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Happy New Year!

January 1st 2011

From me to you, best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2011!

From time to time, I get a newsletter from Dallas songwriter Mary Dawson. I've heard from more than one successful songwriter that some of the best wielders of the craft are inveterate readers, so I thought I'd share her New Year tip, which I just received today:

by Mary Dawson


It's a brand New Year -- 365 blank pages ahead. I'm not much on New
Year's Resolutions, but I do believe that if you aim at nothing, you
will be CERTAIN to hit it! So here's an idea to keep you focused and
to insure that at the end of 2011, you will have learned a great
deal about this craft and business of songwriting.

Many years ago, Waldron Scott, a brilliant and extremely well-read
independent scholar, shared with me his personal reading regimen --
one I have adhered to ever since.

He began by reminding me that once you are out of school and away
from a structured curriculum, your continuing education is your own
responsibility. No one is going to assign a book for you to read and
report on. There will be no exam dates or term paper deadlines to
keep you focused. You must discipline yourself!

He suggested reading a specific number of books as an objective for
the year. Consider your time and be realistic. You might, for
instance, set as your goal to read twelve books -- one each month.
Design your reading program topically. If six of those twelve books
are on the subject of songwriting, at the end of one year you will
have learned much about a skill you intend to acquire and perfect.

You may choose to design your reading program around specific
skills, such as melody creation or lyric writing. Or you may choose
to explore various aspects of the business of music. You may even
decide to read biographies of six great songwriters and study their
work. Whatever you choose, stay with it -- just as if you were
taking a course for college credit. Do what it takes to stay on
schedule. When you have completed your six books on one topic, you
can divide the remaining six into other topics or just go a little
crazy and read whatever strikes your fancy. But having focused on
one theme for six books, you will have guaranteed yourself a college
course on one very important subject.

Are you a bit of a procrastinator? Not a great self-starter? You may
want to build some accountability into your reading program. If you
are in contact with other songwriters in your area, you may decide
to tackle your reading list together and have monthly discussions
about what you are learning. Or you may simply set yourself a
deadline for completion of each book and write a short book report
on your computer to document that you have actually finished it. It
will not be long before you will be as knowledgeable about the
various aspects of songwriting as anyone else in the business.

Knowledge is power! On December 31, 2011, will you be a more
powerful songwriter than you are right now? The answer may be only a
few good books away!

(Above article excerpted from "How To Get Somewhere in the Music
Business from Nowhere with Nothing" by Mary Dawson.

How to Get Somewhere in the Music Business from Nowhere with Nothing

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