By C. D. Johnson
Your lyrics and melody are melded together as one. Countless hours of creative effort have finally been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. In your mind this is the best song you've ever written. The melody is perfect. The production has that expensive studio sound. Your CD is burned. And in your hand you hold the final product and it is as near perfect as you can possibly make it.
How many times have you gone thru this scenario? How many finished CD's are languishing in your "to be submitted" file? How many of these perfect songs are going unheard because of your Decidophobia?
Yes, Decidophobia . . . a strange word indeed. The AMA defines this phobia as the fear of making a decision. Or the "deer caught in the headlights" syndrome. The inability for a songwriter to make a decision and then act on it is not as uncommon as you might think. For whatever reason many of us reach a certain stage in our song writing careers and never progress any further. A lot of the time it is not a lack of talent that has caused this stoppage but rather the fear of deciding on the direction our music needs to take in order to continue toward our goals. In short we have reached an intersection. Not an intersection labeled with clearly marked signs that are easy to follow but crossroads that would cause even "bluesman" Robert Johnson to become disorientated. Thank goodness we don't have to sell what Robert did to gain success. All we have to do is make a decision. If we can! And I believe we can!
In my humble opinion the term "marketing", as viewed by most songwriters, is the stop sign at our intersection of success. To most songwriters marketing is an incomprehensible concept that has nothing to do with the creative process and should just occur naturally as a by product of your fabulous music and the desire of your fans to own a piece of your heart and soul. As fantastic as this school of thought is, we all know that if your finished CD's remain in the "to be submitted" bin no one will ever hear them. And there is a possibility that you will remain at your intersection forever lost in Decidophobia.
Don't let Decidophobia decide your future! Get out the bubble wrap mailers! Stuff them full of those master pieces. Drive on down to your local Post Office and take the first rudimentary steps at marketing yourself and your songs. You can have the greatest song no one has heard or you can share your genius with the world. There are outlets for your original music everywhere. Maybe not the historically conventional ones that make a person rich over night, but smaller venues that appreciate great new music and can act as a stepping stone for those willing to put themselves out there! It is up to you!
Sometimes I feel like a preacher that is preaching to the choir. But mostly I'm preaching to myself. Hoping I'll stumble upon a cure for what ails me while maybe helping a fellow songwriter avoid the same pit-falls.
In retrospect, it might not be Decidophobia that is holding us back. It might be Atychiphobia/Kakorrhaphiophob ia (the fear of failure) or probably just Allodoxaphobia (the fear of other people’s opinions). Whatever the unpronounceable term is don't let it stand in the way of your dreams! To paraphrase those TV infomercials, "Act now! Times a wastin'! Don't miss this limited time offer!"
Seriously, when you stop and look back, have no regrets! Make no excuses! No fooling! Now is the time to take your songwriting career to next level. YOU CAN DO IT!
Singer / Songwriter