I, like many, many songwriters have a problem…

It’s called “perfectionism” and along with an over-zealous inner voice, this problem has plagued me my whole songwriting/music career.

I have tried many times to snap out of it and to some extent have been temporarily successful numerous times over the years but at the end of the day my default songwriting position is of being paralysed by too much choice.

My main curse is that I don’t finish things. I’ve never really finished things… Songs, tasks, projects, activities. I rarely finish things to the standard that I’d like to finish them at but then again, maybe that’s the problem.

I set impossible standards for myself.

Anyways, I stumbled across an article all about this very problem of perfectionism in songwriting and the author of this article was going through the very same issues as I am, right now.

Reading David Silverstein’s article Why It’s So Important To Finish Your Music And Share It With The World resonated with me on so many levels. In regards to his situation of not finishing his music he writes…

I realized that finalizing and sharing my music was the part that scared me the most. I was afraid. I was afraid of marking something complete because then I would have to answer to my own work. I could and would be held accountable for the result, which my perfectionism was never going to be happy with. If I was going to wait until I was 100% happy with something, I was going to be waiting a very long time.

BINGO! Therein lies my issue… Fear of being accountable for my work, fear of being criticised, receiving negative feedback or having to answer to trolls online.

He goes on by offering some suggestions as to how to get past this fear and for me the first things that I need to do is to stop setting outlandishly unreachable goals for myself. I wasn’t able to finish the FAWM Songwriting Challenge (14 songs in 29 days) this year because of this very fact.

Maybe what I need to do is to stop looking at my songwriting process as a series of sudden bursts of productivity and try to create a songwriting process that is more streamlined, organised, consistent and sustainable.

More than ever, good music needs to be written and shared with the world so why should fear and doubt in my own abilities get in the way of me sharing my music with the world?

David Silverstein finishes off his article with a simple quote from Leonardo da Vinci

Art is never finished, only abandoned

I’ll be using this COVID-19 downtime I find myself in to finally conquer my songwriting fears and doubts. I’ll be finishing a lot of songs.

Peace,

Corey 🙂


Original Source: Why it’s so important to finish your music and share it with the world

Each and every Monday for 2019 I’ll be uploading a song as part of my self imposed Song A Week Challenge.

Song number 4 of the challenge is “After All This Time” a song about the wonderful feeling that two people share when they are still in love after many years of being together.


SAW04 – After All This Time
© 28/1/2019 C. Stewart

V1
It doesn’t matter if I’m far away
Or if I’m right here by your side
It doesn’t matter if we’re standing still
Or if we’re running for our lives
Just the knowledge that you’re here with me
It fills my heart with pride
It’s nice to know that we are still in love
After all this time

V2
It doesn’t matter if we had a fight
And you treat me so unkind
With all the words that you said to me
Designed to make me cry
But I know you didn’t really mean it
And that gives me peace of mind
It’s nice to know that we are still in love
And that we’re both here for each other
Even after all this time

Chorus
From the first day that we met I knew
That what was one has become two
And together we can start anew
Our lives are whatever we both choose
I promise you from this day on
That I’ll be there to right the wrongs
To pick you up when you don’t feel strong
To help each other when it all seems lost

Even after all this time

Verse
I count my blessings every time I wake up
Each and every day
That you and I choose to be together
What more can I really say
Except that baby come and take my hand
So we can live our lives away
It’s nice to know that we are still in love
And that we’re both here for each other
Even after all this time

Chorus

Even after all this time
Even after all this time
Even after all this time
Even after all this… Time


If you have any comments, feedback, encouragement or even song ideas that I could use to keep this challenge going then either comment below or, let me know here.

In the meantime, SAW05 has my name splashed all over it…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Every week for the past three weeks I have uploaded a video to my YouTube and Vimeo accounts as part of my Song A Week Songwriting Challenge.

These uploads are the start of my tentative experiments with video as a content creation medium as well as a means of spreading the good word about me and my music online.

Video is a scary medium for me as I imagine it would be for a lot of people. Just the thought of having my talking image online for everyone to see, hear and inevitably judge, is as terrifying as public speaking (which we all know is more terrifying than death itself).

Writing comes a lot easier for me as I can sit behind the pen and paper and control what I share with the world. No one needs to see what I look like or hear what I sound like.

All a reader gets from my words are my thoughts and feelings on a wide variety of topics, pure and unadulterated by any visual and/or aural preconceptions. Video on the other hand, destroys the safety the cover of anonymity brings and completely exposes me to the online world and that to me is simply a terrifying thought.

I know that my problem with video is not the fault of the medium but a fault in me due to my self image and esteem in general not being as high as I’d like it to be at the moment.

It’s safe to say that right now, I’m harbouring a lot of fear inside.

So, what do I do about it? They say that the best way to conquer any fear is to do what scares you anyway so, with regards to putting myself out there through uploading videos, the answer is to simply start creating and uploading videos on a regular basis. I know that I’ll eventually conquer my fear with video just like I conquered my fear recording my songs and uploading them for everyone to hear.

It’s the same concept but a different medium.

Now, while video scares me, I also really love it at the same time and I do feel that me creating content on video is one of the last frontiers that I need to explore as a songwriter, musician, producer and blogger.

The benefits of creating video content is that as a medium, video is much more immediate than the written word. It engages more of the senses and as most people retain information more effectively by watching it rather than reading it, the connection of what I currently do with video is a no-brainer really.

With all that being said, I do plan to be uploading other videos in the future mainly centering around the live performance of my songs and covers (done my way of course) and if all that goes well and I’m feeling more confident, I’ll also start experimenting with vlogging and more tutorial based videos as well.

In the meantime, I hope your enjoying the Song A Week videos I’ve put up so far. If you have any ideas as to what types of videos you’d like me to do then comment below or, you can contact me and let me know.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Each and every Monday for 2019 I’ll be uploading a song as part of my self imposed Song A Week Challenge.

Song number 3 of the challenge is called “Written In The Stars” a song about destiny whether it be created externally through circumstance or internally through a self fulfilled prophecy.


SAW03 – Written In The Stars
© 21/1/2019 C. Stewart

Verse 1
I was endlessly searching
For the only one to make my life complete
The one who brings light to the dark
I thought I was destined
To be all alone in this big, bad, brutal world
That was until you came along

Chorus
Coz it was written in the stars
That you would be my destiny
As I cry out in the dark
For you to make the best of me
But if we ever fell apart
Yes it would be a tragedy
But you and I, we have got each other now
You and I, in each others arms

Verse 2
Now that I have you
And you have me, two halves make a whole
You and I are now one
The forces that bind us
Can also repel, if we’re to lose our way
We’re so far away from home

Chorus

Bridge
Written in the stars
Written in the stars
Written in the stars
Written in the stars

Chorus


If you have any comments, feedback, encouragement or even song ideas that I could use to keep this challenge going then either comment below or, let me know here.

In the meantime, SAW04 is calling me to write…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Each and every Monday for 2019 I’ll be uploading a song as part of my self imposed Song A Week Challenge.

Song number 2 of the challenge is one called Start Believing a song about self belief and the love that comes from and to that.


SAW02 – Start Believing
© 14/1/2019 C. Stewart

Verse
I spy
With my little eye
That you are hiding away
But I found you
The game is over now
There’s no more time to play

PreChorus
I don’t want you to fear what the unknown brings
Because I know the both of us can face anything

Verse
Don’t cry
Coz your tears won’t wash away
The hurt you feel inside
It’s midnight
And the promise of a brand new day
Propels you towards the light

PreChorus
I don’t want you to fear what the unknown brings
Because I know the both of us can face anything

Chorus
So come and take my hand
And I will get you out of here
Coz all you’ve got to do is start believing
In your world I know you wanted more
But there was nothing left to give
So let me help you to start believing

Verse
Now is
The only time for you
To reflect and move along
Say goodbye
To a past that held you back
And not allowed you to be strong

PreChorus
I don’t want you to fear what the unknown brings
Because I know the both of us can face anything

Chorus
So come and take my hand
And I will get you out of here
Coz all you’ve got to do is start believing
In your world I know you wanted more
But there was nothing left to give
So let me help you to start believing

Bridge (Solo)

Chorus
So come and take my hand
And I will get you out of here
Coz all you’ve got to do is start believing
In your world I know you wanted more
But there was nothing left to give
So let me help you to start believing…


If you have any comments, feedback, encouragement or even song ideas that I could use to keep this challenge going then let me know here.

In the meantime, SAW03 awaits…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

As I mentioned in a previous post, each and every Monday for 2019 I’ll be uploading a song as part of my self imposed Song A Week Challenge.

The first song written for this challenge is Every Beat Of My Heart a simple love song to get the ball rolling.

==========

Every Beat Of My Heart
© 7/1/2019 C. Stewart

Verse 1
Once I was stuck in a daydream
In a world where there was no way out
But you provided a way for me
To wake up from all the times I’ve been down

Chorus
But I know…
That with every little beat of my heart
I’m getting taken back right to the start
Of where it all began for us

Verse 2
I look at you, you look back at me
And I feel myself drowning in your eyes
Between us there’s electricity
A connection that I cannot deny

Chorus
But I know…
That with every little beat of my heart
I’m getting taken back right to the start
Of where it all began for us
Oh, but I know…
That with every little beat of my heart
The bond that keeps us from drifting apart
Is getting stronger because of our love

Solo (Verse)

Chorus
But I know…
That with every little beat of my heart
I’m getting taken back right to the start
Of where it all began for us
Oh, but I know…
That with every little beat of my heart
The bond that keeps us from drifting apart
Is getting stronger because of our love…

==========

If you have any comments, feedback, encouragement or even song ideas that I could use to keep this challenge going then let me know here.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get on with the next song…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

As mentioned briefly in my last post, I’m embarking on my own personal songwriting challenge. I’ll be writing, recording and uploading one song each and every week for the whole of 2019.

These songs are going to be in various stages of completion as first drafts but they will all be finished songs ready to either remain as is or, be revised and tweaked at a later date.

I’m doing the Song A Week challenge for a number of reasons…

  • It gives me a formalised songwriting framework and deadlines to adhere to
  • It gives me an opportunity to fine tune my home recording/music production skills
  • It will be the ultimate test of my songwriting process and my overall workflow
  • By the end of 2019 I’ll have 52 new songs in my aural portfolio to do what I want with
  • If it’s good enough for a songwriter such as Jonathan Coulton then it’s good enough for me

Every Monday I’ll be putting up the song which I had written for that previous week included with lyrics and (maybe) a video.

At the time of writing this I’ve almost finished the first song in the series. Just by committing to this challenge my creative juices are already flowing.

I’m really excited as to where this challenge can take me and my songwriting.

Now as you well know, I’ve been a very keen participant in the well known FAWM and 50/90 songwriting challenges so does this mean that Song A Week will take the place of the others?

At this stage, I’ll still be participating but whether I fully complete them or not like I have in previous years will depend on whether my participation in FAWM and 50/90 is getting in the way of Song A Week.

I’m really looking forward to showing you what I come up with. Now, to get back in the studio and finish this song off.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Happy New Year 2019

Today is the very last day of 2018 which means it’s also the very last day to finalise any goals I have for 2019.

For me, this time of year is an exciting one because it allows me to take stock of what has happened in the past 12 months and use that information to work out what the next 12 months (and beyond) is going to look like.

Today I’m focussing in on my live music projects and songwriting and what my goals and intentions are for them moving forward into 2019.


I’ve already declared in an earlier post that I’m now concentrating on pursuing, developing, nurturing and managing opportunities for my music/songs in a live performance setting. I’ve turned my back on the relative security of playing covers for a living to the absolute uncertainty of promoting my own music.

I also understand that I have been in CoverLand for so long now that I need to learn how to promote me and my music, network with others and unlearn all of the bad and lazy habits I had picked up over my 10+ years playing covers

2019 will be a year that I start rebuilding my tribe, my community and my fanbase. I know that even though I have a small amount of profile, I’m essentially starting over from the beginning.

I will also be making 2019 as the year I start putting together my second CD. Not sure whether I’ll be doing it totally from home courtesy of my home recording studio (SongMachine) or, teaming up with another recording studio.

I do have my eye on Wizard Tone Studios in Hendon. Jarrad Payne, I’ll be giving you a call pretty soon 🙂

As for my songwriting… Well, I’m always going to be writing and now recording my songs but starting from tomorrow, I’m going to be ramping my songwriting process up a notch.

I’m going to create my own songwriting challenge of a song a week for a whole year.

That’s right, I’m going to write, record and upload one song every week for the whole of 2019.

“Why?” I hear you ask. Well, I say “why not.”

I have the means, the equipment, the passion and the drive to want to do it and by the end of 2019 I’ll have at least another 52 songs that I can use for whatever purpose I desire.

Am I still going to participate in FAWM in February and come July, 50/90?

Probably, but whether I make it to the end of those songwriting challenges, I don’t know, the jury is out on that one. After all, I love the community of both FAWM and 50/90 far too much to not participate just because I have my own self imposed songwriting challenge to complete.

I want to be able to expand on my ability to collaborate with other songwriters and musicians however, before I do that I need to get up to date with the collaborators I currently have unfinished projects with.

I’m really sorry that I have neglected you all in over the past year and I make it my mission for 2019 to be a very productive year for all and yes I’m making this promise to the following…

  • Adrian Miller
  • Simon Betts
  • Steve Jones
  • Jeff Smith
  • Geoffrey Stapleton
  • Fiona Karamanlidis
  • Mick Standing
  • Ross Hood

(If I’ve missed anyone else out please let me know)

On the online side of things I’ll be finalising and finishing a series of websites/blogs covering all aspects of songwriting, the music business and home recording as well as this website.

It will all part of what I call the Corey Stewart Online Blogging Network (CSOBN) and it will be another way for me to share what I know with the world and to build my tribe, my community and my fanbase.

I’ve already started with my songwriting blog All About Songwriting and in the new year All About Music Business and All About Home Recording will be live.

Corey Stewart Online will also be revamped to be the umbrella for it all and when it’s all done my net will be cast.


Phew, okay… This is what I intend to do for 2019 and I’ll use this blog to document my journey through 2019. I really believe in transparency and accountability when setting goals and I think what I have written above is as transparent and accountable as I can get.

Maybe I’m being too ambitious. I do have a habit of setting unrealistic goals for myself however, I feel that even if I achieve most of what I have written in 2019 I’ll be a very happy man and my music/songwriting career will be much further down the road than where it is RIGHT NOW.

Who knows what 2019 is going to bring. I’m flexible and malleable to whatever life throws at me but what I do know is that I’m prepared to “do the work” and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Musicians don’t retire, they just change direction and get more picky and choosy about what they want to be doing plus…

They don’t give a fuck about what people think of them and their music anymore.

Right now, we’re past the halfway point of December, which means that we’re almost at the end of 2018, which means it’s almost Xmas time (in fact, as of today, there are 7 more sleeps until Xmas), which also means that two weeks after Xmas, it’s my birthday.

My 48th birthday.

The realisation that I’m about to embark on my 48th trip around the sun brings up a some important questions for me. Questions like:

  • Am I getting too old for this music caper?
  • What have/haven’t I achieved to date?
  • What am I going to do next with my music/life?

Now, to some, these questions are necessary because self reflection is an important part of growing as an individual but I reckon in my case, this line of self talk has been designed by my inner critic to derail and sabotage any attempt of me taking some sort of leap of faith in 2019.

This is of course cleverly done under the guise of “being realistic” which as we all know is the nemesis of all optimists like myself.

I’ve noticed that some musicians as they get older, turn to genres like Country, or Blues, (or Roots, or Folk, or Americana, or whatever the fad/flavour is for this year) as a means to “musically retire.”

While all of the genres mentioned above all have their place to fill inside the musical landscape, retiring to these genres would be for me the musical equivalent of putting on a dressing gown, slipping on some comfortable slippers and watching TV for the rest of my life.

No, I don’t think so, not for me…

If I was going to musically retire, I would be retiring by composing and performing ambient music, soundscapes and the like. I want to walk the path that sonic pioneers like Brian Eno has been walking on for decades.

That’s where I see myself in the later stages of my music career.

However, besides my impending birthday, I was also inspired to write this because of a YouTube video created by Bill Vencil from Chords Of Orion called “You Will Become An Old Musician (Bring It On)” a perfect response to a negative comment he received about how some musicians are supposedly TOO OLD for YouTube.

I had been following Chords Of Orion on and off for a while but it wasn’t until I saw the above video that I decided to really get into what the channel was about… Ambient Music and the creation of it.

Anyways, what I’ve gathered from all of this is that there is no such thing as musical retirement. Music (and the creation of it) transcends age and therefore it also transcends the self imposed limitations around age that I sometimes put myself through.

I am so glad I am the age I am, with the knowledge and experience that I have and the ability to create music with all of those tools at my disposal. I look towards 2019 (and my 48th year) with excitement knowing that there’s some wonderful music that’s yet to be created.

Robert Fripp said it best when he described music as the “…wine that fills the cup of silence.” I say that for me, the best is yet to come.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

PS: As I’m writing this I have Brian Eno’s “New Space Music” humming along in the background and I’m loving it. It’s so conducive to creation, I’m surprised I didn’t click onto this before.