My songwriting story is a bit unique in that I began creative writing in college, but had to take a long hiatus from creative writing to focus on academic writing (textbooks, research grants, and professional presentations) during my career as a college professor.
I was able to begin creative writing anew about 14 years ago; however, I felt like I was spinning my wheels for several years. I joined some local songwriting groups in the Chattanooga area and worked with some other musicians in my area, but I wasn’t developing as a writer.
At my first IMMERSE conference, I found exactly what I had been searching for during the previous several years—professional songwriters who were willing to share their expertise and answer questions from developing songwriters. They were so giving and went out of their way to provide any assistance they could.
In my first IMMERSE, I was too intimidated to enter any of the songwriting competitions. After being encouraged by some of the presenters and participants, I did enter the Songwriter competition the next year and to my great surprise, 2 of my songs were selected for the final 6, and 1 was chosen in the final 3.
Since that IMMERSE (a little over a year ago), things in my ‘music life’ have really accelerated. When I look over this next list, I’m still overwhelmed and realize how much I have been blessed:
- I have a professional relationship with a publisher where I am allowed to send songs directly to him
- I have had the opportunity to co-write with several Dove Award winners
- My songs have won or been a finalist in 5 national competitions
- I’ve had several commercial and indie cuts
- I have developed some wonderful relationships with some awesome songwriters that I met through Immerse.
My goal is to become a professional staff songwriter, and if that happens, I can thank the GMA staff, and the IMMERSE clinicians and participants for helping to make that happen.