When I released my first single, titled ironically 'Celebrity' I managed to pick myself up a little, ah, stalker. A harmless one of the variety, I believe, but who nevertheless managed to find my phone number and call me quite regularly for chats. He was a teenage boy who wanted to be a pop star and was really looking for advice on how to get there (I guess he couldn't get hold of Kylie's number!). We had a conversation about 'popstar'dom. I encouraged him to take singing lessons, learn a musical instrument or at least find someone who could play one so he could start writing songs etc. He got quite exasperated at this, saying, 'No, no, I just want to be an image-based popstar, not do all that musical stuff!'. So I gave him Kylie's number - just kidding!!
Anyway, my point is that a lot of people want to get somewhere - particularly in music - without putting the work in. I've always felt that I was a hard worker, but what if I practised, say, 20% harder - would I be able to legitimately hand out popstar advice from the lofty heights of my personal experience?
I've just finished reading a book called 'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Norman Doige. Apparently, we can repeat processes - even ones we find virtually impossible - so many times that the brain eventually rewires itself. 'Practice makes perfect', in other words? You think you weren't born with musical talent? Work hard enough and maybe it doesn't matter.
Here is the conclusion I've come to: Talent + Hard Work = Success; Little Talent + Hard Work = Moderate Success; Talent + No Hard Work = Little Success.
Since the new resolution-forming season is upon us, I've decided I'm going to stop accepting that I'm as good as I'll ever be...and just practise! Practise! Practise!
My latest songwriting practice follows: