I've noticed a recurring problem among some of the writers that I've been critiquing and teaching lately. I call it "Writer's Assumption." Mr. Webster calls it "anything taken for granted; supposition," and believe me, it can be terminal for any song infected with it.
Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting
One of the top ten questions I get asked by newcomers to the industry is, "How do I get heard in the music business?" Before I can answer that, I have to know exactly what they want to be "heard." When I ask them about their goals -- whether they want to be songwriters or recording artists -- the most common response is, "Both."
Young, yet mature, male or female writer/performer; prolific in lyrics & melody; able to produce & pitch own demos; requires little financial support from publisher; has some track record; lives next door to office.
The above listing might be the typical Want Ad you would expect a publisher to post (if publishers did, indeed, do such things) when searching to find and sign a new songwriter.
If you're ready to stop being "warm and fuzzy," go for the throat and write a hit -- read on, you're ready for "The 7:00 a.m. Rule." Everybody already thinks you're crazy anyway, so you might as well be successful and crazy. It will make your mother and your bank manager happy.
Most writers follow their hearts. Only when the song is finished - when they've created someone who never existed, in a place that never was, doing something that never happened - do they really begin to think about commercialism and what to pitch to whom. There are other writers, however, who purposefully sit down to "go for the throat;" who hunt for a radio hit and don't aim at having a #2 song. After all, for most of us, the theory behind joining the world's second oldest profession (writing for money) is to be the lead dog. Remember if you're not, the view never changes.
Long ago, and not so far away, drive time was the time it took to get to grandmas for Sunday dinner; country music was played on mom and pop radio stations; and couples went out on a Friday or Saturday night, had a couple of drinks, and danced in each others arms to cheating songs. Putting on country music was like slipping into a favorite pair of well-oiled boots or an old pair of jeans.
Special thanks to researcher Bryce Mims and assembler Kaitlin Thome