Whether you are a amateur songwriter hoping to “go pro” or you are a young pro trying to break through to the next level, a key element of success is simply to keep going. And it isn’t easy to keep going. For every person pulling a U-Haul into Nashville, there’s someone moving back home because they just don’t have the heart anymore. So, how do you give yourself the best chance to keep going? Here are a few ways.
1. Connect with your “why.”
If you don’t have a clear understanding of why you write, it’s really hard to answer the dark-valley question, “Why should I keep trying?” To dive into this a little further, click here to read, “5 REASONS SONGWRITERS NEED TO KNOW WHY THEY WRITE.”
2. Celebrate the small victories.
Don’t ignore or downplay the small victories- especially early in your journey. Be grateful. Let the little victories give you confidence and fuel for the journey.
3. Connect with a supportive community.
We all need people who encourage, support, and believe in us. They can be online or face-to-face, family or friends, cowriters or non-songwriting creatives. It doesn’t matter who they are, just that they will support you. And be sure and support them, too!
4. Display visual reminders.
Remind yourself that you’re a songwriter. Remind yourself of your dreams and goals. Remind yourself of your victories. Create a vision board. Keep your guitar where it’s handy, not hidden in a closet.
5. Pace yourself.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Be persistent, but be patient. You have to find a family/money/music balance that is sustainable over the course of years, not months. It might mean you can’t quit your day job just yet. Maybe you can only write one night a week for now. Sure, we all want instant gratification, but patience pays off.
6. Protect a positive attitude.
To stay in it for the long haul, you have to believe success is possible, and a lot of belief simply comes from your mindset. Always seeing the glass as half-empty will cause your dreams to die of thirst. Watch what comes out of your mouth. Not only does what you say reflect what’s in your heart, it reinforces it. Practice speaking positively- strengthen that part of yourself.
What did I miss? Anything you’d like to add or ask? What qualities are important to YOU in a mentor? Leave a comment!
I’m blessed to have the #2 country song in Canada this week (Nov. 13, 2013)! Gord Bamford released “When Your Lips Are So Close” as the lead-off single to his new album, “Country Junkie.” It’s Gord’s highest-charting song so far, and mine, too. (“Monday Morning Church” recorded by Alan Jackson got as high as #4 here in the US.) Thank you Gord and Byron Hill for inviting me in to write with ya’ll!
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Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter
Brent Baxter Music: http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com