“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
I’ve been right where you are.
At some point in your life, it became apparent that you could put words and music together and make a song.
People know you as a songwriter.
But for some reason, no one has realized your genius (or least no one that MATTERS!) There has been no publishing contract with Word. There has been no calls from Toby Mac because he heard your music on Soundcloud. There has been no word from Hollywood, Nashville, or New York, even though you’ve sent a few demos that way.
So what is the deal?
You’re not a novice. You’ve been doing this for a while. You’re most likely one of the best, if not the best songwriter in your whole town.
Why would God give you this talent if it never goes farther than a few miles from your house?
Well, folks, I have been there. I know exactly how you feel.
You have a job most likely that has little to do with music making, and it’s fine. But you long to know some success with your writing. Maybe just an artist who records one of your songs, or a publisher that shows some interest.
Well, let’s talk about the “why”. Why has your music not reached that next level yet?
In my experience or writing, producing, and promoting music, I have found there is only one way to get to a new level, and that is, to work with better people.
I was in the place where I felt, “Okay, people know who I am locally, and even a bit on the net, but I personally feel like I can’t get better than this”. Well that was incorrect. I just had to go out and sharpen my tools with other writers, musicians, and engineers.
So I started looking around town for studios and folks to hang with and work with. I eventually started a studio of my own, and I improved.
When I hit another ceiling, I moved to Nashville and started to meet Grammy-winning engineers and musicians that helped my projects get to a point now where I feel like they are where I want them.
Now, I don’t always think moving to Nashville is necessary or even needed. For me it was since my business was music production for artists and Nashville was a no-brainer for my clients. For you folks who are writers only and not making your living at it, moving here can have mixed results.
The important thing is to get out and get working with folks who are better than you. Whether it’s someone in Nashville, or someone locally.
Iron sharpens iron. We can’t just buy a new piece of software or microphone or join a new online service. We have to work with other people who do what we do, and maybe at a slightly higher level, to grow our own talents.
I think it’s very biblical actually. The story of the talents is very clear with what you should do with them (even though talents meant something different in the verse). But for our use, we have to go out and make those talents grow. That is what the Master wants to see.
We can’t just sit on our talents and only have what He gives. We must grow.
So, if you have questions, give me a shout, I’m glad to help.
Otherwise, keep writing!
Eric Copeland is a songwriter, producer, and consultant and heads Creative Soul in Nashville, TN. He is lucky enough to be able to sharpen his iron with artists and writers around the world. Find out more on how to get started here >