Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.
Songwriting is, without a doubt, my sweet spot. It’s that incredible place where my passion meets my talent and my ambition. It’s where I feel like I’m my truest, best version of myself. It’s the hard work that usually gives me more energy than it takes. When I’m in the zone, writing with people I enjoy, it’s a great feeling. It never gets old.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to write full-time right now. I have a day job that I’m thankful for, but I don’t love it. I work hard, and it definitely takes more energy than it gives. (After years of being a full-time songwriter, I’m relearning what it means to look forward to the weekend.) The job doesn’t need me to use my “best” skills- skills I’ve spent years developing. In short, it doesn’t allow me to be my highest self.
Maybe you feel that way, too. Yes, your job gives you a paycheck, but you feel like you’re wearing a mask every day at work- that the real you is hidden at home inside your guitar case or notebook. It’s the feeling of, “yeah, but a lot of people can do this job. I have this songwriting thing where I’m SPECIAL.” Man, I get that in a big way, and I struggle with it sometimes.
But maybe, just maybe… I’ve had the wrong definition of my “highest self.” Where I tend to think of my highest self as being the guy that can turn an idea into a song that makes you laugh or cry – the guy that hears his words sung back to him over the radio- the guy with a platinum album on the wall… what if my true highest self is the guy that puts his dreams into a corner of his life and gets up every day to go to a day job so that his wife can live her dream of being a stay-at-home mom? What if my highest self is the guy who turns down most cowrite opportunities so his son has someone to wrestle with after dinner? What if THAT guy is my highest self?
What about you? I’m not saying to give up your songwriting dream, but what if your highest self is when you are… selfless?
Anything you’d like to add or ask? Leave a comment! Are there any topics you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post? Thanks!
Also, if you want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro, too. In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…
- How to get on a music publisher’s radar
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