Five links for composers and lyricists: one book and four blog posts.
Show Your Work!
Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered is a coffee table book for creatives. It’s about how to attract an audience while you’re still learning your craft.
Author Austin Kleon doesn’t recommend flashy gimmicks and cheesy hype tactics. Instead, he lays out ideas for making self-promotion a natural part of your creative work and your daily practice. In the first two chapters alone, Kleon references Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Brian Eno, Roger Ebert, and Radiohead. This is my kind of book.
Show Your Work! is available as an eBook or a print edition.
Master Musician Dave Douglas on focus — On his blog at Greenleaf Music, jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas answers a reader question that I’ve faced often as a teacher: the question of what to practice. I was delighted to find Dave doling out the same advice that I’ve been handing out for years now — an exercise you can do without even touching your instrument.
David Byrne on How Music and Creativity Work: “Presuming that there is such a thing as ‘progress’ when it comes to music is typical of the high self-regard of those who live in the present. It is a myth. Creativity doesn’t ‘improve.’”
If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: a classic post from the archives of professor and author Cal Newport on the practice habits of elite violinists. Cal’s post touches on some of the same research that informed my creation of The Art of Daily Practice.
Songwriters: Who’s Ready to Work?: “Writers in Nashville work at [songwriting] like a full time job…40 (or more) hours a week. They’re intentional about it. They make appointments. They study lyrics. They practice their instruments. They work on their phrasing, their use of language, they jot things down, they go hear other writers, they borrow tricks that other writers use, they hang out, they demo their songs, they think about it all the time, and…well…they work. And they work hard.”