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Self Confidence in Songwriting Is Critical, Heres How to Believe In Yourself

Jun 3, 2008
Self confidence in songwriting is critical, here's how to believe in yourself and your songwriting with a lesson from hit songwriter Hugh Prestwood.

I attended a seminar where Hugh Prestwood gave a songwriting lesson and an explanation of his process of songwriting.

Every songwriter is different and each has unique processes to write songs. Some write to title, some start with the music etc.

Hugh is a very successful writer who takes three to four weeks to write a song. He usually doesn't co-write.

Many pro songwriters write many more songs than that. Question always is how many great songs?

He described how he wrote and produced his demos in his home studio. His process is different than most Nashville writers that I have heard about.

However there is no one correct way to write a song. Hugh's songwriting success is proof of that.

Hugh gave a detailed description as his writing and demoing process is tied together. However he also made some very interesting comments about self doubt.

It came up as a side bar in his conversation as he described being in his studio all alone with the song he was creating.

Hugh explained that often he would go through a stage in a song's development where he would doubt the song and his ability to write.

He said that at times he was convinced the song was terrible. Hugh also said this is a normal part of the process.

A light went on for me! One of the best songwriters around has doubt about his song! Its normal to feel self doubt about songwriting!

It was a huge load off my mind. It was OK to feel the way I sometimes feel. Here I thought it was just me that had those feelings.

When I thought about it, it made me laugh. Seems pretty straight forward but I hadn't realized it.

We all share human traits in common whether we are hit songwriters or not. We all share common experiences.

It's those common traits that allow us as songwriters to reach out to listeners and touch their hearts with our music and our lyrics.

Do you have periods where you doubt your songwriting ability and feel like its hopeless?

Do you ever feel you should just admit that you're not a great writer and just get on with a normal life?

Hugh also said something else that rang true with me. He indicated that in addition there were times he felt like he was a hot songwriter.

He admitted that he would finish a song and listen to it over and over again. Just wallow in his creation and love every minute of it.

Have you ever played your song over and over again? Is it embarrassing to admit your wallowing habits to your family and friends?

Guess what? That's normal too.

Well now you can relax, take it in stride and wait for it to pass. Self doubt and self indulgence can part of the process. You're normal after all.

Life goes in circles, so does your songwriting and how you feel about it. It's important to understand that self doubt cycles occur.

Understanding that and not getting upset about it frees you.

Your self confidence has mood swings so don't worry about it anymore! Just try to enjoy all you can and keep writing.
About the Author
John Cowell - His fresh approach to songwriting will have you saying -Ah-Ha- over and over again. To get simple and terrific ideas on how to write great songs visit Great SongWriting.com. Build your dream web site and web business like John did at Site Build It.
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