Monday, April 10, 2006

Songwriting is in vogue

I’m sitting on a plane and listening to United Airlines in flight entertainment. Lo and behold there’s someone talking about her process for songwriting. While boating this weekend my paddling partner is talking about his nephew’s ambition and frustration in songwriting. It seems like songwriting is becoming in vogue, with classes, books, articles, and websites (like mine) popping up all over the place.

I’m amazed how many people’s goals are to make a living writing songs. It’s kind of like pro sports while growing up, everyone aspires to become a professional, with so few making it.

When discussing this with my paddling partner (who’s a hobby artist), we started identifying what makes you succeed where others fail. Below are some ideas that we came up with after a few glasses of wine:

- Are you doing this because you love it or trying to get rich? If you’re doing it because you love it, as long as you’re satisfied, you're already a success. Then selling your music is the icing on top of the cake.
- How hard are you willing to try? There’s no such thing as an overnight success. The one who makes it, tries the hardest. Just writing a great song is not enough, you need to do the work to sell it.
- Do you have the talent? This is probably one of the most difficult things to get accurate feedback on. In almost all classes, the teachers are doing what they should, encourage you. Feedback is almost always constructive; never will you get “maybe you should try something else.”

In thinking about this, selling a song would be an added bonus. I write music because I love it. I’m working on my craft in classes and lessons because I can’t stand not to do something well. I’m doing some work to make my songs heard through this blog, my website and some performing, but haven’t made the total commitment like cutting a studio CD or going to Nashville. Should I expect to be a success, in many ways I've already succeeded, I love what I'm doing. Am I going to get rich doing it, probably not, or a least not yet!!!



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