Just like anything else in life – learn the basics. Practice what you learn. This is your foundation. Learn song structure. Join organizations like NSAI and local groups. Reach out and find a mentor or two. Learn to network. Take songwriting courses and buy foundation books. You need a library of inspiration to fall back on from time to time. I also like biography books about musicians. There are hidden gems in them. Find your groove….be it an emotion, a fabulous song or a thought in your head. Write it down before it flies away. Have a working file of all of these. Find a time every day to sit down and write. There will be times when nothing happens – so be it. It’s the effort made everyday. Write, write, write. Then put it away – let it simmer – then re-look with fresh eyes. Some of my work has taken years before it was ready to be recorded. Don’t rush – let the work tell you when it’s ready. Build a catalog of your work. Be part of the world. Become a people watcher. Try new things. Listen to the radio. Find out why you love certain songs and hate others. Use that song as your inspiration – to figure out how you can change the lyrics/music to be yours. Listen more and talk less. Listen to what others suggest – give it a try – but if it’s not working for you, listen to your inner you. Learn what makes “you” tick. Spend time alone. Always have a recorder or pen and paper with you. Don’t ever think you know everything about this craft. It’s a life time adventure. Writing is my therapy. It’s a love/hate relationship. This is probably the hardest field to choose. You will have many more negative comments or worse yet – no comments than successes. Learn to live with it and go on. There are some really flaky people in this field. Take time to decompress, eat right, get enough sleep and don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time. Time to think, understand and sometimes just “be”. You are a work in progress. Find your balance, Complacency or stress will both kill your spirit. Strive for excellence but accept your failures. Learn from your failures. I need to have a goal. It helps me stay focused. There’s a saying, “You don’t learn from your successes. You learn from your failures.” Find out what you love and are good at and hire/find the best of the rest. Above all, remember the golden rule – treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself.
Contact Linda: firstname.lastname@example.org