Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Validation - part 1 of 3

This blog post turned out to be so long that I decided to break it into thirds...

Part 1 of 3

I just finished the latest episode of The Commercial Suicide Songwriting Podcast and felt such a validation of my thoughts and methods...

I am currently listening again as I really want it to soak in, and I want to mention a few specific things... Here's the link - http://feeds.feedburner.com/cssongwritingpodcast

And I am referring to Episode 11. If you are an aspiring songwriter, you should listen. Even if you are not but you are interested in the process, you should listen. :-)

First - as a direct reply to the topic of Immersion - I would be willing to give that a try... In my daily writing, I am much like Steve in that I wait for inspiration to hit. Whenever I do sit down to write, though, I can usually coax something out, but I don't like it to feel forced...

Next, there were some very wise words shared from Craig Wiseman. The first thing that jumped out at me was his comment about not regretting writing any song. You might notice the name of this blog - Life So Far. That's from the great song line "life's been good to me so far" and also refers to my belief that we are who we are today because of everything that's happened to us "so far."

So - he doesn't regret and neither do I. The songs I've written had a purpose - whether it was to work out a personal issue (therapy) or just to work past one idea to get to another. They all mean something to me and probably others as well, once they hear them. ;-)

I find it interesting that Craig "cautioned against being involved in 'the songwriter groups or organizations that are into tearing your stuff apart and making you rewrite it.'" This validates a feeling I've had for a while, but thought I might just not know what I was talking about. :-)

When I first started visiting Nashville as an aspiring songwriter, I saw 'getting a cut' equating to success. Now I was 44 at the time and not the fresh kid in from the farm. I had lived enough and been around enough people in various businesses to recognize marketing when I saw it. Well I saw it right away...

I realized that there is an entire industry built around the wannabe. I don't mean that as a derogatory term... I mean the aspiring artist and/or songwriter that just wants to be or write the next big hit. It seems like everyone has a workshop or master plan. "Come to my workshop and learn the right way to do it" or "join us and have an inside connection with the people in the biz."

Is there anything wrong with this? No, but as a mature adult I recognized it for what it was - a music business that thrives on people wanting to be in THE music business. They are not the gatekeepers, and they are not the key holders to the real gatekeepers, but they market themselves as such.

Why have I never said anything before? Two very strong reasons... First, I didn't want to sound jaded. I didn't want to sound like I'm bitter because I "failed," when I don't really feel that way at all. And second, because I didn't want to spit in the eye of people that MIGHT actually help me some day. A "commercial suicide," if you will.

Now I realize that it doesn't matter how close to the circle you dance, it doesn't get you IN the circle. And at the same time it doesn't matter how far AWAY from the circle you dance, if the right person sees or hears then they will bring you in.

More tomorrow in Part 2...

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