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how much time do you really have to wait for your break?

written by Matt Dorman on February, 07, 2013, 03:57 AM. Comments: 2

Hello everyone,
Sorry it's been so long since I've written an article. I promise to be more diligent. It's been real crazy lately around my songwriting world. Lots going on.

Which brings me to why I'm writing. I was thinking back, to when I wrote my first song. I was in grade school. My dad had just given me a Kay guitar. That guitar was so much bigger than me. It hurt to push the strings down to the fret board hard enough to make a chord that didn't buzz. I had to reach my pinky finger beyond my comfort zone, to make that A chord, you know the one where you put your pinky on the 5th fret? Man, that hurt..

I don't remember what the song was about, but I do remember it was a Christian song. My father was preaching at a church, and he was playing a few songs for the congregation. I sat, intently, and listened to his sermon, jotting down words, music running through my head at a fierce pace.. I thought "I can't write fast enough!". The song was writing itself, and I felt like a stenographer. I didn't have time to think, just write. When the song was done, I was amazed. Where did that come from? Did I do that? Wow....

That song began my journey of songwriting. From that point on, whenever a song came to me, I wrote it, no matter how fast it came, I was up for the task. Then I had some songs hit me, but not complete themselves. I was frustrated... Why can't I finish this song, I thought... Why did the song come down only in pieces? I soon learned that inspiration is very fickle. I had to learn the craft of songwriting, to finish what I had started. Song structure, chorus, bridge, pre-chorus, all Greek to me.. But, I was determined to solve the puzzle. So I kept writing, and learning, from books, from mentors, from songs.

This November, I'm turning 55 years old. Over 40 years, and 400 plus songs later, I'm still trying to figure out that puzzle. I still have countless unfinished songs. I have songs that I wrote in 20 minutes.

Does that make me wary, that I've spent my entire life trying to figure out that puzzle? No, it doesn't. Would it bother me if I go to my grave trying to figure it out? No, it wouldn't. Because, long ago, I gave in to the fact that songwriting is an enigma. Inspiration will come, have its way with me, then leave whenever it chooses.

I have learned to keep my mind open, to be receptive to songs as they come, to let them come and go as they please. To learn the craft of songwriting as best I can. I've learned to dream big, and to expect thousands of failures along the way.

Someone once said songwriting is a very lonely profession. I agree. A writer pours their soul out in their songs. They bare their hearts. They share their secrets, their fears, their dreams, only to have someone tell them it's not good enough. Thousands of times over. Yet, they keep writing. Almost seems self-defeating. Why bother? Why spend your life time writing songs when they get rejected time and again?

The answer to that is simple. Because we are songwriters. This is what we do. This is what we were meant to do. This is what we love. For all the wrong and all the right reasons. We will spend our lives writing songs, because we were chosen to do so. We accept that responsibility with honor. Me? I have until my last breath to write songs.


Patti Timmerman wrote on February, 07, 2013, 08:27 AM

I've listened to many of your songs, it's obvious that you pour heart and soul into everything you do. Great things will happen for you, just you wait and see!

Matt wrote on March, 01, 2013, 12:48 AM

Thanks, Patti!!!


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