It's great to hear what our featured songwriters have been up to since we last spoke with them. This month we reached out to Sarah Spencer who’s been with Frettie since the very beginning. She gave us some great insight on how Frettie has helped her and how she incorporates Frettie into her writing process. She also filled us in on a new project she’s working on called SongFancy and we think everyone will find that useful as well.
Q: Can you believe it has been over a year since we last interviewed you? What have you been up?
I know, right? Things are good! I'm still writing a lot, and doing a lot more co-writing. I found a group of friends that I really love writing with, and we've got some killer songs. I’ve also been playing out more and more - Played at the Bluebird, and did my first house show. I think I've also gotten a cut since we last spoke, so that's pretty cool. These days I’m also putting a lot of energy into a new blog called SongFancy.com. I started SongFancy as a place for other writers to go for inspiration. I’ve had fun taking photos, writing and planning out the content.
Q: How have things changed for you since the last time we talked?
Honestly, I feel like I was sprinting for a while, and now I've started to slow down! Certainly this is not in a bad way. I've taken a little more time for myself. I’ve been focussing on figuring out how I want to shape my career. I've started putting a lot more emphasis on playing, connecting with people, and writing for myself. More artist-type stuff.
Q: What have been some struggles this past year that you think other songwriters could relate to or would find interesting? How have you learned from them?
Funny you should ask! This past year has forced me to learn a lot of hard, but reassuring truths about being a songwriter. The main struggle I keep running into is, everyone has an opinion! There's a rule for everything! That drives me crazy. I really do appreciate guidelines, advice, and other people's expertise. However, this year, it's been all about finding my own voice in the mess of "proper commercial songwriting".
It's so easy to get caught up in workshops and feedback. One person wants the chorus to lift more. The next person thinks your verses are too long and that the song needs to be more conversational and blah blah. It can be hard to inject your own artistic vision into a piece when all you're thinking about is, "Will this song tick off someone who could potentially get it heard?" I'm learning that there's a happy medium between "commercial" and "innovative". I'm constantly writing to that.
Q: What have been some of your wins our proudest moments this past year?
Playing the Bluebird was pretty cool. And I'm playing it again on December 14th at 8pm, if any of y'all Frettier's are in town!
Q: How has Frettie or the Frettie community contributed to any of the successes you’ve had this year?
I've absolutely forgotten how helpful it was to have Frettie as a part of my songwriting process. I've posted a few new tunes this month, and I've already gotten some great feedback from the community. Not only that, but the addition of the new Frettie Facebook group has integrated itself into my social media life! I'm on Facebook more than anywhere else online, and it's nice to have the Frettie community right there for conversation and collaboration.
Q: Have you adapted Frettie into your songwriting process?
I have! It's so simple to just toss up a worktape when I first write a tune. I literally 1. write the song, 2. play it into my phone, then 3. upload the worktape and lyrics to Frettie. I get to ask specific questions about points in the song I could use some input on. Usually after the first round of writing a song, I'm full, and don't go back to it till later. So during that time, I'm sharing it with Frettiers and gaining valuable feedback to take into the rewrite. Frettie is perfect for my process.
Q: What is your next goal as a songwriter?
To always improve and write better. Ultimately, I'd love to be a staff writer at a publisher with a bunch of friends.
Q: What new projects are you working on?
Well, I just had my first online streaming show and I had a blast. I hope to do more of those steaming shows in the future, but this first one was a test run! Along with that, I've also started a songwriting inspiration blog called SongFancy.com. I write about my experiences as a writer, some things I've learned along the way, and really focus on getting people amped for their writing.
Q: Thanks for your Sarah, how can the songwriting world connect with you?
You can find me on Frettie. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook! I play pretty frequently around Nashville at various writer’s nights, so if you’re in the area, come on out and say hey!