Fear is a powerful force. In the right context, such as fearing God (Psalm 112:1, 115:13, 128:1-4; Proverbs 10:27), it can be healthy. Often times however, fear keeps us from trying new things, taking risks, and experiencing what is beyond our horizons.
As artists and creatives, one big fear we wrestle with is the fear of failure. However, there are no lessons so well understood as ones learned through experience—and failure is an incredible teacher.
In songwriting, specifically co-writing, no one likes the experience of suggesting what we think to be a great idea, only to be shot down by another. But it’s in the challenge of that vulnerability where new (and often better) ideas come along, and allows us to truly grow. If your line doesn’t end up being the “right” one, it could be the very spark that was needed to get the co-writer(s) down the right path. The principle of Proverbs27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” also applies to songwriting.
Indie artists: You have a lot of hats to wear. Artist, songwriter, booking agent, promoter, publicist, art director…the list goes on. When you’re a career minded artist, the fear of looking stupid or unprofessional can keep you from asking questions or enlisting the help of pros in a given area of the business. The notion of, “There are no stupid questions,” is another great analogy here. Often just verbalizing a question not only boosts our own confidence, it allows for others who might be more knowledgeable to help rephrase it or even provide the answer we’re seeking.
Dare to fail. Confidently put your ideas out there. Reach out and ask questions. You, and your artistry, will be better for it.