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Are You A Competitive Songwriter?

Are You A Competitive Songwriter?
A Guest Post by Songwriting Scene

bigstock-Funny-boxer-isolated-on-the-wh-44762401I’ve never been, as far as I can recollect, a particularly competitive person.

In fact, I tend to wither in the face of competition. I feel like I’m the kind of person who throws up her hands, steps back, and says, “I’m out.” The notion of competing against anyone, about anything, has traditionally filled me with anxiety, the kind that makes me think I never could have been on American Idol, even if I wasn’t so old and even if I had that kind of voice and even if Simon Cowell had already left the show.

So, I’ve never understood the notion of “good” competition. The kind you observe on television coverage of the Olympics, say, when the perky gymnast says that she gets better under competitive pressure, or when the marathoner says he does better time when racing against his greatest competition.

Keeping up with the inspiration

But lately, I suddenly appear to be in some kind of competitive creative universe, among the many songwriting communities I am a part of, that isn’t scaring me but is, instead, inspiring me to do more and do it better. Feedback groups, songwriting challenges, late-night summer campfire circles at festivals, YouTube videos, Facebook feeds, this blog…every songwriter in my world seems to be upping the ante, taking their songwriting to the next level, both in terms of quality and quantity, and I keep meeting new, talented folks that in the past would have intimidated me to no end but now it’s getting me, well, in the groove.

Sure, it’s a phase. Any regular reader of this blog knows that my inspiration comes and goes and sometimes it goes down a deep dark tunnel of blah and I worry I won’t get out of it and maybe that’s it, you know, that was all the songs and there’s no more left.

However, it sure is nice to know that not only can creativity return, but I can be a little envious and jealous of my fellow songwriter in a totally good, healthy way — as in, “that was damn good and I can do something damn good too!” And, it’s amazing to know that I’m going through a period of knowing some amazingly fruitfully talented people that I’ll look back on and say, “those were the days.”

We are the songwriting champions, my friends

Do you find competition to sometimes be healthy as a songwriter? Or do you find it an inspiration bummer to go head-to-head with a fellow tune-ster? Is it your peers that you compete against, or are you mostly inspired by your idols? Let me know what you think…this is a new one for me, for sure.

Songwriting Scene is a blog founded by New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Sharon Goldman, written for songwriters about songwriting -- including tips, interviews, inspiration and thoughts about the creative process. 


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