In his poem, "The Road Not Taken", Robert Frost wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
In a time of economic insecurity, unforeseen world change, political and social banter and hatred that divides the country, there is no question it is difficult to be a music artist. Even though music has been economically devalued in this radical time of change, I honestly believe right now is one of the greatest opportunistic times I have seen in my lifetime for anyone who is a "true or real" music artist. An artist who is free to express themselves, their own views and values versus one that is encumbered by a company that dictates what they must say, think or how to act.
This week, I was given the opportunity by Harriet Schock to sit down at her dinning room table and spend a few hours with her songwriting students talking about the opportunity they have before them that is more valuable now than ever before. An opportunity to change how they use the words they use to describe themselves, their songs, the value it has away from the music and the greater impact it can have in another format. As you know from being an artist yourself, our words can change people. Unfortunately many artists mistakenly believe that if someone just hears their songs, they will get the meaning of it. We know that while some might, the vast majority won't because of the "noise" in the world that distracts and surrounds us all. Instead we must be willing to take the extra step to "help" them see our vision and the value of what we are trying to communicate to them. Here's a great example.
At a political event, the candidate running for office saw me as a channel to other artists and industry people who could financially contribute to their campaign. Instead, I introduced myself as one of the 110,000 people who were going to die from a terminal illness because they haven't done their job of helping me make a simple policy change in regards to organ donation. A difference in the use of my words instead of just acknowledging what another person thought they saw made a greater impact on them and everyone around us. With that being said, everyone was ready to listen and interested in understanding my vision.
The challenge ahead is this. I truly believe that music artists/songwriters make the world's best future book authors. It is during this time of strife and change where you will have the greatest impact of sharing the stories in your songs versus only presenting in a 3 to 5 minute song.
Now before you immediately jump to the false conclusion that this is too hard or impossible or that I have lost my mind, let me ask you this, if I asked you to write me 2, 3 or 4 pages in your own words about the story in each one of your songs could you do it? If you can, then you have the ability to write. In a time when millions of books are sold, especially in the growing format of e-books, isn't worth reaching out to an audience of people that is 30 or 40 times greater in size than music? What will be the impact of your book and music together to the media, industry and a worldwide fan base that has the opportunity to see your true vision and value?
If you are a true music artist that wants to really impact people, challenge yourself to make this change a reality instead of just wondering about it. Here are two options of how to do that. One, contact me to discuss this further and two, you can take the first step forward by reading the new beginning strategy I have written for you here entitled, "The Story In Your Song That Everyone Can Now See".
I hope you will take this opportunity to expand and give people the chance to understand what you are saying and the value it has for them.
Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."
Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".
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