“Sex sells,” the saying goes.
Well, it’s not as sexy, but songwriting craft sells too.
It’s teachable. It’s concrete. It’s measurable enough that you can watch it improve.
The trouble is, a song isn’t just the nuts and bolts that hold it together.
Just like a chair is more than a piece of wood or plastic – it’s what it adds to a space, it’s who sits on it, it’s who it brings together.
If it sounds like I ripped that from IKEA’s latest ad campaign, then good.
Because whether it’s design, visual art, songwriting or making YouTube videos, the most important thing that drives people is connection. A sense of love and belonging.
And because that’s what drives people, that’s what drives the best marketers, business owners and, yes, artists, to do what they do.
The trouble with songwriting is that songwriting craft is the simplest and most concrete thing you can talk about. It’s easy, if you’re that way inclined, to tell people that their songwriting dreams aren’t coming true because their songs aren’t well crafted enough yet.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s true.
But it’s only half the picture.
We want your song to be well crafted as much as we want a chair to rest flat on the floor and not fall apart.
But we equally want your song to make us feel something. To show us part of you. To make us feel more connected and less alone and scared.
Songs are written with the heart, not the head.
The head has to translate what the heart is saying – and that’s why good craft is important. But head without heart doesn’t make a song. It makes a crossword puzzle.
Polish and perfect your craft skills. They’re a crucial part of what you do.
But also polish and perfect your heart skills. Pay attention to what you feel, not just what you think. Learn how to connect with people – through music and otherwise.
Lead with your heart – in everything you do.
And you might just inspire other people to do the same.