Music at its core is collaborative.  The idea that you are the next great songwriter is a lofty aspiration.  The best songwriters I know collaborate.  They write and bring in other artists and writers to develop the songs or they are brought a song or partial song and they collaborate with the artist to fully develop the song.  Either way, they collaborate.

With that being said there are those rare folks that are just incredible, creative writers that can write a complete, compelling song alone.  But, even these folks look for feedback from artists and songwriters that they respect.  Believe it or not, there are specialties within the songwriter industry.  Melody specialists, hook doctors, arrangers, etc.  So the idea that you are a master of all things in all genres is an extremely bold claim.

The proof is in the pudding.  If one part of one of your songs is the only memorable moment in your catalog of music then you have work to do.  It’s the never-ending impossible task; write a timeless hit record, an evergreen.  Don’t you dare come walk in off the street and insinuate that have or can easily do this?  Writing good songs isn’t even easy, let alone great.

Humble yourself.  Learn about some of the great songwriters.  I have artists who tell me they are songwriters influenced by the greats, but they don’t know who Diane Warren is.  You are influenced by the greats but you don’t know who one of the greatest living songwriters is?   I work with some highly accomplished and awarded songwriters.  These folks are dedicated and committed to writing the best song for the artists they work with.  And each artist is different.  So the root of each song comes from a different place.

But, no matter the genre, format, or other variables, a great song is a great song!  This is the real aspiration.  A great song that goes on to be covered by artists in multiple genres, aspiring artists and that can be performed to sold out crowds for the next 30 years!  Don’t be short sighted.  Go for greatness every time.  Don’t settle for it’s good enough.

Sometimes the process is fast.  I’ve seen a group of folks sit down in a single session and write and produce a record that went on to chart and does very well.  It’s the magic hour, the exception to the rule.  It still took time to fully produce and mix and master, but in the grand scheme of things the process was fast.  Then there have been those songs that were around in and out of writing sessions and demos in multiple arrangements.  Either way, you work off of the parts that work and respect the process.

If it were easy there would be no value, so if you’re going to do it work hard at it, push yourself, collaborate, and don’t settle.

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