I hope you’ve had a great New Year so far. While the year is young, this is a great time to reflect a bit on 2011 and start thinking about what you want from 2012.
Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself to take stock of last year. Do yourself a big favor and try to answer them as honestly as you can; be straight with both your successes and your shortcomings.
1. Did I achieve the resolutions I set for myself in 2011?
2. How many songs did I finish? Don’t list any fragments or half-finished works here. They don’t count.
3. Could I have finished more songs than I did? Have I been procrastinating?
4. How happy am I with the quality of the lyrics, melody, etc.?
5. In what ways did I get my songs heard by others this past year?
6. When I did sit down to write, did impatience and lack of focus scatter my energy?
7. In what ways did I upgrade my skills in composing melodies, arrangement, and lyric writing during 2011?
8. Have I taken time to listen to new music and learn from the strengths of musicians and lyricists I admire?
9. Have any bad habits or addictions held me back?
10. How much time did I spend on the web, watching TV, playing video games, or otherwise consuming idle entertainments? How does that compare to the amount of time I spent writing songs and honing my craft?
11. Did I schedule and manage my time to make sure I could devote time to songwriting?
12. How badly do I really want to write songs? Is it my true artistic calling?
13. Am I holding myself back with fears of commercial or artistic failure?
If you sit down and spend some reflective, quiet time with these questions, you’ll likely discover that you haven’t yet harnessed and focused all your creative powers. This is good news—it means your best work is still ahead of you.
Stay tuned. In a few days we’ll arm you with all the tools you need to make 2012 your breakthrough year.