It’s hard to believe, but the New Year is here! Have you decided what your resolutions will be yet?
Success comes by making habits out of manageable goals, and songwriting is no different. Try working a couple of these songwriting resolutions into your routine starting today, and 2016 might just be your best year yet!
1. Create a goal calendar
Visualizing your future achievements is the first step to success. Create weekly reminders on your calendar for each goal you want to achieve. Plan to set aside 30 minutes to 60 minutes for each item. Eventually, you won’t need the calendar reminders for reinforcement anymore. Everyone is different, but it takes about 66 days, or roughly two months, to form a new habit. Keep that in mind so that your New Year’s resolutions don’t slip into becoming just January resolutions.
2. Write one full song a week
Relying on inspiration to hit you is tempting, but also damaging. Remember, songwriting is a skill, just like playing basketball or programming software. By simply increasing your songwriting output, you’re increasing the pool of really great songs that’ll come out of you. As songwriting guru Pat Pattison says, “I hereby grant you permission to write crap. Lots of it; all the time; the more the better. Remember: crap makes the best fertilizer.”
3. Co-write a song once a month
This is as much a business opportunity as goal-oriented growth. Collaboration is extremely beneficial for your songwriting craft. In addition to adding another perspective and complementary strengths to your songwriting, co-writing is great if you’re trying to work on self-discipline: you’re responsible for not just your own creative work, but also the work of another person. Use SongwriterLink to find songwriters who are a great fit for you. And remember, if you don’t quite mesh with your first co-writer, it’s totally common (and encouraged!) to work with different people until you find the few who really help your best songs come out.
4. Build your network
As with every role in the music industry, truly “making it” as a songwriter is pretty tough unless you know the right people. Big industry conferences and festivals are great, but if you’re new to networking, try something smaller and low-pressure like going to a local singer-songwriter show or a music industry meetup. Everyone loves meeting like-minded people, so don’t sweat it! Challenge yourself to get outside of your comfort zone and meet at least two or three new people per month.
5. Join a songwriting association
There are tons of great local, regional, and national songwriting associations out there that offer services and opportunities to both aspiring and professional songwriters. For songwriters based in the US, this is a great starting point for your research. In addition, you can join SongwriterLink for free to connect with talented composers, lyricists, beat producers, and topline writers all around the world!
If you’ve got these five items on your to-do list, congrats – you’re well on your way to becoming a successful songwriter! Don’t forget to have fun along the way (it’s music, after all!) and keep the train rolling.