10 lessons from 10 years in music writing

Music Writing, Music Tips, Music, Music Business

Time flies when you’re chasing your dreams, and I’ve been running after mine for ten years as of this week. It was March of 2008 when I first launched a music blog of my own, and in the time since I have accomplished virtually everything I initially set out to achieve. This is both wonderful and terrifying, as I still have a lot of life and career left, but I try to look on the bright side of life whenever possible.

The last decade has provided countless learning opportunities. Some arose from natural growth, while others were caused by mistakes made on my part. Through it all, I tried my best to remain humble, calm, and open-minded to the possibility that I had no idea what I was doing (because I didn’t). That decision made all the difference, and as I look toward the future, I’m hoping I can apply the lessons learned from the last ten years in my everyday life. You can do the same if you so desire. Here is the list:

1. Don’t be a dick (aka the golden rule)

2. Grammar matters (kind of)

3. Everybody talks

4. Networking will get you everywhere

5. Always follow-up

6. Your peers are watching

7. No job lasts forever. Change is the only constant.

8. If you’re in it for the money, you won’t be around long

9. Write every day, especially when you don’t feel like it. Even the best writers fight resistance on a daily basis

10. Leaking album or tour information is not the same as breaking news.

I could go on, but if you can follow these rules, you will go far.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.