. The reason why it can be difficult for some musicians to accept this, is because for some, you know that you do see things differently than those who have seen it as a hobby from the beginning, you have greater aims.
As with the commercial option you will need a great deal of commitment and constant work, but this is much easier when you belive in what you're doing! You rely on self belief as many people around you will not take notice of your talent, especially if you're not out there playing.
The plus side is that you retain complete creative control! Unfortunately, unless you make quite a bit of money, you won't be able to compare the production of your music to commercial music, but commercial music is totally over-produced nowadays anyway. You also will most likely need to find part time work.
I'm choosing the second option as I believe that the great music is created by creative freedom and real life. Unfortunately there is such a gap between the 1st and 2nd options, otherwise you could float between!
So now I'm out to get myself into any music projects that I feel are great, not settling for half good music, the aim is to make excellent music, to the best of my ability and with the ability of whoever I can work with! I look forward to getting it out there! Watch this space!