I usually edit between 10-12 pieces of music writing each week in my role as lead instructor for College Media Network’s Music Journalism Course.
One of the common question I get in response to the edits I provide my students is this: What can I do on a regular basis to make myself a better music writer?
There are main two answers to that question and they make the basis for habits every music writer should consider essential: read and write as much as possible.
Seems obvious, huh?
But like many habits we should all consider essential — eating right, getting regular sleep, exercising daily — it’s easier to say than do.
But something as simple as writing every day and reading as much as possible (whether that’s music writing or not) will greatly strengthen your skills, critical powers and confidence.
That last asset — confidence — is particularly important for music writers. And one reason is that aspiring music writers, or even those that have had some pieces published, haven’t had the right kind of assessment and feedback.
Those are just a couple of reasons I’ve set up a free music writing assessment here at CMN. It’s designed to provide an analysis of your critical skills, writing approach and ability to get your thoughts across in a readable manner.
The assessment is also designed, in all honesty, to give some exposure to the instruction methods we believe in at CMN. It’s about finding your strengths and working on them, not tearing down your work, but building it up.
And that’s where confidence comes in. Many music writers — and yes, anyone who’s asked to write something — are afraid of what will happen when others read their work: criticism, rejection, laughter. And worst of all, no reaction at all. Is there anything worse than no response when you put something out for others to read?
Rest assured, though, I’m full of comments. I spend so much time reading and writing that I’m very confident in my ability to find your existing strengths and work with you to build on them.
Why not give it a try? I can guarantee silence will not be the response 😉
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