It Doesn’t Count Unless You Do This

Even after writing hundreds and hundreds of songs, it still happens every time. Here’s the scenario: I’ve just finished a song. I attach it to an email and compose a message to my publisher. But before I hit “send” I pause. I question the song. Is it good enough? Is it even worth their time? What if they laugh at me? Worse, what if they are completely indifferent? I spiral into other areas of my life. What am I doing? Am I even a songwriter? I soon find myself online looking for job openings at Best Buy and Home Depot. Can I feed my family on $11 an hour? Finally I shake myself out of it, “Come on, Espe, get yourself together, man!” I count down—5-4-3-2-1— and hit send.

As creative people, sharing our work is difficult because we want people to affirm it, and ultimately affirm us. But the reality is you’ve already affirmed your work by creating it and getting it to this point. You certainly didn’t spend all that time on it because you you think it’s crap, right? So when it doubt—which will likely be often—use that knowledge to get to the next part: sharing your work. Your song doesn’t count unless you do that. Why? Because part of the reason we write songs is to make a connection with others—to help both them and us feel less alone in the world. That doesn’t happen unless we hit the send.