As difficult as it may seem at times, achieving your goals as a songwriter is very possible. There are a few crucial things to be aware of that can help you succeed in reaching your goals. We’ll talk about them here.
It’s important to know what you want to achieve as a songwriter or performer in order for you to get there. That may sound obvious, but it’s often neglected. A lot of times amateur songwriters walk around with the mindset of simply hoping “something’s” going to happen for them, without knowing what that something is.
Whether you want to become a chart-topping performing songwriter, be on a songwriting staff inNashville, or simply enjoy songwriting as a hobby, you need to define that for yourself. Knowing your purpose is the first step to getting there.
Once you know your purpose, you need to know HOW you’re going to get there. Planning is crucial to achieving your goals. A lot of songwriters go around hoping that “someone will discover them.” That’s not a plan. With that mindset, you can also plan to win the lottery. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Instead, come up with clearly defined plans to achieve your goals. Keep your overall purpose in mind when you lay out your goals. It’s important to put dates on your goals, so they’re not open ended. You’re much more likely to reach your goals if you put an achievable timeframe on them.
I’d recommend laying out plans for the short, mid and long term. It’s okay to modify your goals as you move along, so long as you always have a plan for achieving them in place.
As crucial as planning is, it’s important to realize that occasionally your plans aren’t going to work out the way you hoped. That’s okay. It happens to every successful person. When this happens you’ll need to be persistent. Persistence sets those who succeed apart from those who fail. Keep modifying your plans, until you find one that works. Most people give up at the first sign of failure, and as a result never achieve the success they’ve hoped for.
This one’s pretty easy for most songwriters. I don’t think I’ve ever met a songwriter yet who doesn’t love his/her craft, but it’s important to talk about here anyway.
Your passion for what you do is the fuel that’s going to carry you through everything else we’ve talked about so far. When times get hard, and you need to be persistent, your passion will keep you going. That’s why it’s so important to love what you do, if you want to be truly successful at it. As Napoleon Hill says in the classic success book, Think and Grow Rich, “Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire brings a small amount of heat.”
Love what you do, so when things get tough you can still power on to move forward.
As important as the previously mentioned points are, they won’t do you any good if you don’t practice your craft. As a performing songwriter, this includes practicing your instruments (vocals, guitar, piano, etc), practicing for your performances, and even practicing your songwriting.
As strong as your will to succeed is, you’ve got to be damn good at what you do to achieve your goals. And you can absolutely get there with practice.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell points out that natural talent will only get you so far. No matter how much talent you have, you will never reach your full potential without consistent practicing. He makes the argument that it takes 10,000 of practice to become a master in your field. So get crackin’.
Practice consists of education and experience. Learn your craft, apply what you’ve learned, and repeat. Constantly continue this loop and you can only improve.