Negative songwriting thoughts keep a heavy cloud over you and your writing AND they actually decrease your chances of success. If these thoughts creep into your head, kick them to the curb before they derail your creativity and your forward progress.
1) “My songs are better than….”
It doesn’t matter at the end of the day. Comparing your work to someone else’s sets you up to be discouraged and disappointed. The only comparison you need to worry about is your own. Are you writing better today than you were yesterday? If so, you’re on the right track. Keep doing that and you might just succeed.
2) “People just don’t get my music.”
If people don’t get your music, it’s probably because you are not writing songs that anyone can relate to. Instead of chanting this mantra as if it’s a curse on your life, do something about it. Work at writing more relatable songs and correcting common lyric errors. Books like Song Building can level-up these areas of your writing so people will start “to get” your songs.
3) “I’m just waiting to be discovered.”
I have bad news for you here. It’s nobody’s job to come find you. There won’t be a knock on the door with someone begging you for your songs. Ever. You’ve got to get yourself discovered. It’s all on you to make the relationships, to write the hits, and to get people to listen.
4) “I would be so much farther along if only…”
You know the story. If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. I would have been a lot farther along if I had skipped college, not worked as a youth minister for 10 years, and THEN started writing songs, but that didn’t happen. That’s water under the bridge and I can’t change it one bit. So, I deal with NOW and let go of what might have been.
5) One of the worse negative songwriter thoughts…”I can’t believe they didn’t call me back!”
Nobody owes you (or me) a callback. If a vacuum cleaner salesman knocks on my door, I don’t owe it to him to open it up and let him in. I have every right to let him keep on knocking. I’m trying to “sell” songs. If the person on the other end of the line doesn’t know me or they don’t need any songs right now, they don’t owe it to me to pick up and spend time with me. Getting a call back is a courtesy, not a right. If I don’t get a callback, I just go about my business and look for someone else to work with. Stick with positive thoughts that move you forward and leave this stinking thinking behind.
Write on! -MD
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Author: Marty Dodson