I am working hard, but I feel as if I am not doing anything. How can this be?
I am not really a prolific songwriter. Since 2000 I have only written two hundred and twelve songs with a yearly average of around seventeen songs. That means that I some years I only wrote five or six songs, and other years I have written over sixty. However, I identify with being a songwriter. I may have a Ph.D. in theology, and I may be a minister of a church, a very small, liberal, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Northern California, but I nonetheless identify as a Rockabilly/Honky-Tonk singer/songwriter. I spent years as a professional and fine-art photographer, but I still wrote and performed my original songs. Songwriting and performing is just what I do, and I do it very seriously.
So this last year, and this coming year as well, it seems that I am doing more song promotion and song marketing than writing. It also means that I am spending more and more time at this computer communicating with A&R reps, song peddlers, artists, film companies and whoever else needs and uses songs. It also means that I am doing less and less songwriting. It also means that I am doing more recording, mixing and mastering, at which I am least proficient.
I have a woodshop where I build and repair wood stuff. I enjoy working with the wood, and I make a little money ate it, but it is still just something I do to clean out my brain for the real work of songwriting. I have written one and one half songs this year so far, and there are more to be written, but I feel frustrated by the need to record, mix, and master my old songs.
Actually I feel grumpy at the blasted A&R people who need fully mastered radio-ready songs to pitch to their artists. I yell stuff at my studio walls like, What the hell ever happened to interpolation? Where they could hear a song and hear themselves singing it. Without having everything done in advance. The walls of my studio have no answers, and I just go ahead and play the stupid game.
The bottom line is that I am learning how to do it because I cannon afford to have it done by the experts. I am using an older version of Sonar for the mixing and a new version of Izotope Ozone for the mastering. I am slowly figuring it out. I do not have high end studio mastering speakers, but I have my PA speakers that work good enough. I figure that if I get the sound so it sounds good on my studio speakers, and it sounds good on my little CD player and on my house system and on the car system, then the sound should be good enough quality to send to an A&R type. It somehow seems to be working.
Yet, while that seems to be working, I still do not feel as if I am working. Rather, I should say that I don’t feel like I am accomplishing anything because I am not writing songs at the rate at which I want to write them.