No matter what your definition of Songwriting Success is, one of the most overlooked aspect of a songwriter’s journey is community. I run into many writers who are writing pretty good songs, but they are doing it in a vacuum. In reality, it’s nearly impossible to succeed as a songwriter or anything without a supportive community around you. Here are some reasons it is important to find community as a songwriter:
Songwriters are a different breed.
It’s often hard for spouses, friends and family members to understand why we think differently. They often don’t understand how much emotional energy it can take to pour your heart out in a song. When I come home exhausted from writing, my wife doesn’t always “get” why that made me so tired. Other songwriters do. We can be quirky people so it’s important to find others that understand.
Feedback is crucial.
On your own, it’s nearly impossible to grow as a writer because you aren’t getting educated feedback on what is working or not working. You need community around you to help you grow as a writer. We have local SongTown SongCircles popping up all over for this reason. We also offer feedback from pros and peers on the SongTown website forum.
Co-writing sharpens your skills as a writer.
I don’t know any pro writers that are world class melody AND lyric writers. Most of us need to find co-writers who are stronger where we are weaker. In my case, I ALWAYS write a better song if I’m working with a really strong melody person. I can contribute melody ideas, but having someone in the room who is a world class melody writer inspires me to write better lyrics and makes the song so much stronger melodically.
Community gives you more “points of connection” in the industry.
The more people you write with, the greater your chances of one of those co-writers getting a writing deal or having success. The more people you know, the more opportunities you will have to get your songs heard or placed. There are people in Nashville running publishing companies that were interns at my publishing companies in the past. Others that were co-writers who are now publicists for major artists or A&R people for TV and movies. Because I’ve worked with a large number of people, I now have a large network of people that act as resources for me and help me get songs cut.
Community keeps you writing.
Being a part of an active, vibrant community inspires you to write, encourages you when you are down, and keeps you going when you want to quit.
All of that to say, let SongTown become your tribe. Network and get to know other writers here. Stop in to give feedback on songs in the forums and interact with other members from around the world. In just a few short years there are over 60,000 feedback comments by songwriters from hobbyists to pros. This community can become the “team” that helps you succeed whether your goal is to just write your best songs or have a writing career.
Write on! Marty Dodson
Co-Founder Songtown Songwriter/Producer/Student of Writing