I was talking with one of my coaching clients who had won a West Coast Songwriting event last week about the experiance. This event involved a panel of industry judges and among the rewards was some free recording time. She was also asked to submit some songs for an established artist through someone who attended the songwriters night. Good stuff!
I’ve judged plenty of these in the past, large and small and I have mixed feelings. I always hope the writers who don’t win, place or show still go away encouraged. What I do love about these events is the affirmation the writers receive. We all know this career choice can be a path of constant rejection with very few payoffs and pay days along the way. Especially while you’re learning your craft. All the more reason to remember,reflect and celebrate whenever you can.
What I asked my client to do was to document everything about the process leading up to and through the event. Not only ask herself why the song worked so well but to be able to go back, maybe on a day when it seems too hard, and remember it can work! It can come together, you can move people and you can be heard!
My wife asked me years ago why I had awards and records on the wall of my studio. I thought hard about it. In the end,what I love about seeing them is that I can be reassured that this thing I’m trying to do, on any given day, really can work. Can’t coast on that feeling but it sure helps to remember , on that day, with that idea…I earned it.
Retrace your steps once in a while. I think that’s a bit of why so many writers rely on ritual. If something works, stay with it awhile and from time to time try to recreate whatever magic you conjured up that day. Celebrate the victories , big and small and remember to affirm yourself from time to time, in whatever form that takes. We all need it and most of the time it’s going to have to come from within. Take time to celebrate your hard work and remember to praise someone else’s when get the chance.
I want to dedicate this blog to John Braheny who passed away last week. He spent years lifting up writers, encouraging, and teaching. Although I didn’t meet him at the time, I went to one of his workshops in LA at the Roosevelt Hotel many years ago. I went away feeling less alone in this work. As recently as last year he took the time to comment on a blog or article of mine and always, always… encourage. People with Johns gift are so needed in this business and he will be missed big time.
Top photo: Google Images
Bottom right photo: JoAnn Braheny, John, Kye Fleming, Ian Crombie and myself