|Looking back on 20-plus years of writing songs,
it's a lot easier for me to connect the dots now and see that the things
I was doing years ago would eventually bear fruit. I can safely say that
nothing ever moved as quickly as I thought it would, yet I’m constantly
surprised at the ways that my long-forgotten efforts have come around to
generate royalty income. All that to say, it would have saved me a lot
of frustration knowing that getting up every day and working on my craft
would end up paying off - on its own schedule, not mine. Here are a few
specific reasons to stay patient in the pursuit of success in your
1. You’ll enjoy the process more. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for something to happen that’s beyond your control. For example, you’ve read a listing on a pitch sheet looking for songs for a “last-minute” opportunity and they have to have them right away. The reality is that nothing actually happens “right away” and everything is “last minute.” So, after submitting your song, instead of constantly scanning your emails and sleeping with your phone, simply put a note in your calendar to follow up with an email in a week or two (not before) and forget about it. I know this is easier said than done but it will keep you sane. By the way, the easiest way to forget about one thing is to be working on something else.
In other words, you should have as many irons
in the fire as possible so that you’re not waiting on any one thing to
happen. By “irons in the fire,” I mean looking for other pitch
opportunities, new co-writers and any one of a million things that you
can be doing to have success in the music business. If you’re patient,
your day-to-day will be a series of small steps and tasks that will keep
you focused and productive without allowing you to linger on any one
thing for too long. Also, that way, when something does come through
you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
3. You’ll build better industry relationships. We all know that relationships with industry insiders (publishers, managers, record label execs, etc.) are highly prized for the connections and potential opportunities they bring. However, just like any relationship, it’s extremely difficult to build something of substance quickly. If you’re patient and don’t try to force-feed your music to every person in the industry at every opportunity, you stand a much better chance of developing the kinds of contacts that move you ahead in your career. These relationships take years to develop (not five minutes at the bar of the hotel at an industry conference). What if instead of launching into a ten-minute, spoken-word bio the next time you meet someone in the music industry, you tried asking them what they’re working on? Learn a little more about them and, in time, if you’re doing great work, they’ll get to know about you, too. By not treating every interaction with someone in the industry as a do-or-die situation, you’ll feel less pressure to make something happen immediately and enjoy getting to know them. Then, in time, you’ll have someone receptive to your music when there’s an opportunity. Here’s a small tip: It’s the administrative assistants and receptionists of today that will be the heads of film/TV departments tomorrow. Don’t ignore these folks in your search for someone more powerful who can help you. Take your time, build your industry relationships slowly and organically and watch what happens.
4. It’s out of your hands anyway. While there is a lot you can (and should) do on your own behalf every day, the music business goes at its own speed no matter what you do. Songs, even “undeniable” hits, routinely take years to find a home after they’ve been written. The journey from the creation of a song to a royalty-generating copyright is as mysterious to me now as it was when I wrote my first song. So, given that it’s out of your hands once you’ve written, demoed and pitched your song, why not be patient and keep filling the pipeline with new songs and pitches? Develop your craft, write as much as you can and one day you’ll look back to see you’ve got a catalog of great songs where some of the older ones are actually generating income.
I once heard a hit songwriter say that he wrote
one of his hits in “three hours and 25 years.” In other words, while the
song took three hours to write, it was his 25 years of patiently
refining his craft and developing his career that made it happen.
You can download a free sample of Cliff’s eBook
“The Songwriter’s Guide To Recording Professional Demos” by going to
By Cliff Goldmacher
Stay tuned - Next Month More Informative Information. Please come back again and tell your friends! Thank you! Jerry.
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