Songwriting and Publishing: Continuous Collaboration

Continuous Collaboration 

Although I like to consider myself a naturally bold and confident person, there are definitely moments where I struggle with feeling small. This appears most of the time whenever I’m creating something. I always think “I’m one person in a sea of seven billion people, what could I possibly contribute? What makes me different from the next guy?” These horrible thoughts often wrap around my brain and cause me to doubt myself more than I should. It is hard to put yourself out there and give the world the most vulnerable parts of yourself and with songwriting, or any art form really, it’s exposing the deepest, most genuine sides of my story for everyone to see. That’s a scary thing, which often if not most of the time, stops me from ever sharing my songs with anyone. It’s the fear of rejection or humiliation that sends me over the edge and I’ll admit that, but that’s what runs the music industry. You have to show your songs to people or you’ll never get feedback or criticism and that, in the end, will ultimately never get you to where you want to go. So, if you feel small, then start small. You don’t have to send your music straight away to big record labels or other musicians, but try a friend or someone close to you. 

Usually, when I finish a song or even a part of a song, I’ll send it to a close friend and ask them what they think. I always enforce brutal honesty even though the truth is hard to hear. It’s important to know that not everyone is going to like what you put out because music taste is a spectrum. I was taught when I was little “Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay.” Music is the same thing: not everyone is going to like your music and that is more than okay; it’s not a personal thing, it’s a music thing. I still get nervous jitters after I hit the send button even when sharing my music with my friends, but it’s normal. If they love it then great, if they don’t then I want to know what their suggestions are. It’s important to take constructive criticism in stride and always know that your friends want you to succeed.  

In songwriting, collaboration is key. You’ll never get a good song unless you’re open to collaborating. Friends are a great source of collaboration for me, especially since I go to a college full of artistic and creative people who have, more or less, had much experience in music. When talking to friends, I tend to gather new ideas or concepts that I’ve never thought of before. It’s also very interesting listening to their stories and experiences with music to incorporate into my own writing style. Whether that be stylistic choices or a funky melody, I love experimenting with ideas to create something new. Although I often feel small alone, another friend or two’s encouragement and guidance make me more confident in reaching my final product. Collaboration is an essential part of the songwriting process for me because it gives me the insight to not only what musicians like, but also what my audience would like and really who my audience is going to be. 

It will always be nerve-wracking for me to share my music and to be honest, I don’t think it will ever be easy, however, there are ways to feel more confident about it. One thing I like to keep in mind is that if it makes you too comfortable, then you’re doing something wrong. Comfortability keeps us locked in our ways, never trying something new or experiencing change. It’s so cliche but it’s true. If you get too comfortable, then you’ll never break out of your bubble. Although it’s often the scary things that make us uncomfortable, like putting our art out into the world, it allows evolution to take place, whether that be through the music itself or a personal journey and that’s big.  

Save 10% off of your next purchase with this coupon at Blick Art Materials!

By Megan Grosfeld

Megan Grosfeld is a Junior at Emerson College majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a concentration in Publishing. Her dream is to be like the modern Carrie Bradshaw of the Publishing world, but with more writing, sex, and infinite pairs of Manolo Blahniks.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services. At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.