Songwriting is a kind of self-improvement exercise. With each song you write, you should feel that you’ve added something positive to your definition of yourself. I think it’s fair to say that one of the things that keeps you interested in songwriting is noticing that you’re getting better. Each song you write is an accomplishment — something to be proud of.
There are lots of non-musical examples of what I’m talking about here. Some people build model airplanes, some knit, some build furniture. They are all a form of self-improvement exercise. We want to get better, whether we’re writing a song or building a model airplane.
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For any hobby, whether it’s building models, collecting stamps, or even working on being a marathon runner for that matter, there’s always the opportunity to display your accomplishments. If you’re looking for a rare stamp to add to your collection, and finally find what you’re looking for, you’re not likely to simply toss it in a drawer. You’re more likely to mount it in a book, maybe even display it for others to see.
You put your model airplanes out on display so that others can see them, because you’re proud of them. You put trophies on your shelf, not just to boast to others, but to remind yourself of your accomplishments.
With songwriting, the final product is less tangible. You might frame a CD case and display it because you’re proud of what you’ve done, but these days it’s more likely that the finished product is a digital download: hard to display.
And because your songs are hard to display, it’s hard to remind yourself of your achievements.
Feeling proud of your songs is a vital part of staying excited about writing them. Without that healthy boost to your ego, there will be a tendency to lose interest over the long term.
So as you work to make songwriting a daily activity, think of ways to display what you’ve written, even if for no other reason than to remind yourself that you’ve accomplished something worthy of a bit of boasting.
You might stream a version of your latest song for others to hear. But also, how about keeping a chart on your wall where you list the songs you’ve written? In a way, these songs you’re writing are like your trophies. That chart will serve as a constant reminder that you’ve done something great and unique. Be proud of what you’ve done!
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