Clay and I do a lot of mentoring sessions through Songtown.com. One of the big discoveries we have made in those sessions is that people have all kinds of different goals for their music. And we have discovered that almost every answer to every question people ask us depends on THEIR answer to the question, "What are you shooting for?"
More and more, I realize that, at my best, I’m following the song, not leading the song. Once we land on an idea, the goal becomes getting out of the way and letting the song say what it wants to say. Sounds easy, but it’s not.
There is a standard joke in Nashville that goes "What do you call a songwriter without a wife or girlfriend?" The punchline is "homeless." There is almost always some truth in a joke. The truth in this one is that most of us - me included - need some support, both emotional and financial, early in our careers if we hope to succeed.
In the first half of my life, fear was the enemy. It limited what I did and who I was. As time has gone by, I have come to understand that fear can be a friend that brings about positive change and enriches my experience on this planet.
I have a degree in Psychology and I love to observe people. It’s fun to try to figure out what makes people tick. It’s also interesting to me to study successes and failures to better understand what causes one or the other. Here are my observations about successful songwriters.
One of our Songtown citizens asked the question "How do you decide which artist to give your song to?" So, I thought I would answer that one to the best of my ability. Sadly, in my experience, it doesn't happen too often that multiple artists are fighting over the same song. I wish that happened more. But, most often, you have one artist wanting to cut your song.