Are you a songwriter who wants to get feedback on your songs?

Frettie's an exclusive community for songwriters to get feedback on their music and connect with other songwriters and industry professionals. Hundreds of songwriters from all over the world use Frettie and you should too. Frettie's a growing community and we're currently accepting new songwriters. Join today!

Join The Community

Stay Connected



Stay Informed


Get the latests updates on Frettie, and other songwriting tips delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe to our emails below.

Categories

Our Advertisers

Learn the art, craft & business of songwriting from hit songwriter, Brent Baxter!

The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

What is your songwriting horizon?

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on October 31, 2018


At different times in my songwriting history (and I guess I’ve been doing this long enough to officially consider it “history”) I’ve had various “horizons.”

What is a songwriting horizon?

The horizon is the basic target your songwriting efforts try to hit. It’s where you focus your effort and where most of your effort ends. It’s the endpoint you don’t often look past.

When I first started out, my horizon was a finished song and a worktape. It felt great, and I had a sense of accomplishment and something to listen to. I dreamed of hearing one of those songs on the radio. But pretty much all I did about that was dream.

Years later, after I had moved to Nashville, my horizon was to impress a publisher so they’d start pitching my songs. Sure, I dreamed of getting songs on the radio, but on a day-to-day basis, I didn’t work at anything beyond landing a good publisher relationship.

Later still, I had a publishing deal and my horizon was often getting my publisher to demo songs so THEY could pitch them. I’d even had a hit on the radio by this time, but I couldn’t really see beyond the demo.

These days, my horizon is the furthest it’s ever been. The endpoint now is getting cuts and singles. For the most part, I’m writing with pro songwriters who are having success and swinging for hits. If I'm not writing with them, I'm writing with artists and the conversation and work centers on getting songs on their records and on the radio.

Sure, I’ve worked for years to get to the point where it’s realistic to talk about cuts and singles. But how much further would I be in my career if hits had ALWAYS been the horizon?

Instead of aiming at just writing songs, what if the horizon had been writing songs that an artist would want to sing? (And not just what I wanted to say?)

Instead of effectively washing my hands and walking away when a song got demoed, what if I kept going, getting my demos in the hands of decisionmakers myself?

Instead of playing that demo for an A&R rep and then letting off the gas, what if I kept working to get the song to the people who make the final decision?

Instead of being happy to just write a song with a baby artist, what if I had really focused on writing that special deal-getting song with that artist?

Most of the horizons I’ve had have not been set consciously. There were just set at the next song or the next step in my career.

And those steps (write, publish, demo, etc.) are each good steps. But they are each just steps on a staircase. If those steps are your focus, where your attention and energy is focused... you might just miss an elevator with its doors wide open.

I wonder how many I missed?

I encourage you to take a look at your goals for your writing- then take an honest assessment of where your attention and energy is focused. Have you set your horizon where only a milemarker should be? Milemarkers are great- they mark progress and keep you feeling motivated.

But a milemarker is NOT the horizon.

God bless,

Brent

PS- Thanks for stopping by Frettie! I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I want to give you a special little something just for your visit. It's my FREE ebook "Think Like A Pro Songwriter," and it reveals valuable I-learned-it-the-hard-way-so-you-don't-have-to tips to help you succeed at the art, craft and business of songwriting. You can download it at www.GiftFromBrent.com.


Request your invite to Frettie.
comments powered by Disqus