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I Wrote a Song Once But, I'm Not a Songwriter

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SongwritingI view songwriters as those special gifted people who just have a wonderful way with expressing abstract concepts into concrete words. There are those who just excel at it while others struggle. Songwriting is that magical world where a few stand in the clouds, way above us mortals who enjoy and savor their works.

How does one become one of those special people? Some take courses in creative writing and songwriting to help achieve their goal. Then, you work and work at it, review and revise your words as you shape the clay of your sculpture with your mind and pen. You massage your song and refine it until you believe it is a piece of art ready to go on display. You create the musical frame for your canvas of lyrics to make your work complete.

In the world of music, I often receive works by songwriters trying to make it. They ask for opinions on their work and also ask how to sell their wares to artists looking for new content. Some is cookie cutter or copy cat and other works are quite unique. The thing with songwriting is that there is a place for both provided the creativity is there and a demand is available for the supply.

Obviously, those who have already made it in the songwriting world have a huge advantage when it comes to finding someone to record their works however, newcomers are always entering the field so there is a way. The reason is that the music world is always looking for something new and exciting. The songwriter's job is to fill that niche.

So, when does someone who writes songs become a songwriter? I'm not sure. I've written an entire folder of songs which live on my computer and which I play now and then however, I certainly don't consider myself a songwriter any more so than I consider myself a welder. A welder makes their living welding. To me, a songwriter should be someone who makes their primary source of income from writing songs. In that area, I fail to meet my own criteria. I am not a songwriter but, rather someone who occasionally write a song.

I guess we can credit the Internet, social media and other new technologies for making it both easier to distribute and easier to market ones songwriting wares. We have YouTube which enables people to hear the song, read the lyrics and actually sample the songwriter's wares. Through networking, one can even get top artists to listen to the songwriter's efforts. And, we have the opportunity to email or message potential "buyers" of the product in the hopes that they will enjoy the sample enough to buy more of the product.

I have encountered a few who want to connect with me, one way or the other, and who claim to be songwriters. I have asked them what songs they have written and frequently they are much like myself -- they have written some songs but none have ever been recorded by themselves or by others. I like to call those song hobbyists. Songwriting, to my way of thinking, is a profession -- skilled labor. I have a garden in the back yard but I certainly don't think of myself as a farmer. I give the same respect to songwriters. They are cut from a specially reserved piece of cloth that certainly was never used on any of my garments.

Songwriting is an art and those who create that art are true artists. They participate in contests, showcases and perform their art publicly. I have the utmost respect for those who can do this, succeed at it, and can make their livelihood from their art. I also encourage those trying to enter this world much success and to keep striving. There is nothing wrong with being a song hobbyist as it is one of the baby steps necessary to climbing the songwriting ladder. One certainly needs to walk before one can run and being a song hobbiest is an awesome way to get started. Get your music off of your computer and out into the world via jams, festival parkinglot pickin' and other avenues. It only takes one spark to start the songwriting fire burning.

Here's to those that made it, those that are striving and those just starting. Songwriting is a beautiful art and once to be proud of.

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