Being grateful and giving thanks is a discipline that I try to practice daily.
From a songwriting perspective, here are some things I believe all of us creative types need to be thankful for:
My mom was a huge believer in me and my music. When everyone else was telling me “no”, she encouraged me to keep on and told me how talented I was. My wife believes in me and encourages me all the time. Kim Williams believed in me and gave me my first shot in the music business. I have a publisher in town who has believed in me and challenged me to write better for more than 15 years now. I am SO grateful for each of them because they kept (and keep) me going when I thought about quitting.
I have a LONG list of people who didn’t think I could make it in the music business. Hundreds of times, they rejected my songs and me personally as a writer. Instead of giving up, they made me even more committed to proving them wrong. A little bit of vindictive revenge can be a good thing. I still see many of those people at industry functions and it is very sweet to shake their hands and share my accomplishments with them.
Anyone Who Will Listen
I believe songwriters should be thankful for anyone who will listen to their music. From the casual fan who walks in to a writer’s night off the street to the uber fan who would buy anything we put out, we owe a debt to the people who listen to our music. Without them, songwriting would be a thankless pursuit. When they buy, stream or show up, they are validating what we do.
A Higher Power
Songwriting is a gift that not everyone is given. Whatever your belief system, I would suggest that most of us believe that extra-ordinary abilities come from some source outside of ourselves. Wherever you think that comes from, be thankful and grateful that you showed up on this planet with the skill set that allows you to create music that never existed before you arrived.
Your Support Team
Even if they are not real “believers” yet, most songwriters have a support team around us that includes spouses, significant others, children, and extended family. Thank those people. It’s not always easy to love a songwriter. And it’s not always easy to help support one until they start making money. I’m thankful for the people who supported me financially and emotionally while I chased this crazy dream. I’d encourage you to give them a big hug or phone call and express your gratitude today.
Today, take a break from the music and just be thankful that you get to do what you do and show lots of love to the people around you who keep you going.
Blessings from SongTown ~Marty