"I love this book! It's thoughtful, kind, empowering and smart. I wish it had been around when I was starting out. I definitely recommend it to any writer!"
- Karen
Taylor-Good
Grammy-Nominated,
SESAC
Writer of the Year,
1996

Your First Cut's chapters are organized based on the questions in the questionnaire. Each chapter provides you with the knowledge and the tools you need to increase your score on the questionnaire, bringing you closer to your first cut. Below are two sample chapters.


INTRODUCTION

That first cut.

By definition, it’s the first time someone records your song. It’s that simple. But a simple definition can’t do it justice. It means so much more.

You’re a dreamer. A songwriter. You see life a little differently. You hear a story in a heartbreak, a lyric in a conversation, a melody in a sunrise. You have a dream that someone else will hear it like you do.

That first cut. There’s someone out there who sings, performs and touches people’s lives with their music. And now for the first time, they want your song to become their song.

Think about it. An artist is willing to put their career on the line to perform your creation, your baby. It means you actually might be able to play in the big leagues of the music business. It means you are going to see your name in teeny, tiny print in parentheses under the title. It means you actually might make some money on your song (don’t get your hopes up here).

But what it really means is someone, somewhere out there in the heartland, is going to hear your music, your words and your thoughts. You may never meet them but you do connect on a level that supersedes any other type of communication. And that connection will continue long after you leave this planet.

That first cut. When you get it, it all makes sense. The rejection, the frustration and the bruised sense of self-esteem gets temporarily forgotten. It even sometimes feels like it was worth it. It even (shudder this thought) felt necessary. One thing is for sure, it makes it all taste a lot sweeter.

That first cut. We know how much you want it. We know how you can taste it. How it feels out of reach, maybe even insurmountable. It isn’t. It takes an incredible amount of discipline and determination, but it can be a reality.

This book is about goals. Little ones. We know your big one. We want you to focus on the little ones, and not worry about the big one. The little ones will get you to the big one. We’ve got a lot of little ones for you and we want you to take them one step at a time.

The best place to start is always at the beginning. This book is no exception. Take your time and let’s put this thing together, together.

That first cut. Now let’s go get it.

© Copyright 2002, Jerry Vandiver and Gracie Hollombe. All Rights Reserved.