2014 marked my first official foray into "songwriting." Now, the truth of the matter is that I have been writing songs for most of my life with - to my mind - relative success.
However, this past year was the first time I ever tried to write professionally - trying to write songs for publication by other artists and labels. I've learned so much this year and probably need to share some of those lessons (good and bad) on the blog soon. But for this post, I'm taking a second to look back at what the songwriting of 2014 has been like.
I realize this site is typically focused on worship at Bethel, but if you'll allow me, I need to borrow the site to act as a journal for a little bit.
A few lines on a bullet list doesn't do a very good job of representing the songwriting journey I've been on, but it's wise to celebrate the good stuff!
- Wrote/co-wrote 32 songs. (You can see the list of songs at the bottom of page)
- Signed 4 single-song agreements.
- Got 1 cut (album title and radio single).
- Released two original worship songs (Changed Everything & Redeeming Love).
It's easy for me to forget how awesome the year was. Maybe it's the songwriter's curse, but I find it's helpful to take these little gratitude breaks when I get down about the challenges of songwriting.
- The Newsboys cut was huge. I had hoped to cut at least one cut during 2014, but could have never imagined it would be with an anyone near the impact/notoriety of the Newsboys. Considering the song wasn't pitched by either Ross K. or me, it's fairly miraculous the song got where it is today.
- From the beginning, we were praying that the song would have a long-term impact in churches. It's too early to know that, but we have already received reports of the song being sung as far away as Thailand and Dubai. As a worship songwriter, this is the kinda' stuff you dream about.
- I'm also really proud of Changed Everything and Redeeming Love. Those songs didn't make any sort of big "splash" as a song release, but I still believe those songs are going to bless churches as well....someday!
- I got to write with some amazing songwriters. These writers are so good that I was writing better melodies and lyrics after just an hour or two with them.
One of the best ways to face up to your own frailty is to get what you want. For years I said, "I just want one song - one big song that somebody will record and reach thousands." Then that happened and I was content for about two weeks. Week three, I discovered that I wanted more. I was placing my faith in a human achievement to make me happy. I'm 38-years old and I'm still re-learning that lesson over and over. For 2015, I'm aiming for some balance in my goals.
- Write/co-write 35 songs in 2015. This isn't much of increase from last year, but it seems very daunting right now! I think 35 is plenty!
- One cut in 2015. (If more come, great! But if not, that's okay, too.)
- Pitch fewer songs to publishers. (There's a long, drawn-reason for this one...too long to post!) I've got to keep focused on writing songs for my church, my community.
- Start a new album. I've got some good songs from 2014 and some good ideas on how to do a new worship album. I'd at least like to start pre-production on a new worship collection before 2015 ends.
- Video demo every song I write on YouTube channel. May not seem like much, but it's good practice for me and allows me to share stuff so much easier.
- Focus on two specific genres...hymns (go figure) and country.
Okay, okay...that's enough selfish rambling for me. Thanks for enduring it!
My One And Only (King/Wright), Fortress Strong (King/Wright), Broken Prayers, You And Me, Changed Everything, All Of Me, When Trouble Comes, Could Be Today, Redeeming Love (Black/Wright), Never Fail (Fields/Nicholas/Wright, Loved Me First (Cowart/Johnson/Wright), Speak To Me, Nothing Better Than Him, Pretty Good Liar (Black/Wright), How Could I Forget, Everything I Need, Shield, O Blessed Tree (Black/Wright), A Million Stars (Jackson/Wright), Miracle Man (Black/Wright), Beautiful Scars Of Love (Davis/Wright/Wynne), Mercy Please, Prodigal, Ghost (King/Wright), Say It Anyway, King Over All (Ellison/Wright), Where You Are (Davis/Wright), Everybody Know, Cross Of Mercy (Baxley/Wright), Bids Us Come, O Word Of God Incarnate, Get Some Livin’ In (Wynne/Wright)