Kristy Jackson is a world-class songwriter whose hit “Take It Back” for Reba made her a BMI million air award winner. I’m sure you’ll love her story about how important your passion is as a songwriter. Enjoy!
If you’re a songwriter, here’s my advice. Five words. Don’t Ever Underestimate Your Passion! It’s a thankless job for the most part but you never know when something you write might strike a chord…something you write might resonate with someone…something you write might change peoples’ lives and yours.
After 9/11, 2001, I wrote a song, “Little Did She Know (She’d Kissed A Hero).” It wasn’t for anyone. It was for me…my way of grieving. I wrote it on September 26th, right after all the cell phone calls from Flight 93 were aired. How many times had I kissed my husband goodbye for the day thinking it would be an ordinary day? Only on that day it would be for many couples anything but ordinary.
The short story is that my rough recording (one take keyboard/vocals) found its way to radio. By October 2001, it had been down loaded by two hundred radio stations and by November 1st it was the most requested song on the largest radio stations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other major markets. It took on a life of its own. Turning down a deal from Sony, I donated all my airplay royalties, quit my teaching job and raised over $30,000 for 9/11 charities. Not bad for an indie. I pressed a single and it ended up selling in every state of the US and seventeen countries.
I still get emails to this day about how the song has impacted peoples’ lives and it’s played on every anniversary on major market radio stations. I received over five thousand emails about the song, people telling me where they were, who they were looking for, who they waited to hear from and how this tragedy impacted their lives. I answered each one personally. How could I not? It’s since become a book. The email that we put last was the one that prompted putting the book together. Precious wife lost her husband on 9/11 and evidently my song had brought her comfort through that time. Soon after she found out she was pregnant – and when she delivered her healthy little girl – she named her Kristy…after me! I’ve never cried so hard in my life.
Here’s the bottom line. In the midst of tragedy, heartache, even overwhelming gratitude for your place in the world, don’t ever wonder what can one person do. Evidently, a lot more than you think. Just keep writing and keep the faith. God has given you a unique voice in this world. That’s who you are. It was given to you for a reason.