You can write to be clever.
You can write for money
You can write for fame, recognition, affirmation.
You can write a thousand songs that sound like what's on the radio this week.
But if you really want to feel like this is your calling, write something you love.
Let's face it: the odds are not in your favor when it comes to getting a song heard by the masses. We all know there are countless ways to be heard these days, and the non-traditional is quickly becoming traditional. Create a Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube, Kickstarter, PledgeMusic. All great ways to share your work...but just because it's out there does it deserve to be successful? Just because you've written a song should it be heard? Does it deserve to stand out? Will it?
I think there's one pretty simple place to start...do YOU love it? I mean not love the potential for it to make your day gig go away, or any of the things I've listed at the top. I mean is it the kind of song you can't stop playing? In the car, by yourself? Is it the kind of song you have to play for everyone you know without a disclaimer or explanation? Is it stuck in your head? Does it give you chills and make you say things like, ‘Did that come out of me’?
Success in this day and age is so difficult, the model has changed. But what hasn't is that for your song to have a chance, for you to have a hope of doing this for a career, YOU have to love it first. Write something from your heart and it stands a chance of being something more than a clone of the radio hit or artist of the day. This is how the artists we all love got there…and stayed there.
If you're writing songs you love rejection will have less sting. Songwriting contests, song critiques, songwriting workshops, (NSAI and West Coast Songwriters are great ) songwriting lessons, coaching...these can all help with the basics and get you equipped for the music business. But your heart is gonna play a huge part in your success as a songwriter or artist and you have to love what you do. You HAVE to!
So how do you write a song you can love? Learn the craft then apply the heart.
Write what you love and love what you write. Odds are so will someone else.
Check out The Lefsetz letter from time to time. His blogs can be tough love but a great reality check.
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