Recognize your fear as a compass
We’ve talked about this here before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Use your fear as a compass.
Fear can be a really great tool. It tells you when there’s danger to avoid and it keeps you humble. But sometimes, we can have fears around things that hold us back – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being laughed at or ridiculed.
Sometimes we get really fearful about “messing up” the things that are most important to us. And that fear can keep us in our comfort zone, all safe and stored away from any potential failure. We write our songs in secret, we don’t tell anyone that we’re songwriters, and we sweat at the idea of sharing out work. That’s no way to live!
Fear and anxiety can be a compass that guides us toward the things we want most in life. Want to share that song, but it scares the heck outta you? That’s your compass!
It’s a release
Writing music can be a cathartic experience. Sometimes we write because we don’t know any better way to sort out our thoughts on a complicated subject. Many songwriters turned to songwriting in the first place because they were trying to deal with their feelings around heartbreak, trauma, or life changes.
Sharing your music is part of that release. Got something on your chest? Write it out and share it.
You learn and grow
When you release your songs out into the world, you learn really fast what works and what doesn’t work. This is especially true on stage. When you share your material, you quickly begin to hear all the pieces of the song that worked well. And you also really notice the pieces that didn’t work so well. This can be through the reactions of others online, the quality of applause at an open mic, or comments from your friends and family. Sometimes, you can tell right away what works and what doesn’t when you’ve sat with the knowledge that the song has been made public.
All of this will inform future songs you write. It’s a fast and necessary way to grow.
You make friends and fans
You’ll never know who your fans are until you share your music with them! Here’s something that a lot of private songwriters completely miss – you do have fans. They are out there. There are people who will love your music and connect with it and absolutely get it. And you may never find them if you don’t share your work. So share it!
You’re serving the world at large
Remember that song you heard a long time ago that changed your life? That song that helped you through a hard time, or seemed to put words to exactly what you were feeling when you couldn’t yourself?
That song came into your life because a songwriter decided to share their songs. And you can do the same for someone else by sharing your work. You never know what good your song could do in someone else’s life.