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The Professional Songwriter's Code of Conduct

By: Nancy Moran

1. I present myself in a positive light and display a professional image with everything that I do.

2. I respect people’s time by being organized, pleasant, and concise.

3. Despite anyone else’s disposition, I am likeable, friendly, courteous, polite and easy to work with at all times! I treat everyone professionally, regardless of title.

4. I treat songwriting as a career, even if I’m only doing it part-time for now. I am not in this for a one-time “quick hit.”

5. I take my songwriting seriously and treat it as a successful business operation.

6. I constantly hone not only my songwriting skills but also my business skills- such as communication, negotiation, and sales skills.

7. I invest in my own career by making demos, attending workshops, going to Nashville (or other music centers), and buying books, audio, software, etc. to help me advance and grow.

8. My oral and written communication skills are impeccable! I treat each and every conversation, email, and letter in a businesslike manner.

9. I understand all of the various parts of the music business, even if I am not working in all areas right now. I know how they interrelate so that I can speak intelligently about them.

10. I stay informed of current music industry affairs through the Internet and various trade publications. I am familiar with the major players in a variety of areas.

11. I constantly hone my craft through writing, exercises, workshops, books, etc. I am a songwriter- so I write songs!

12. I am persistent in my efforts, yet careful not to be pushy or pesky.

13. I make myself easily accessible through e-mail, fax, voice mail, and/or a cell phone.

14. I am confident of my abilities, yet remain humble in my approach with people. I let my songs speak for themselves.

15. I am passionate and enthusiastic, yet careful not to appear overly eager or desperate.

16. I am flexible and open to suggestions for improvement, new ideas, and feedback.

17. I listen more than I talk.

18. I always use my common sense!

19. I don’t make “contacts.” I build lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial.

20. I am tremendously appreciative of all who help me in pursing my dream. While I always express my appreciation verbally, I also show my appreciation through thank-you notes and other small tokens (when appropriate).

NSAI would like to thank Nancy Moran for her contribution of knowledge. Nancy, an indie artist and songwriter, has been singing professionally for twenty years, speaking at various music conferences and events, and performing at notable clubs and festivals including the Bluebird Cafe and the Kerrville Folk Festival.

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