If they don’t call, do they hate me?

It happens all the time. You meet another songwriter. You say, “Let’s write.” With great enthusiasm the writer says, “Yes, I’d love to.” You exchange contact information. Without delay you text, email or call and eagerly wait for a response. And wait. And wait.

Maybe a publisher hears a song from you at a writer’s night or workshop and compliments how well written it is. You tell him you have lots more that you’d love to play for him. He says he’d love to listen and gives you his business card. You contact him right away and eagerly wait for his response. And wait. And wait.

If you are not already groaning inwardly thinking, “Yes, this happens to me over and over!” just give it time. Everyone in the music industry goes through it on a regular basis.Man pleads for the phone to ring

There are different reasons it happens. Most often it’s because people are busy. Whether you work in the industry or are trying to break in, it’s not an easy job and the demands on your time and attention are endless. It’s easy to let things slip by you without ever meaning to.

Sometimes people don’t want to hurt your feelings and find it easier to say yes rather than let you down. Some people make sincere offers that they realize later are not in their best interest and they may feel awkward about admitting that to you.

Whatever the case, you will only make matters worse if you take it personally. Unless they choose to tell you, (which they usually don’t) you can’t really know what is going on with the people who drop the ball on you. Don’t sap your confidence wondering what is wrong with you or poison a relationship by holding a resentment. Above all, don’t express any annoyance to the other person. Yes – it’s rude behavior, but all you’ll get from scolding someone is a burnt bridge.

So what should you do when someone doesn’t get back to you? There’s no perfect answer to that question. The overall goal is to be persistent without being a pest. If you give up too easily you may miss opportunities. If you bug someone too much they may feel like they’re being stalked. My strategy is usually to wait a week, try again, wait another week, try again, then wait 3 or 4 weeks and try one more time. Sometimes if emails aren’t being returned I’ll try a text or phone call instead.

If that doesn’t work, I let it go and move on. I’ve learned the hard way that my time and attention is much better spent looking for a new opportunity than worrying about one that didn’t pan out.