How many times have you heard it said that one must “Fake it to make it” or “Act as if you’ve already achieved your goal.”

Nice comforting quotes but not a smart strategy for chasing your songwriting goals. I remember starting out years ago, landing my first publishing deal as a staff writer in Nashville, and being asked to play a writers show with some quote “hit songwriters” at the famous Bluebird Cafe.

There I was sitting on stage swapping songs with bonafide pro writers singing their latest hits, while I played my songs no one had ever heard before. I kept telling myself “Act as If”…

Well, let me tell you that crap didn’t help a bit!

I didn’t have big songs for people to sing along to. No, in reality, those songs weren’t hit material and I knew it sitting on that stage. But what I did have was a burning desire to get through that night, go home, and write better songs! I used it as motivation every day to get a little better at my craft.

This is not a fast approach to being a successful songwriter, but it’s one that will work. I kept writing better and better songs, slowly and surely the hits did start to sing forth from my little Epiphone guitar.

It took about 7 years of writing full time to reach my first #1 song!

I learned instead of acting as if, it’s better to take an honest assessment and work like hell to get better. That’s what Marty and I try to give everyone in our MasterClasses at SongTown…. An honest assessment. A no smoke blowing zone.

I was lucky enough to get this from my first publisher and now I can walk onto the stage of the Bluebird Cafe and not have to act. I can share my songs with an audience that sings along because they know my songs from the radio…thats a feeling I hope each of you can experience someday!

Write On! Clay

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Author: Clay Mills