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- unless you are writing excellent songs, and doing it consistently;
- unless you are practicing your songwriting craft, and improving daily as a songwriter;
- unless you are energetically building a fan base for your music;
- unless you play your music regularly for others, live and in-person;
- unless you have a polished, professional-looking website with current information;
- unless you have an easy way to allow new listeners to hear your music (streamed online, usually);
- unless you’re able to listen to your own music objectively;
- unless you’re listening to lots of music, including songs from genres you normally wouldn’t consider;
- unless you work hard to make connections to others in the music industry;
- unless you understand how the music industry really works;
- unless you are willing to learn from other songwriters and industry personnel;
- unless you understand that songwriting is a discipline.
In other words, unless you realize that a career in songwriting requires a level-headed, disciplined, clear-headed approach, you’ll live in that dreamworld where you wait for top industry people to call you tell you that they want to record every song you’ve ever written.
The music world invites dreamers. But there’s an important difference between dreaming and hallucinating. It’s OK to dream as long as you know that the twelve “unlesses” can’t be ignored. Those “unlesses” are simply reality.
To ignore reality means you’re hallucinating, and not on track to making music any sort of career.
Dream big, but get to work.
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Gary is also the author of “Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music“, published in hardcopy by Backbeat Books, and available from Amazon and any other online bookseller.