I play guitar, sing, perform and compose music.
A great day at work is writing for a good four to five hours - this could be lyrics or music, by myself or as a cowriter. Songwriting is a huge priority for me. Of course what I do calls for a lot of practice time on guitar and voice. I spend a lot of time learning other people's songs and rearranging them and that gives me more ideas for my own songs. After that, there's always administrative stuff to do like sending out booking requests, promoting putting shows together.
The biggest skills to learn are networking and collaboration. Both of those things take a lot of practice. You have to learn how to be fun to be around but also tough when you need to be so people don't take advantage of you. Working with other artists is huge because doing shows and releasing music requires other art forms. The best product - be it a song, an album or merchandise - goes through a lot of changes before you call it "finished" so it's also important to be open to criticism.
Here's the first step for high school students
It's not enough to just sing or just play an instrument. Do your best to get good at both!
"Too many people want to be musicians. You might be among the most talented at your school but that doesn't mean you'll be talented compared to the rest of the world. It's better to just go to school for something that will actually make you money."
College is a good thing, but not for everyone. I have learned more skills from working in the real world than I ever did in school. Making a career for yourself in an artistic field builds many transferable skills that can get you into other jobs or schools if you choose to change your path later in life. School will always be there and so will other kinds of jobs. Nothing can replace real world experience so even if things don't work out, you will still be in a good position. Don't be afraid!
A lot of money was invested before I made a dime off of music. After the hard work and learning it took to build a web presence & press kit I began to get paying gigs. I didn't make money until I viewed my artistry & music as a valuable product.