Are songwriters born or made? The short answer is, yes. Clear as mud, huh? I’ve read some articles arguing in favor of one side or the other. And what generally happens is a debate ensues in the comment sections of these articles.
Some swear that songwriters are born, or destined to become songwriters. Others take the position that songwriting is a talent that is developed and that it takes practice and time for anyone to become a great songwriter.
So, are people pre-destined to be songwriters? Or, can anyone through hard work, time, study and practice, become a songwriter? I will share my thoughts on the subject and let you decide for yourself.
(Not Just) Songwriters Are Born
I believe that all human beings are created in the image of God, the ultimate Creator. Now, since we are images of our Creator, then it stands to reason that we all have a creative aspect to our beings. Every human being has an innate nature to create.
I believe that includes creating via the songwriting process just as it does creating visual art, sculptures, automobiles, recipes, and a whole host of other created things. Along with believing all of us are born creators, I also believe that each of us is wired with different outlets for our creative power.
Some may have a more analytical mind and will come up with new math formulas, integrated circuit designs, or engineer great buildings. Others paint portraits that are treasured for centuries, become famous authors, are able to speak several languages, and yes, even become songwriters who write songs that become classics.
So yes, songwriters are born…. as are all creative beings.
Songwriters Are Made
Just because a person is born with a pre-disposition to writing songs as their creative outlet, that doesn’t mean that they will automatically become songwriters. I like to use the example of an acorn.
The acorn has the potential to become a mighty oak tree. However, not all acorns become oak trees. The conditions need to be right for the acorn to begin to grow into that mighty tree. The same can be said for songwriting.
A person needs to study the craft, write tons of songs, and commit to doing that for a lifetime. The outcome depends on the effort of the individual. Now, I’m not saying that if a person puts in the time, effort and study of songwriting that they will write hit songs and make a lot of money.
Just like not every person who works at becoming a good basketball player winds up in the NBA, not every songwriter will win a Grammy Award. But the ones who did make it put in their best effort.
An advantage that some future songwriters have is growing up in a musical family and friends. Being exposed to the craft early on gives an individual a head start on their songwriting journey.
It doesn’t mean that a person who is not raised in that environment won’t succeed at songwriting, just that the person who does has that advantage from the start. Songwriting has to be learned. It’s not a natural “gift”.
Songwriters Are Born And Made
That is my conclusion, anyway. To wrap it up, each of us is a creative being with the potential to create a multitude of things. The ones who make the effort to learn the craft of songwriting with everything they have will succeed, in my opinion.
It’s not a given, it is earned. Only you can determine if you have that fire within you to become a great songwriter. One sign that you do have that desire is the fact that you’re reading this last paragraph!
I encourage you to keep studying and most importantly, writing songs. Just like bodybuilders work on particular muscle groups on a daily basis to improve their overall appearance, you need to work on your songwriting every day to improve your songs. Thanks for reading, write on!