In the simplest terms, a songwriter needs a publisher when they have a number of songs that are ready to be placed in a commercial market AND the songwriter doesn’t have the connections to get those songs recorded on their own. For instance, if I was Bruno Mars’ college roommate and he loved my writing, I wouldn’t really need a publisher. I would have a direct route to getting my songs recorded by a major superstar. Most of us are not in that boat. So, we find ourselves trying to figure out if our songs are good enough, or exactly what we need a publisher to do for us. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, but here are some guidelines I use with writers I mentor:
Songwriters, does this sound familiar? You start out with good intentions to write a new song today and then the phone rings, or you remember an errand you forgot to do, and there’s that email you need to reply to. Before you know it you have spent the whole day doing anything and everything else but writing? Here’s some tips on how to stay focused and start that new song!
Make an appointment to write with a co-writer. This is the #1 thing that helps me show up to write. By making a commitment to write with someone at a specific time and place, it is twice as likely to happen. If you are home by yourself there are projects around the house that need to be done, emails to answer, etc; all easily becoming distractions that keep you from writing today.