About Nan



The Scarlet Pimpernel

Saturday Night Fever

Camille Claudel

Published Works

Other Projects



Archived Answers

Thoughts on Writing





From Linda D in Long Island:
I'm a huge fan of Linda Eder's work, and know that you had a lot to do with her success.....And have much admiration for you!!! So here's my question for you??

I consider myself a songwriter. I mainly write lyrics, but also have hands on piano & rhythm. So sometimes have a melody in mind..Recently have sent my first finished lyric to the Library of Congress....My question is,..In a world of testosterone....LOL...One girl to another what would my next step be....confused..

Thanks soo much
Linda D

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your compliment about my contributions to Linda Eder's success, but I must say in all truth that I think Linda's great achievements are almost all due to that astounding voice!

I don't know whether to be happy or sad for you that you are also a songwriter. It's such a tough career path - though wonderful if it works out. You say that you sent a lyric to the Library of Congress. I'm not sure what this means. Are you saying that you sent it off to be copyrighted? If so, you should know that the necessity of copyrighting only really comes into play when you start having things recorded or pushed otherwise into the public eye. Any writer has what's called a "common law copyright" which means that you can prove ownership of your song just by showing a first draft or other preliminary worksheets.

In terms of what your next step should be, it sounds to me like you are working too much in a vacuum. You don't indicate if you want to write for musical theatre, but whether or not this is the case, songwriting is still a process that needs to exist within a framework of some kind. You need to be associating with singers, other songwriters and musicians, and if you are interested in the musical theatre, it would be most helpful to join theatre groups or workshops. Having feedback is so important and collaboration is the essence of musical theatre. Perhaps you are already doing these things, but since it's unclear from your letter, I thought I would suggest them anyway.

Lastly, you used the phrase "in a world of testosterone" - and then have an LOL. I'm thinking that you view the songwriting world as a dauntingly male arena, and I know that you're also joking a little, but you should know that I have never found this to be a problem or even relevant to songwriting. Women have an absolutely equal standing and chance of success as men in this profession. That holds true for theatre, folk, rock, country, you name it. I do concede that generally women have a tougher time breaking through in so many professions, and I certainly acknowledge that there are many more male than female songwriters. However, I honestly don't believe that there is some sort of sexist glass ceiling in the songwriting world. Talent and persistence are what it's all about.

I hope I've been of some help, Linda, and thanks again for your kind words about my work. Good luck to you in your career,


All content Copyright © 2000-2015 Nan Knighton. All rights reserved.
Website designed and maintained by Peter Williams