Do you feel like time is just slipping away? Do you ever slide between the sheets at bedtime and wonder where the day went, often with a nagging sense that you didn’t accomplish all you wish you had, or wondered if what you did all day had any lasting significance? Do you wonder if your chances to write the songs you dream of are draining as fast as the minutes in a day? I know exactly what that feels like!
As believers, we’re innately aware that God has some big things in store for us. We love to quote Jeremiah 29:11, saying, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,” and we long for those plans to include finally writing all those great songs we know are stirring inside us, just needing to be released. Believe me, I feel the same way! I know what it’s like to feel frustrated, that what I know I’m capable of isn’t happening, especially when it comes to songs and songwriting.
I was in exactly that place years ago when I was offered a job with a church here in Nashville. We were traveling in ministry back then, going from church to church singing and speaking, but we were poor as dirt. We were young, just getting started, so when the pastor here offered me the position, I thought, “Wow! We’ll live in Nashville and maybe I’ll get a song recorded someday.” Little did I know what God had in store.
We finished up a few road dates and was just pulling into town to finalize things when the pastor told me he couldn’t hire me, after all. We were heartbroken, homeless, and had only $40.00. I had no concerts left to go do. It was dark. My wife, who often hears the Lord better than I do, asked, “Why can’t we just stay here and be normal people and get normal jobs?” Miraculously, God provided a home for us to stay in and we got jobs, but they were only less-than-minimum-wage jobs. I was throwing newspapers out the car window at 3:00 a.m. and Donna got a job in graphics, but we made less than a few hundred dollars a week combined. I knew I was called to write, but I didn’t know the first thing about how to do it. But God had a plan.
In the first few months of living here, I met a key person in the music industry and he listened to a few of my songs. He liked them! He introduced me to a few more people and I was signed to a publishing contract with a small company owned by Bill Gaither. In my first year in Nashville I had nineteen songs recorded! I was later hired at the company and ultimately went on to a 30+ year songwriting and publishing career. God had a plan!
If you’re a songwriter, I want to share with you all the principles of great songwriting that I’ve learned in those decades of writing and music publishing and gather together the best of all songwriting resources here for you at NCS. There’s always room for another great song, especially one about Jesus, and I want to help you write yours. If you sense a call from God to write, the next thing you do is begin to learn the craft. Even seasoned writers continue to learn and inspire themselves in order to keep writing great songs. Are you ready to write yours?
Nashville Christian Songwriters (NCS) is your new place to begin, to belong, and to grow. It is for songwriters of all ages and locales. Our goal is that NCS will become the premier songwriters association for Christian songwriters worldwide, offering to you all the resources you need to become the writer you’re called to be. We're writing books, filming videos, arranging interviews with successful writers, artists, producers, and music business people who want to help you, too, people who’ve done amazing things you’ll love and grow from. You’ll have a bevy of built-in mentors at your service!
If you haven’t already signed up on our mailing list and gotten the new eBook, Seven Proven Strategies for Writing Better Songs and Standing Out in a Crowded Songwriting Marketplace, please do so now and begin your journey towards great songwriting. It’s filled with many tips and tons of information on how you can get started now becoming a great Christian songwriter, or to add to your knowledge and ability if you’re already working at it. I hope you’re not down to your last $40.00 like I was, but if you are, know that God’s call is still there. He never changes His mind and He will provide all you need to become all you need and want to be for Him.
And, please feel free to drop me a personal e-mail any time with your thoughts and input. I’d love to hear from you! In the meantime, may 2016 be the year that you dig deep and find the inspiration to write those songs. The world needs to hear the voice of hope through you!