One of my discoveries has been that most of the people who succeed are songwriters who are dreamers. They don’t write in order to achieve commercial success. They write because they love to write, because they have to write. They would write whether anyone ever paid for one of their songs or not. They are songwriters first and dreamers second. These people write for the joy of writing. Then, they dream of what they might do with those songs.
On the other side of the aisle are the dreamers who want to be songwriters. They want to be songwriters for the fame and fortune they think it can bring them. Some look at it as a “get-rich-quick” scheme. A quick buck. They don’t care that much about songwriting. If they could make a quick fortune writing a book, starring in a movie, or playing golf professionally, they would be just as happy. For them, songwriting is a means to an end. I’ve rarely seen this group succeed. They don’t often have the drive to succeed or the intestinal fortitude to stay with it when it gets too hard or it takes too long. If the money doesn’t come quickly, they move on to something else and quit writing all together. They don’t love songwriting enough to keep writing when times get tough.
It’s a small distinction, but an important one. Which are you? A songwriter that dreams? Or a dreamer that is trying to be a songwriter? The answer to that question may predict your success or failure in the music business.