The only person I have to beat is me. If I continually work at writing and every day in try to write a better song than I wrote yesterday, then I will someday be writing great songs. My competition is against me, the strongest competitor I would ever have, and me is the competitor I have to defeat everyday. Doesn’t matter who else out there is better or worse than me, but the me as my competitor is getting stronger every day and I have to be one step ahead of him on every given day.
I’m the only person who can make me give up on my dream. When I was starting to pick songwriting as a career, everyone around me thought I can’t make it and they all tried their best to talk me out of it and regarding to themselves “to put some sense in me”. But I started it and none of them could stop me. Now that I am on this path, no one else can stop me. It’s my choice whether I keep pushing forward and growing or give up and waste all the time, money, energy and effort I had out in it to get my songwriting career to this current point, even if it’s still not exactly where I wanted it to be.
I can do something today to improve my writing. There are books to read, videos to watch, blogs to read – like our blog on Flipside, classes to take and people to learn from. The possibilities for learning new tips and methods are unlimited out there. I can learn something today that makes me better. Human nature is the way that we get satisfaction by learning new skills or getting to know that we are improving our existing skills. That satisfaction will turn into motivation to use those skills as well as learning new ones. Our soul and mind are like water. If it stays in a place, it will get stinky and goes bad, but if it’s in a river and constantly moving, it will be fresh and useful.
Getting a cut is not impossible. Getting your songs recorded by artists – even major artists is hard, but it’s far from impossible. The only thing that stops you from getting a cut is your rotten mindset if you ever think it’s impossible. As I was keep saying, the key to getting a cut – and another one after that and the third one after, is to constantly get better and writing better songs. If Hangi can do it, there’s a good chance I can too.
I can choose to enjoy writing today whether or not I get a song cut. Whenever I am going for a vacation, from the time I sit in the taxi to leave for the airport, I’m already in my vacation mood. Or if it’s a road trip, from the moment I get my car out of my house’s parking, my vacation is started, and I would start enjoying it. That’s the same story as when you’re in the music industry, or in face in any other industry too. In songwriting business, of course getting a cut is the goal. But the journey to that goal is half the fun, if not more. Worrying so much about succeeding with my music can steal all of the joy out the writing process.
At the end of the day, all that really matters is that I enjoyed writing and I’m proud of my song. What other people – specially the professionals think is important too, but it’s an absolute secondary. I can be happy just knowing I created something I’m proud of. That will give me the same satisfaction as learning a new skill. Just simply being happy with the songs I write is what I would call “the little victories” and every single one of them deserve a celebration even as little as opening a bottle of beer! These little victories remind me that I am doing what I love, and I am doing it right. It gives me hope, and a man without hope is just an empty body. I don’t want to be the empty body. I want to be dynamic. Little victories make me dynamic for the time being, until the big victories – such as getting a cut – comes in the picture. Then I would open that bottle of beer in a bar filled with friends!
I’m a lucky person to be able to create music. I always consider myself as one of the luckiest people in the world because I am actually doing what I wanted to do since I was a little boy, and I love it more than anything else in my life, and when I am doing it, I enjoy it the way that nothing else can give me that joy. Writing songs fulfill my soul and relaxes my mind – and then pitching those songs and all its stress will get me anxious again! Joking – but the big fact here is that I personally know lots of people would pay a million dollars just to be able to write songs and I know some who’d pay ten million to be able to write songs for a living. We, the songwriters are some of the luckiest people, again, because we actually got to do what we love the most. Stay positive