The #1 Struggle Christian Songwriters Face
Songwriters struggle with a lot of things. Whether it’s writer’s block, discouragement, lack of ideas, needing more skills, or even loneliness, the artistic journey of songwriting isn’t always easy.
But I’d say that the #1 challenge songwriters struggle with is a sense of their own value. With the streaming outlets literally jammed with songs every day, many songwriters are left wondering if what they’re writing is worth anything to anyone at all.
Last I checked, Spotify is releasing over 40,000 new tracks per day. That’s over 2,000 hours of music every 24 hours. And when you check your Youtube uploads and have only one like, it’s tempting to be discouraged and wonder if there’s any reason to keep writing.
Even with feeling a strong sense of God’s calling on our lives and a passionate drive to fulfill it, most of us still struggle with a nagging sense of not being good enough. Not only do we wonder how we stack up with a million other songwriters already “out there,” we seem to constantly wrestle with the fear no one will ever be saved, healed, impressed, or moved in any way by our songs.
If you’ve ever felt like that, you’re not alone.
Dealing with Our Worthiness Issues
I’ve had hundreds of songs recorded and published in my career. But here’s the truth: I can still feel these exact feelings about myself, my songs, and my own sense of worthiness.
So, how do we deal with these horrible feelings?
First off, it’s helpful to realize that these feelings are always lurking just under the psychological surface. I don’t believe that they’re so much the work of the devil as they are the really bad habits of my own mind.
Self-talk is the real culprit most of the time, in my experience. We’re so quick to blame spiritual enemies that we forget about the one living right between our ears, our own undisciplined mind.
And, further, how we do anything is how we do everything. That means that if you’re struggling with bad mental habits and negative self-talk about your songwriting, you’re probably dealing with it in every area of your life.
I should know. I have to keep breaking this habit over and over, every day that I live. It just seems we humans are better at negativity than positivity. And reaching a higher level of art and creativity requires a lot of positivity, endurance, and overcoming the inner and outer negative influences we will undoubtedly face.
Jesus Is Responsible for Your Songwriting
When I realize I’m getting super negative with myself about anything, I have to stop and re-center my attitudes and thought life.
I have to remember that I’m only responding to God’s call, not calling myself. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not me. He has taken on the responsibility of shepherding my life and I can look to Him at any moment for comfort and direction.
He’s already envisioned what He desires for your life, too. Each day, as Ephesians 2:10 puts it, is another stanza of the song of your life, the very song He’s writing. Your job is to pay attention, listen, and sing along.
Maybe some of the struggle will lessen a little if you just stop where you are, re-center your affections on Him right now, and release the fears and projections to Him, even for just a moment.
Making that a habit when you find yourself spiraling in self-pity, fear, or discouragement might be the greatest act of worship you can bring to Jesus. Putting your trust in Him for the results of His calling is the best thing you can do, not fret about getting a meeting with a publisher.
In the end, obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Daily obedience to write and then trusting God with the open doors to present our songs is a much more biblical model of stewardship than chasing after the “music biz.”
Our initial success may be found in mastering more of the skills we need before we try to pitch our material to music business professionals. They say the hardest meeting to get with a publisher is the second one, so make sure there’s a demand for your songs before you get to the first meeting. Truth is, if you’re a “hot” writer, the publishers will be chasing you before you think to chase them.
Humility is the ability to wait on God’s timing, even if it’s not fun. I’ve met with hundreds of songwriters who simply weren’t ready to be published, but who genuinely thought they were. Breaking the news is difficult, but a necessary step in helping them realize they’ve not invested in their craft to the point of high level mastery.
Nashville Christian Songwriters offers many free and premium resources to help you gain pro level songwriting mastery. Check out the Song Revolution podcast, read back through all the blogs and articles here on the site, or book a songwriting breakthrough call with us to decide if our new Pro Level Songwriting Mastery program (formerly NCS Coaching) is right for you.