Whether it’s a talkative roommate or the constant desire to be on your phone, distractions can be one of the most significant barriers standing between you and your full potential as a songwriter. If you’re serious about making the best music you can and sharing it with the world, you’re going to need to identify what distracts you the most when you write. Then comes the hard work of consciously removing distractions from your writing practice. While this gets easier the more we work at it, it’s a job we’re never finished doing. Distractions will always make writing music harder than it has to be unless we do the constant work of addressing and removing them.
For most of us, falling into predictable songwriting habits is more and more an inevitability the longer we make music. It’s natural to favor certain ways of doing things, whether it’s a specific genre, DAW, or instrument. But even if cohesion is one of your top priorities as a creator, your fans probably don’t want to hear you make the same songs over and over again.
The non-musical world often thinks that making and performing music is always fun, easy, and instantly gratifying. But serious musicians know that this is only one part of their story. Loading your equipment out of a venue you just played after a show that no one attended isn’t fulfilling. Pitching your new album to a long list of email contacts and never hearing back isn’t fun. And yet both these examples are things independent musicians have to do to find audiences for their music. You can think of it as “paying your dues,” but the kicker is that some artists never manage to move past the stage of trying to get the world to notice their music, even if their songs are great. That’s a hard truth about pursuing music.
It takes far less time to share music than before, no matter where you are in your artist journey. Factors like inexpensive recording equipment and digital music distribution make getting your songs in front of listeners quick, easy, and inexpensive – but there’s a hidden cost here to consider.
To capture the attention span of their audiences, some artists share new music as quickly as they can. As a result, their songs often sound rushed, undeveloped, and uninspired.
Patience is a virtue in all aspects of life and songwriting is no exception. Try to give your songs time and room to evolve and breathe. You’ll dramatically boost your chances of getting heard in today’s overcrowded music industry.
Making music might be the thing you live and breathe to do, but it doesn’t mean you’ll feel motivated to write and record songs all the time. In fact, you might encounter months-long stretches of time where you’d rather do pretty much anything else more than writing songs if you’re a serious or professional songwriter with years of experience under your belt. This is normal, but you’ll need tools and strategies to get back to work eventually. Motivation is crucial for music-makers, but it’s not always easy to access. If you feel bored, aimless, or unsure how to make your next musical step, here are some motivation tips to help get you moving:
It’s the dream of countless music-makers to spend their days writing music and earning a living. For many developing artists, songwriting seems like the opposite of working at a conventional job, and in some ways they’re correct. When you create music, you are your own boss and what you say goes. It’s a creative pursuit that allows you to express yourself exactly how you want to. Compare the experience of creating a new song to sitting in an office all day, and the two experiences couldn’t be any more different.
Because success means something different to each one of us as songwriters, we should also take time to think about what failure looks like to us. You might feel like you’ve failed in some way if the single you just released isn’t getting any attention or your band just split up, but there are almost always broader things going on behind the scenes that cause problems in music. Here are five common ways that failure happens in music:
If you’re a developing artist, DIY promotion is essential for finding an audience for your music. But in 2022, traditional ways of promoting a new record, may be out of reach for some artists. The good news is that listeners are hungry for meaningful music experiences and artist engagement online. Try these four DIY online promotional tactics to get the most mileage from your releases in 2022 and beyond: