Why Failure Is Good For Songwriting Success


songwriting success“Failure” is good for songwriting success because failure is not real. Failure is an illusion. At first glance, this may seem like a contradiction, but it’s not. In other words, the best way to write hit songs is to write “ordinary songs”, because there is really no such thing as an ordinary song. “Ordinary” or “bad” songs are just stepping stones on the path to writing hits. Welcome them.  Do not fear so-called failure. Embrace it. Look at the big picture.

Failure is success in disguise.

The key to songwriting success is to “fail” a lot. I have deliberately put this word in inverted commas because failure, as most people view it, is not real. You need to write lots of “terrible” songs. Do not be afraid to write songs which people would consider nonsense. This means that you shouldn’t judge yourself or your songs. Continue to put out song after song without judgment. Don’t worry about whether they are good enough. Just write. Hit songs do not usually happen quickly. They take time. Some of the most successful songwriters have written a lot of garbage, but what you hear on the radio are the great songs. They finally made it and it seems like an overnight success to many. But there is no such thing as an overnight success. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” -Steve Jobs.

It’s really a numbers game. At some point you will get it right. You are bound to get it right if you believe that you will get it right. Never underestimate the power of thought. It has been said that thought is everything. If you can hold the thought of success and see yourself as a success without wavering, despite the appearance of failure, you cannot help but become a success. Think about what you want and not about what you don’t want. What good will it do you to think of yourself in a negative light, anyway? How much motivation will you get from this? None at all.

Fail Your Way To Songwriting Success.

“Failing a lot to achieve success” is applicable to any field of work and it is true for songwriting. Fail a lot, I repeat, because failure is an illusion. It’s a trick. As Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb said “I have not failed, I have found a thousand ways in which a light bulb won’t work.” This is a man who was originally regarded as a failure because he had tried ten thousand times to invent the light bulb. What everyone saw as a failure, he saw as a success. As a songwriter, you can say the same. All these songs which seem like failures are only taking you one step closer to songwriting success and that hit song you’re seeking to write. Persevere.

This point of never giving up must be emphasized. Most people do not succeed in life because they give up too soon. There are numerous examples of people in history who did not become a success because they gave up too soon. There are countless examples of people who quit, ignorant of the fact they were just about to succeed. Napoleon Hill tells the story of a man who dug and dug for gold for a very long period of time but stopped just three feet from that gold. Just when he was about to find the gold he quit in frustration and sold the machinery. He was so disappointed, he gave up. The person who bought it continued digging and in very little time found the gold and made millions. It is often said that the race is not for the swift but for the one who endures. Never give up on your songwriting craft. Keep writing. Success may be right around the corner but you will never know if you give up too early. “Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli

The most successful musicians in history “failed” multiple times before they became famous. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix were booed on stage in the earlier part of  their careers. The Beatles played about 1,200 shows before they became famous. They were rejected after an audition for a record company that claimed they had “no future in show business.” In 1954, Elvis Presley was fired from the Grand Ole Opry after one appearance. They told him he should go back to truck driving.

Never let rejection and criticism get in your way. Write, write and rewrite.

One of the biggest hindrances to songwriting success is self-doubt. It is perhaps the number one reason that most songwriters never become successful? If you are to succeed as a songwriter you cannot have a contrary and conflicting thought. You cannot get something by thinking of its opposite. You cannot win by thinking of yourself as a loser. The term “fake it till you make it” is quite applicable in such a situation. See yourself as a successful songwriter. See yourself as the success you want to become.

According to the Law of Attraction, you attract into your life whatever you think about. As you begin to view yourself as a success, you will begin to act like a success. You will not block yourself from receiving these hit songs that already lie within. You will be able to tap into that source of hits. It is already in you, you just need to allow it to come out of you, through self-belief and positive thinking. Thoughts become things. We’ve often heard that “as a man thinketh, so is he.” At first it may be difficult to see yourself as a success if you haven’t written any hits as yet. It may be hard to see yourself in a positive light if you have developed a pattern of negative thinking and see yourself as a failure. But with practice it will get easier.

See also: What is the Secret to Songwriting Success? Songwriting & the Law of Attraction

As said earlier, failure is not really failure. Failure is an illusion. There is really no such thing as failure. It’s only an appearance. We learn through mistakes. By writing a song which does not work, we learn to correct our mistakes and we learn what we shouldn’t do next time. We build on our previous attempts. The key is to convince yourself that failure is a not real. As a result you will be prepared to embrace so-called failure and you will be willing to fail a lot. You will practice acceptance of what is, knowing that ultimately, everything works in your favor.

Fail a lot. But this is not the end of it. You need to have a clear mental picture of what you want to achieve and keep it in your mind always. You need to know where you’re headed. If you don’t know where you’re going how do you expect to get there? Surely if you want to travel to a certain country, you would first of all need to know where you’re going. You would need to make specific travel arrangements and not board a random plane. This does not mean that you should be attached to the outcome. Aim to be a successful songwriter but do not stress over it. Practice what is known as the Law of Detachment. To detach from the outcome means to be fine with whatever result you get from your efforts. Let go.

You need to be happy about every song you write because it is a so-called bad song which leads to a much better song. That bad song is not really a failure. It’s what Napoleon Hill calls “temporary defeat” and is unfortunately, the point at which most people give up. It is the point at which they start engaging in self-doubt. If you can overcome this hurdle, you will be one step closer to becoming a successful songwriter. If you can understand the difference between failure and temporary defeat, and work towards your goal, holding positive thoughts and having a clear mental image of what you want to achieve, you cannot fail. Success will be yours. In fact, success is already yours if you believe it. “The man who says he can and the man who says he cannot are both correct.” – Confucius.

How many songs have you written lately? I trust that you write regularly. You must be willing to work harder than the average songwriter. While they’re watching TV, you’re working at your craft. While they’re partying, you’re writing. You must have a burning desire to succeed.

As long as you keep pressing on, you haven’t truly failed. Real failure is when you quit. The person who keeps at it hasn’t failed and cannot fail. “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard. Songwriting failure is good because failure is an illusion.

Fail harder.

Read: Learn How To Write A Song – Songwriting For Beginners – Tips

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