As a songwriter, you possess a skill that can make someone’s mood a little brighter, and someone’s day a little better. You could argue that practically everyone, no matter what they do in life, has the same ability. One way or another, we all have the chance to make someone’s day better, even if it’s just serving a cup of coffee at the local café.
But songwriting — that’s a skill that’s unique and potentially powerful. Think about how important the music you grew up with is to you, and you will see the potential you have to make someone’s day, year, even life, better.
This time of year, as Christmas, Hanukkah and other celebrations draw near, is a good time to remind yourself of the gift you can offer an often-troubled world.
Of course we know we cannot make the claim that music will cure every problem. It would be an incredible show of ignorance and disrespect to think that the tragedy of Aleppo, as one example, can be dealt with by writing good music.
I’m not specifically a philosopher, but I know that the world is large and complex, and whatever you offer it becomes part of it. As this year draws to a close, I think it’s a good time to remind yourself how important you are, or can be, to others. When you see the troubles in our time, you might feel discouraged that all you have to offer is your music.
But I say wonderful! if that’s the case. If your songs manage to make someone feel better — or feel encouraged or inspired — or if they allow someone who is hurting to feel a bit better, that’s a wonderful gift you possess.
On the days when songwriting feels hard, and you wonder why you do it at all, I hope you take a moment to step back and remind yourself of the uplifting power of music. You can tell people what you think, and they may listen to you. But sing what you think, and many will listen attentively. It’s worth remembering that every time you put pen to paper.
I wish you joy and happiness as you spend time with your family and friends for the coming week. And please keep writing your songs. They are important, no matter who you are, and the world needs your contributions, now more than ever.
“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle comes with a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions”. Learn how to take your chords beyond simple I-IV-V progressions. With pages of examples ready for you to use in your own songs!