Don’t Music Alone
Music is a social game, it sounds better when played by a group and it sounds better enjoyed in a group.
“I’m an introvert” is possibly the most dangerous story you can tell yourself. It’s a trap that can turn into hiding or isolation and will limit your songwriting career.
We all have personal stories, they are part of who we are and what we believe about ourselves and the world. Your personal stories define your life… don’t let them limit you or your potential or your career. I’ve done it.
If you find this article making you uncomfortable, then it’s on point. Be sure to check out the action steps at the end of the article to help you start working it out!
Am I an Introvert?
What “I’m an Introvert” Sounds Like:
- I’ll go out next weekend
- I can’t go hear your band play because…
- I don’t know what to say, so I won’t introduce myself to…
- Maybe I’ll post that new song later, when I write a better bridge / sing it better /
- Maybe I’ll post that new video later, when I shoot it again with better lighting
- “Maybe I’ll…” instead of “I’m going to…”
What’s an Introvert?
Being an introvert means I process things best in my head. I’m good at thinking things through and figuring them out on my own.
Shy means I feel awkward or uncomfortable in many social situations. I often avoid large groups of people and unfamiliar social situations. I like people in small groups or small doses. I can get overwhelmed by people and find social gatherings emotionally and physically draining.
The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert, who finds it easier to figure out new ideas by talking them through with other people… thinking by talking out loud, rather than just thinking about it internally.
The opposite of shy is gregarious, someone who is comfortable in social situations, enjoying conversations and getting a charge out of social interactions and large groups of people.
There are enough similarities between being introverted and shy, and between being extroverted and gregarious, that these pairs of terms are often used synonymously, even though they aren’t really the same thing!
Introverted doesn’t mean shy!
But It’s Only a Preference, Not a Life Rule
Everyone does both, internal and external processing, even though many people find one more effective for them than the other.
I’m an introvert. I’d rather think things through, but I still learn if I talk about it. Generally I’m shy. People that I know and that I’m comfortable with are surprised when I tell them I’m usually shy.
Just because I tend to be one or the other, doesn’t mean I’m stuck there or can only do it that way.
I discuss the idea of having and using preferences to maximize how we learn new ideas and skills in Songwriting Learning Styles.
Why Should I Care?
Shy can change, you can grow. You can change it!
Introverted is a preference, not a way of life.
“I’m an Introvert” is an excuse…
Claiming you’re an introvert is a rationalization so you don’t have to feel socially uncomfortable. I’m not judging, I’m writing this article because I’ve done it (and sometimes still do it) too!
It comes down to choosing “easy” over “hard” or “I don’t want to” instead of “I need to in order to advance my career.”
It can be fear of change, of unknown situations, of different or new experiences. It boils down to I would rather have what I know than uncertain…
To grow you have to do the hard or uncomfortable thing. I explain this from a different perspective in Learning is Uncomfortable.
The Introverted Songwriter
(and the Myth of DIY Songwriting Success)
It’s possible to become an internet sensation by yourself… recording, mixing, mastering and releasing music in your home studio.
Post your song online and it could magically become a hit, making you famous and rich. It happened to Justin Bieber and others, but they are the exception not the rule. You’ve seen how many other singer songwriters are posting on social media, in FaceBook groups and on YouTube hoping for fortune and fame.
Just because you can learn to do it yourself, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your career.
Songwriters and musicians that make it have help….
Every successful musician or songwriter either leads or is part of a team. We don’t necessarily see or hear the team but they are part of the show we attend or the video we watch or the music we listen to….
“I make it seem easy because you can’t see my team working behind the scenes!”
You’ll need to build a team, include people specializing in:
- Songwriting: working with co-writers
- Testing songs: giving you feedback to improve your songs
- Management: guiding your career and introducing you to other music influences
- Booking Shows: increasing the number of and income from live shows
- Publicity & Public Relations: getting your songs and message out to the world
- Touring: set up and tear down, sound, lights, instrument set up and maintenance, merchandise sales
- Music Publishing: maximizing your songwriting royalties and synchronizing opportunities
- Music Recording: producing, recording, mixing, mastering, manufacturing and music distribution
It’s not always about money to hire a team or a company to get the work done.
You have to be generating enough work to pay for services. Generally, you need to do this work yourself until you’re so busy you can’t afford not to pay someone to take care of it for you. Start where you are and build on it:
- Co-write a song sharing equal royalty splits and responsibility publicizing the song.
- Find people to listen to your songs and give you constructive feedback before you pay for song critiques.
- A band member or friend can lead your social media publicity before you’re ready to think about hiring a P.R. or marketing company.
- You can play open mics or jam sessions to meet other musicians and to get enough experience and material to play a full set or full show instead of trying to book and play your own shows.
- Get help booking shows by partnering with other performers or bands as their opening act until you’re got enough material and experience to headline for others.
- Get help on your website from a friend or a paid service instead of trying to figure it out yourself.
To get to the next level you eventually need a team.
What’s your next step in adding a member to or assembling a team for your music?
Introverted Songwriter: Summary
Don’t let the personal story “I’m an introvert” block your career… you’re just shy!
Don’t make excuses, do something about it and connect with others…
- Regularly step out of your music cave
- Talk to people face to face in real life, not just online
- Work with co-writers, especially in person
- Play music with other musicians
- Create real relationships, not just virtual ones
- Create opportunities to meet people and to introduce yourself to music industry professionals (Create Your Musical Elevator Pitch will help you improve your introduction skills)
- Put yourself in the way of possibilities instead of hiding away from them
- Start the work to build a team to help lift you to success
Help other songwriters by leaving a comment:
What Will You Do Next?
- What can you do to create more opportunities to:
Meet more people in the music industry
- Make genuine relationships with other musicians and with your audience
- Start building a team to help your songwriting career
- Another choice?