It was about 44 years ago that I graduated high school and enter the US Air Force Academy. One of the first things I was taught was that there were "no excuses" for anything...rational or irrational!! I remember one day on the obstacle course when the upperclassman watched me fail the, what looked as, 20 foot wall (was actually 9 or 10 feet I think) obstacle. He came over and yelled, "WHY CAN'T YOU GET OVER THAT WALL???". I replied as always instructed..."NO EXCUSE SIR"!!!
I was reading the fantastic blog by hit songwriter Marty Dodson (Songtown...check it out!!) and it was funny as I was thinking about doing a blog on this topic and he beat me to the punch. His blog really hit a nerve with me and seeing as I was going to talk about this it gave me the perfect excuse to "piggyback" on his thoughts.
As I was taught in the military...nothing good ever comes out of "excuses"!! Explaining why you can't do something is an exercise in futility. Seems to me most times excuses arise as a form of "whining". It seems however, defending oneself or rationalizing something is basic human nature and it is so easy to fall into the trap of making excuses and placing blame on why you can't accomplish something. "I can't get over that wall because you guys made it TOO DANG HIGH!!!". It never would be something that I did or didn't do!!! LOLOL
Marty says, "If
there is one thing that I have learned in my journey through the music
business it’s that I’ve never made one dollar from excuses." How true!!!
Here are some of the excuses that Marty Dodson's points in his excellent blog...I couldn't agree more and have heard (and probably used ) them all!!:
“It’s harder than ever to get a cut”
“You have to write with the artist to get a cut”
“I write songs that are too deep for the market”
“People don’t understand my music”
I will add a couple more:
"There is crap on the radio...my songs are WAY better than what I hear being played on radio! They don't want good songs like mine"
"There just isn't any access anymore and it is impossible to get a cut unless you know somebody"
"I just don't have the time or money to get my songs heard and the doors are closed anyway!"
These all may ring true...but...the fact remains...if you want to get songs "cut" you have to STOP with the excuses and make a plan to overcome the obstacles!! GET OVER THAT WALL!!! No one is listening or cares to hear all the whining! LOL Here is what I would call the start of a roadmap to success:
1. Study, Learn, Hone your craft, Write...write...write. In other words Write a GREAT song...not a "good song" but a GREAT song. Good songs don't get cut!!! Get to where you know a great song when you write one :) The late great songwriter Paul Craft once told me "A great song will find its way out!!!!"
2. Have a plan!! Spend time putting together your mission, your goals, and how you plan to go about reaching those goals by creating steps or "milestones" if you will. What can you do to move forward toward accomplishing your goal. (I think I will do a future blog on creating this "plan" and how to lay out "measurable" milestones for success)
3. Work the plan!! It is one thing to have ideas and plans but if you don't dedicate yourself to actually "doing" it is just a piece of paper that looks nice. Every day do something based on your "plan".
4. Identify the obstacles and DON'T make excuses...be creative and find away over around or maybe even through the obstacles knocking them down!! :) Realize that "failure" is part of success...it is 'how' you handle the failure that sets a winner apart!!
5. Reward yourself for small successes or victories. Give yourself a reason to celebrate!!!
6. Surround yourself with "positive" people. Songwriters that are passionate about the craft and can get you fired up and excited about songs and songwriting.
Now as Larry the Cable Guy says...now get out there and "git r done!!!" The time for excuses is over and it is time for action. Make a plan...write a great song...work the plan...celebrate the milestones and overall no matter what....HAVE FUN!!!
Thanks to Marty Dodson for inspiring today's blog. Remember...Write more...Whine less!!!