The 39-year-old is now in a race against time and essential tremor, a progressive neurological disease that's slowly robbing him of his ability to play guitar.
"I'm mostly a finger picker. So when I start finger picking my songs, the softer the song the more impossible it is to play. There are songs that I've written that at this point I cannot play," said Carter.
The tremors have overtaken his right hand and have now started to show up in his left. Earlier this year, Carter became a social media sensation when doctors at UCLA live-tweeted his brain surgery.
The video of Carter playing his guitar as surgeons attached electrodes to the spots in his brain connected to the tremors in his left hand went viral.
Electrical stimulation is now helping to slow the disease, but only for a limited amount of time.
"The truth is I don't know that I'll be able to do this, this time next year. That's a real truth and that's a painful truth," said Carter.
Unsure how long he has to make the music he loves, Carter has launched a Kickstarter project to fund a professional album. It's a way to ensure he will always be able to play his music even when his hands won't.
"It's not about me trying to get famous. I never knew any of this was going to happen anyway. It's just about I want to put my songs down so that they'll be there forever," said Carter.
His goal is $45,000, but he must raise the full amount in order to get any of it and the clock is ticking with just one week to go.
Carter faces another major surgery this year as doctors try to fine tune the electrodes in his brain. Even though he knows the music may stop, the songs in his heart will continue.
"I have to make the most of the time I got. That's the lesson," he said.