My friend Brendan calls me a Girl with Goals. It's true. I like having stuff to look forward to. It's good to get your hopes up once in a while. Plus, we grown-ups have to keep growing or else. (In the words of our beloved Tom Petty, “You never slow down, you never grow old.”)
When I was little I wanted to write songs. My Aunts and Uncles thought it was “cute.” That didn’t deter me. Much later I wanted to write a book about writing songs. Publishers warned that if I thought the music biz was competitive, just wait. I put my blinders on and waited for the right publisher.
My latest challenge? After the encouragement of colleagues I submitted the audio version of my book Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, for a Best Spoken Word nomination in the 2018 GRAMMY Awards. I’m hoping it gets a nod.
I wrote Confessions because I wanted to explore how recent changes in the music industry altered the game for so many songwriters, artists and musicians…creatively (because of technology), financially (because of new digital business models), and emotionally, (if I’m a boomer, do I still fit in?)
Additionally, people are curious about what goes on in the hearts and minds of songwriters. The Thrills. The Chills. The Falling downs. The Rising ups. (I recently saw a sign of a fridge that said a winner is a loser who tried again.)
In 1998 “Bitch,” was nominated for Best Rock Song. I hadn’t lifted a finger to make that happen. It was put forth by Capitol Records. I couldn’t have assisted the effort if I wanted to. I was busy pumping breast milk and taking my baby to Mommy & Me.
But so much has changed since then. Enter social media.
Vying for a nomination in 2017 is like running for political office. At first, I thought I’d get the word out on Facebook—ya know, tell a few friends. Well, you might have noticed my Timeline, FanPage, Instagram and Twitter feeds filling up with promotional posts and videos. Oh and also? I never wanted to be the girl who sends out a couple hundred emails asking for support. But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Forgive me.
I’ve had to be careful with language. There are Recording Academy rules about how one can and cannot express a quest for an endorsement. We can ask that our submission be “considered” if one thinks it "worthy” but we must not come right out and say…vote for Pedro.
And then there’s the time involved…sometimes I’m at my computer at 7am and I realize I'm still in my PJs at 2. Just sayin’. Ironically, the The Girl with Goals hasn't written a song in weeks. But it’s all worth it. Cuz, I wouldn’t be doing any of this if I felt that the documenting of my journey wasn't a valuable contribution to my community (as well as an enjoyable read/listen for those outside of it).
So, here we are. I don’t know how my ernest offering will fare next to a memoir from Bruce (Springsteen) or Hillary (when did she have time to write a book?), but I've thrown my hat in the ring nonetheless and here's why:
I feel it’s important that the professional songwriter, and our story, be represented in the small group of (5) audiobooks nominated. After all, the GRAMMYs is an award platform that revolves around the music industry. And songwriters are at the heart of it. Without songs there'd be no music business.
I hope I speak for all of us in some way. I hope that every dreamer recognizes him or herself somewhere on the pages.
And so…without further ado: I’m Shelly Peiken. If you’re a voting member of the Recording Academy I would be honored if you’d consider supporting my audiobook, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter for Best Spoken Word Album when online voting starts on Oct 16th.
If you think it worthy. : )
Click here to listen to excerpts. If you're a voting member and would like to hear the book in full email me here and I'll send u a promo code on Audible. (If you're not a voting member just throw me some good vibes.)
"A little bit Nora Ephron, a little bit Carole King and a whole lot of fun, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter is ultimately a book about life, as all the best ones really are." —David Wild, Contributing Editor for Rolling Stone
PS...this year, voting will be online. Ballot access will be available via your member dashboard on GRAMMYPro.com starting Monday, October 16 at 9:00 a.m. PT. You won’t be able to vote if you haven't set up your GRAMMY Pro login so please don’t forget!