Friday, October 14, 2011

Hunter vs. Farmer

When writing songs, we can either take on the mentality of a hunter or a farmer.

When applied to songwriting, the hunter is the one who finds it best to chase after a moving target (i.e., Keith Urban is recording next month, so you'd better write a song that he might record). The problem with this mentality is that the creative process is practically flipped on its head. What you end up with is a song that only Keith Urban would record, and chances are that he won't record it. Often times the hunter ends up "hungry" at the end of the day.

The farmer is the one who works consistently (though not constantly) planting seeds that have the potential to grow and offer long-term satisfaction. When writing a song, the farmer can focus on creating the kind of art that he believes in rather than creating art that he hopes others will believe in. I would argue that when an artist believes in their work, that belief is contagious and is caught by the listener.

What the music industry needs right now is less hunters and more farmers. The buffalo herd (opportunities to get songs cut by major artists) is getting too small to accommodate every songwriter who's trying to be a hunter. Hunting is okay to do every once and a while, but only when there's food growing in the field.

Keep writing,



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