Posted by: Debra Alexander / wordmavenmusic | March 13, 2012

3 Things To Get– So You Can Give Back

Chapter 9 of Ariel Hyatt’s Music Success In 9 Weeks is entitled “The Real World,” and in this final week of the Social Media Challenge, I found a great networking opportunity at Long and McQuade music store. Vivian Barclay, GM at Warner Chappell Music Canada, gave a wonderful overview of the world of music publishing, as part of L&M’s Music University–free clinics during March. Even though we both teach at Metalworks Institute, I’d never had the pleasure of meeting Vivian.

Vivian stressed the fact that if you are a songwriter, you need to be your own publisher. I found this echoed directly an interview I saw this week that Ariel did with Seth Godin, where they discuss the fact that it’s absolutely essential to find the best way to tell people your story. And no one knows your story (your song catalogue) better than you do.

So, as I reflect upon all the lessons we’ve been learning over the past 9 weeks, I’ve decided that there are 3 things I’ve been developing that I need to keep in mind as I move forward in pursuit of my goals. There are 3 things I need to get– in order to give my best.

1. Get Systems

I need reliable systems for keeping track of music projects, collaborators, individual song files, music research, keeping track of contacts, pitches made, etc. etc., and I need to define my outcomes and set acton steps I can check off and review regularly.

2. Get Support

I need to assess my strengths and weaknesses and engage people to help me shore up the areas where I need help. For example, I might hire a grant writer, an engineer, or a business coach.

3. Get Perspective

I need to step back and look at the big picture, make sure my actions are in line with my vision and purpose, and take time to just BE in the real world.

I hope, fellow Songwriters Association of Canada challengers and music creators, that these 3 things might be useful for you to consider. And I wish you the best, and hope to see you, in the real world.


  1. Tks for the info and insights. Wishing you enough in the now & in the future.

  2. #3 is SO key Debra. Thanks for highlighting that. It’s been awesome sharing this path with you over the last nine weeks. I really look forward to reading your wisdom and advice through your future blogs. Thanks for being part of this journey!!!

  3. Debra, as a self-employed/freelance/independent composer working in the ‘classical’ concert music arena, I can tell you that your three “gets” — Get Systems, Get Support, Get Perspective — are right on the money. In the end, and as you always eloquently point out in your posts, it’s all about taking every step we can to make our work lives fluid, flexible, present, realistic, grounded, and ORGANIZED. I admire so much your insights and guidance on how to proceed successfully with the business side of being an artist without sabotaging one’s creative life. Great stuff, always!

    • Jim, I’m so honored to hear the voice of the MASTER of planning and creativity! Miss talking to you, and writing/working together.

  4. As always Ms Alexander you are clear warm and insightful. It’s been a wonderful pleasure to read your blogs. I hope we stay in touch

    All the very best to you.

  5. I like how organized you are — your blogs are always so helpful and clear. Having a good system really resonated with me. Without this, random things happen and get dropped. Good reminder. Thanks! (I have forgotten already) 🙂

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