The Unsigned Artist vs. The Day Job – How easy is it to fit songwriting into your every day life?

My typical day usually consists of…wait, what am I saying? A typical day in live TV broadcasting…no chance!

I work as an Assistant Producer for European Tour Productions, a production company that produces live golf coverage of The European Golf Tour. I am lucky enough to travel all around Europe, Asia, The Middle East and South Africa and have a career in an industry I am passionate and excited about. I am challenged every day and get the chance to visit and explore an array of different places around the world and work in a sport that enthuses and inspires me.



Like many independent, unsigned artists out there, I spend most of my free time, thinking about songs, lyrics, melodies and imagining playing my music to 100,000 people in a stadium filled with fairy lights and glitter, while they sing back my lyrics to me, backed by an incredible band of course! However, also like many independent, unsigned artists out there, I do have a day job; granted, it is a little bit more exciting than your standard 9-5 desk job, but it is a day job nonetheless.

Finding the time to fit productive songwriting into my every day life can be difficult. I often look on in awe and jealousy (mostly jealousy) of the verified artists who have been given the gift of ‘label backing’… What a gift (a well earned gift) this must be and is something we, as artists try to pursue on a daily basis. Writing rooms, session musicians, experienced producers with an ear for hits and a creative space to just sit and work on your craft – bliss!

After days of 3am wake up calls, 1 hour long drives to Gatwick Airport, sitting in economy next to a screaming toddler and spending a full day organizing, preparing and producing content for the week ahead, sometimes all I want is a cold beer, room service, a ROM COM, or cult horror, if that’s your thing (Leila) and an early night. But, alas, the songwriter in me is bursting to get out and I simply cannot sleep, let alone relax until I put my thoughts and feelings (oh I have so many feelings) into words and down on paper!


Over the past few weeks I have spent some time in The Middle East. I brought my guitar with me and I started about a dozen songs. I finished a few of them to completion and am constantly dipping back in and consulting the rest for some little nuggets of gold inspiration. This got me thinking about how satisfying it is to song-write when the juices are flowing and you are inspired by what’s going on around you.

I am so lucky that I have a change of scenery every week. It keeps my mind fresh and lucid and every week seems like a new possibility for some new inspiration. This, I have come to realise, it a positive thing.  (I would encourage any song-writer to try and achieve.  A change of scenery, not travelling to The Middle East just to write.) Imagine getting that label backing and being told that you have to produce 2 albums in 3 years and then BOOM – writer’s block! Nightmare!

Although my dream would be to have the chance to create all day every day in music, I am thankful that I have a day job that inspires me, challenges me and extends my knowledge base in an area I am hugely passionate about.

TV Producer by day…Singer-Songwriter by night. That doesn’t sound too bad does it? *brag*

I once asked a colleague who is also a musician to offer me some advice for time management of music around a job with plenty of travelling and he said something that really stuck with me. It was along the lines of:

‘I don’t have to make time for it, it’s what I want to do with my spare time, so I just have to do it, I can’t stop it.’

This is so true, your passion is your passion because you feel like doing it all the time, it isn’t work, it shouldn’t feel like work. It’s not something you have make yourself do because you’re under pressure to do it and in many ways I am thankful that I can pursue my passion whenever I want and however I want. So for anyone who feels like they wish they had more time for music, or whatever your passion is…stop wishing, start doing!

Insta: @emma_charcoal_roses

facebook: Emma Wallace Music




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