For those struggling with a return...

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ResonantTone
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For those struggling with a return...

Post by ResonantTone » Tue May 14, 2019 8:20 pm

Hey all,

I recently got hit with a bunch of returns all at once. All of them came at the same time (of course), even though the songs were submitted over the course of like 5-6 weeks. (Ouch) I really didn’t feel like the reasons for the returns were justified either, and that the person(s) critiquing was gatekeeping for something that they were flat out wrong about.

If you’ve been around here longer than I (which most of you probably have), then my guess is you’ve experienced a similar moment. So instead of wallowing in self pity, I decided to write some notes of encouragement for anyone that might be in a similar spot. (And possibly for myself as well)

1. Remember this important piece of information. That specific return/critique does not define you, your work, or your musicianship. It’s a tool to be used for growth in the context of a taxi listing... not to make you doubt your abilities or second guess yourself to the point of being discouraged. Let it serve its purpose and nothing more.

2. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Someone that has been in this business a long time told me this early on, but I think I’m just now starting to get it. Everyone wants the fast track, and everyone wants to get it right every single time. The problem is that unrealistic expectations like this can end up biting us in the butt if we aren’t careful. Work hard, stay humble, and trust that the process works if you stay committed. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

3. Don’t downplay the successes that you’ve already seen. (I can thank my wife for this one) Are you actively composing music for film and tv? Awesome.. your doing better than you were before you started. +1 Have you taken active steps to improve your craft? Great. +1 Are you plugged in to a helpful and encouraging community that wants to see you succeed? (You’re reading this, aren’t you?) +1 Have you made the sacrifices needed to finish a song and actually submit it to a listing? Sweet... that’s doing better than every other musician out there that’s giving excuses as to why they’ve never even tried.

Even before your first forward or contact from a library, there are a lot of wins to be celebrated. Instead of fixating on a seemingly unjustified return, focus on all the accomplishments you’ve made thus far and keep striving for that next step.

4. Learn to divert that frustration into helping others. It could be a simple post congratulating someone on a forward, or maybe helping and affirming someone in the peer to peer section. In my experience, showing kindness and encouragement to those around you is a phenomenal way to take the attention off yourself for a bit and give you some new perspective.

5. Last but not least... Remember you’re not alone in this thing. I have a gut feeling that just about every person that has seen success through taxi has felt discouraged and maybe even considered throwing in the towel at some point. Stick with it. If they can make it, so can you. There are others in the exact same boat as you, dealing with the exact same frustrations. Don’t be afraid to reach out and commiserate for a minute with those that have been there (or are maybe still there).. just do it with the intention of finding the strength you need from the community to get off your butt, brush yourself off, and move forward.

I sincerely hope this giant wall of text was at least a little helpful or encouraging to you on some level! Keep learning and keep growing and you can’t go wrong.

Andrew

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by BMiller » Tue May 14, 2019 9:17 pm

Great points, Andrew! I too had 2 returns recently...which I was actually pretty confident about getting forwards with both..however, I guess it wasn't meant to be. On to the next listing!

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by ttully » Wed May 15, 2019 1:06 pm

Good post Andrew!!!

Trouble is... in the last 13 years, I haven't had a return.....only forwards......
No... whoops ..what I ment to say was I've had more returns than most people have had total submissions.... and of course...every time, I still feel like a complete failure.

Funny thing is.....almost all of my returns ended up in different libraries somewhere....
Usually after some tweaking from the return review.

My 4 cents,
Tim

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by SubRivers » Wed May 15, 2019 3:16 pm

Spot on - rejection is part of the business and it will always sting.

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by Kolstad » Thu May 16, 2019 1:45 am

Good post! Part of the gutting is also that you put so many work hrs into it, and after rejections you realize it wasnt even enough. Those hrs are taken from other things, so the time issue can tear you apart.

But the really great information in rejection is that it helps you identify where the bar is, and point out focus areas for neccesary procedures and skills development..

Also going for the better deals is also often much higher bar, and that can result in unhealthy pressure.. especially if you cant deliver at that level just yet.

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by Anders » Thu May 16, 2019 12:07 pm

Hi Andrew,

Awesome post there, I couldn´t agree more.
I really didn’t feel like the reasons for the returns were justified either, and that the person(s) critiquing was gatekeeping for something that they were flat out wrong about.
I just received 2 returns (also about 6 weeks old), one was a complete diss really, where i feel exactly like that.
I have had many returns earlier but they have always made sense, at least after some thought...in fact they have all been educational in some way

This is the first time that I have felt like this about any return but just like you I choose to not put any more energy into details or getting bitter

Thank you for posting, honestly it was really encouraging!

See you on another topic :-)

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by jaywilliams » Sat May 18, 2019 10:16 am

I generally don't mind getting a Return (truly, I don't!) (hehe)

It's when you get the Return that you were 90%+ sure was going to be Forwarded that it's pesky.

Or when you can't make any sense out of the Screener comments.

But I agree, we definitely need to remember to take it in stride and celebrate all WINS including the fact that we took the steps to finish a track and invest in OURSELVES by coughing up a little cash for the screening process.

Oh and congrats again on your Forwards, Deals, and upcoming Album Andrew!

Jay :)
see you at the top!

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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by sherrylynnlee » Mon May 20, 2019 6:45 pm

Returns hurt less than they used to now because I view them differently.
A forward means it could be the right song for the right thing at the right time.
So, not a forward just means it was not the right song/piece for the right project at the right time. It could still be a good song. It could still be a freaking great song. But it just wasn't the right song for that particular project. You can't change the project so don't beat yourself over it. Just write some more :-)
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Re: For those struggling with a return...

Post by DannyWeber » Mon May 20, 2019 7:12 pm

I love this post, Andrew!! You nailed the message!

Great to hear positive thoughts from someone just getting started! You've got this right my friend and it's very inspiring to someone like me, who has been at this for awhile now and needs a little inspiration from time to time!!

Thanks for that!


Dan

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